I feel like considering whether to have an assisted or unassisted home birth, for me, mirrors the dilemma I see my doula clients get into when considering whether to have a hospital or home birth. Although prenatal care plays a huge role in that decision as well, and I am not on the fence about whether to have prenatal care.
The vast majority of my clients end up choosing the hospital. They look at the risks of home birth, which are small but real, and decide that they would rather pay for the promise of near absolute certainty with the discomfort, anxiety, unnecessary intervention, and possible c-section that they are welcoming by having their baby there. There ARE risks in the hospital, these people are extremely intelligent, and I don’t think they are ignoring those or unaware. They have simply made a decision that they would rather take the risks involved with hospital technology, in exchange for the benefit of having that technology close by if they should need it.
Likewise, I consider the risks of unassisted birth to be very small, but real. Having a qualified midwife in the room with me would mitigate some of those risks. I have to think about what the risks truly are, what the price will be and if I am willing to pay it to mitigate those risks.
On the other hand, I must consider that for me, safety is not first. If I feel absolutely driven to do something, even if it is risky, that might be the right decision IF I can accept the risks.
The question is, what am I really driven towards? Am I only fantasizing about going unassisted because I am afraid of other people’s meddling? Or is it truly what I think will be best for me and my baby?
Another consideration is that unassisted birth isn’t really what I want, but thinking about it is my way of acknowledging that I don’t fully trust the professionals. As in, at no point will I hand over decision making to them as I did the first time.
The funny thing is, I do believe I have hired the best midwife I’ve ever met. After all the mistrust I’ve expressed so far, I can also say that if there ever was a midwife who I could probably trust, and who would probably do whatever she could to protect me, and understand how to protect me, it’s her. So I am hopeful that I will very much want her there when I go into labor. But if I don’t want her there, that’s ok too.