The first time I did it I went to first base. The second time I did it I went all the way. That’s just me. Everyone is different and every base towards home matters. I do think we need to emphasize getting to home base, but let’s talk about the importance of the bases in between.
The first time I gave birth was in a hospital with an OB and medications. I call this first base. I did not have a horrible experience and didn’t know any better. This is the way many women in the modern world are choosing to have their babies. Let’s face it most of these women will have subsequent children this way and never give it more thought. They may not even know there are alternatives. I am not speaking of the wounded birthers who trip upon home birth and midwifery because of some emotional scarring left behind by a bad experience. I am talking to the “average Jane” who has no reason to seek out a better birthing experience.
Second base. What if instead of putting so much emphasis on home, we started singing the praises of second base. A hospital birth with a midwife with the possibility of some interventions. Not so “scary” as committing to a natural birth but a step towards the right direction. Perhaps if properly supported a few of these women could steal third base once they realize their true birthing power. I will never convince all of my clients or friends to get out of the hospital, but I may convince them to take a look at who is caring for them and how.
Third base. A natural birth in a hospital with a midwife or OB. This could very well happen by choice or accident. I am sure many women who were not intending to go this far do for many different reasons. This may also be as far as we can take it. As much education that there is on the safety of home birth, the hospital will always be looked upon as a safe haven. We need these women tell their stories. We may never get them to bring birth home, but they are going in the right direction for the team. They understand that birth is a natural process and somehow have left behind some of the fear. For some, this equals the glory of a home run.
I hit a home run. My second child was born at home with midwives and a doula. For me it was the ultimate achievement. It does not have the be the ultimate for all births. Second base can be as fulfilling to some as having a baby at home. Hitting a double or a triple is just as important for the next player as a home run. I wish every women could have the experience I had at home. I am also a realist and know this is not going to happen. Maybe if we didn’t focus so much on going all the way, we would have a more well rounded team in the end.