I was asked via anonymous comment on this blog to imagine the guilt I/Stephen would feel if something unspeakable went wrong during our homebirth and the lives of either me, the baby or both were compromised. Whether we would question or think, “If only we’d gone to the hospital.”
The truth of the matter is that babies and moms die in the act of childbirth. Even in hospitals.
The United States leads the developed world in infant mortality rates. It isn’t the 1% of women having homebirths that are causing those rates to sky rocket. Other modern countries with much higher homebirth rates actually have lower infant mortality rates.
So shouldn’t the question be for Stephen and I to imagine the guilt we would feel if we went to the hospital and something went wrong?
I don’t think guilt is an appropriate reference for making a decision like this. I would obviously hope not to have a stillborn. I would obviously hope that nothing serious goes wrong in either situation. I think every pregnant woman hopes for that. But sometimes things just go wrong.
So no, I’m not going to imagine the guilt I would feel if I went to the hospital and something went wrong. I’m not going to imagine the guilt I would feel if something went wrong in the homebirth. Instead I choose to trust that in both situations everything that could have possibly been done to ensure the health and safety of me and my baby was performed.