Andrew and I have a long, long list of things we want to get done pre-new-baby. Neither of us are deluded enough to actually think much of it will get done now, but there are a few key crafts I want to do (make baby quilt and knit booties) and one big thing I hope Andrew can do (paint the kid's room).
I had a discussion with a good friend of mine about neighbours and home birth. We had not planned on telling our neighbours until shortly before the birth, our thinking being that they would have less time to get frightened about the prospect. Her thoughts are that we should tell them now and give them an opportunity to decide how they feel about it. My argument, and fear, is that I don't want anyone else to dictate my birthing choice. I just don't think someone else's fear of what might be should mean I have to give birth in an environment I am uncomfortable with.
During the conversation I had trouble articulating much past my fear - my fear that someone else was going to get to make this very personal decision for me, again (homebirth is not covered in Alberta - you go to a hospital or pay through the nose). Homebirths have been shown to as safe as hospital births and require fewer interventions, I will get to be in a familiar space and be surrounded by only the people I want. Top this off with the knowledge that this will be our last baby, we are not having more (really) and that makes this my only chance to experience a home birth (at least from the unique perspective of birth mother). I do not want that taken away, unless medically necessary.
Following the discussion I was confused and distraught, I could see my friend's very valid point, but I wasn't ready to conceded. Andrew and I talked at length about it and found ourselves just going in circles - what to do? What to do???
I posed the question to an online prenting group I belong to and was blessed with some first-hand experience:
We had a homebirth. Our landlord, who lives upstairs, would also have had serious issues with it. Not that he would have worried specifically about the place getting messed up, etc, but just the whole automatic fear that comes up about homebirth for uninformed people. I didn't want to deal with his fear or having him constantly worrying about it. Anyway, we decided not to tell him beforehand. I was also really quiet for my first kid's birth and expected to be this time. But, the best thing we did was a few weeks before our due date, we called him and said, just wanted to remind you that we are due soon so if you hear any loud noise, don't worry about us, we just might be in labor. That way he wouldn't come down to check on us or tell us we are being too loud or something dumb like that. (We just left out the part about "we won't be leaving to go to the hospital.") Even if you were REALLY loud this time, for all your landlord knows, you are having a really difficult early labor and just haven't left for the hospital yet. Don't know if this approach would work for you. The labor for us did indeed end up very quiet (with dd sleeping in her room right across the hall) and it only lasted 2 hours. We went ahead and told him after the fact, but I don't suppose we needed to. Somehow, it wasn't even an issue when we mentioned it. It's like he was almost proud that a baby was actually born in his house.I was also gifted this gem:
why it is either your landlord's or your neighbors' business that you are having a homebirth. You pay rent to live there - and unless it is in your lease to inform them of possible homebirths, I'd say don't bother telling them. KWIM?After talking with Andrew again we have decided not to tell them. The reality is we would be home for the long part of labour anyways, last time around we were turned away and told to come back hours later - and the pushing bit will be over before anyone knew what hit. I double (and triple) checked with Andrew and he assures me I was a quiet labourer (except for the low moan I attempted to release while pushing that the ass-faced nurse told me to hold in contrary to everything my own body was telling me to do).