10 Questions for Homebirth Dads with Adam Pedley
Adam Pedley is a father of 2 boys and is in the business of helping others. One of the support groups he runs with his wife is Home Birth My Birth.
1. Why did you choose homebirth?
Well, I didn’t choose homebirth, my wife did. My wife had an unpleasant experience in hospital and didn’t want to go back there again.
2. Whose idea was it, yours or hers? If hers, what convinced you to agree? If yours, what gave you the idea?
It was my wife’s idea. My first reaction was a look of confusion. For me I only knew that babies were born in hospital and I didn’t even think you were allowed to give birth at home. After my wife gave me more information on home birth I became a little more open to the idea. I don’t think I actually had a choice, so I had to agree.
3. What homebirth books or resources did you find to be the most helpful?
Well, to be honest my wife was the one giving me the information, I didn’t actually look up anything myself. My wife read many articles and books on the subject and always discussed it with me while she was reading them. Some of the books that my wife did find useful and interesting were by Michel Odent. He was the man who pioneered water birth in western society.
4. Before the birth, what fears or issues did you have surrounding homebirth (or birth in general)? How did those change for you after experiencing the birth?
The main fear of a homebirth was what if something went wrong. It seems to be a common theme that runs through anyone first introduced to home birthing. The main thing that got me through those fears was learning that the midwife was medically trained and if an emergency did occur, even though highly unlikely, we would just go to the hospital.
5. What do you wish someone had told you before your first homebirth? What advice would you give to a first time homebirth dad?
I think I was told everything before the homebirth so I was quite relaxed during the whole birth.
For first time homebirth dads I would say that homebirths are natural and the way it has been done for most generations before us whereas hospital births are relatively new. If there is a problem (and that would be very rare) it’s only a short trip to hospital. Also complications during birth don’t happen within minutes, any warning signs are there well in advance, normally before labor starts. There are so many advantages for everyone with a homebirth I wouldn’t have enough time to list them.
6. Which part of the birth did you find to be the most difficult or challenging for you?
I actually found it very easy. My wife always laughs when I say to others that the birth was very easy. I think I was just running on adrenalin during the birth as it occurred early morning yet I felt exhilarated.
7. Did you have support during the birth from your guy friends? If so, what was the most supportive? If not, what would have helped you the most?
All of my guy friends were either single or had no children. Many found it astounding that my wife was going to give birth at home in water and they generally just displayed fear at the concept.
8. How was your interaction with the midwife during the birth? What could have made that better?
The midwife was great during the birth. She left my wife to birth how she wanted and just checked up on a few things during the labor. It was great just having someone there making sure everything is ok and reassuring my wife if needed.
9. How has the relationship with your partner changed after having a homebirth together?
Our relationship has stayed the same, though we were a lot more relaxed and closer after the birth, than after the birth in hospital.
10. Would you have another homebirth? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t do it any other way now. It was such a peaceful birth, both the baby and mother were happy and relaxed and so was I. I remember when he was born. He came out, arms wide open and looking up at us as he floated in the birth pool. It was an amazing experience.
Bonus: Will you describe the emotional/spiritual side of your birth experience from a man’s viewpoint?
It was an exciting and joyous moment when my son entered the world. Having a water birth at home was very relaxing and it was great to be having a birth the way my wife wanted. I was very proud of my wife.
[Thank you, Adam, for being willing to share your homebirth experience with us. It’s always good for fathers to share their stories, as I don’t think it happens enough, especially when it comes to birth. Readers: If you know any other homebirth dads who would like to share their answers for this 10 Questions series, please have them contact me at derek (at) naturalpapa.com]
Homebirth Toolkit: A comprehensive guide for expectant families who are planning or considering the option of home birth.