10 Questions for Homebirth Dads with Jason Palmer
Jason Palmer is the husband of Marisa, who blogs at Mama Needs A Hobby. Jason is a hard worker, skateboarder and loving dad to 2 little ones – a hospital birth and a home birth v/hbac.
1. Why did you choose homebirth?
My wife felt very strongly about it after our first sons birth was a hospital birth that left her very unhappy with hospitals. I felt that she was strong enough and I believe in her.
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, I believe in her and I knew it was something she could do. She was cheated with our first sons birth as I previously mentioned in question #1 and she felt very strongly about it.
3. What homebirth books or resources did you find to be the most helpful?
I didn’t really read anything; I went through the hospital birth. We did Lamaze beforehand and were prepared for a natural birth that way. Unfortunately it didn’t happen to be a vaginal birth but an unneeded c-section. She also had me watch The Business of Being Born, which I believed half the births in the hospital don’t need to be there. Which helped lead us to a home birth.
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 what ifs are always a fear of mine. My birth had been complicated (cord wrapped around my neck and I was month late, meconium poisoning. This was in 1980 as well) so that played a large role in the fear that I had. Before I knew the facts about VBACs I was very on the fence about the whole home birth experience. After the birth, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was magical. It was the total 180 degrees experience that I had at the hospital with our older son. When you’re at home, the home setting, it relaxes you in a certain way. That you’re at home, you’re comfortable, she was comfortable. It all just felt right. It’s like they say, There’s no place like home.
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 can’t think of anything that I had wished anyone had told me before had honestly. Oh wait, just like in a hospital, when she says to shut up you should shut up! The advice I would give to a first time home birth dad is to be as helpful as you can be. You are your spouses’ main support. To do the best that you can to make the day for her even more special.
6. Which part of the birth did you find to be the most difficult or challenging for you?
The very end, because watching her work that hard it’s just a strain to watch her go through that and not be able to step in for her or take the pain away. I felt very useless at that point even though I know I was very helpful.
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?
Where we live, I don’t really have any close friends. They’re all hours away from here so support was very limited when we did get to talk. Something like these questions, from another guys perspective would have helped me big time. It would have helped calm fears and nerves.
8. How was your interaction with the midwife during the birth? What could have made that better?
From the minute we walked into her home office I felt welcome. She was more of a friend then someone we were paying to deliver our child. Nothing could have made it better. We lucked out with an awesome midwife.
9. How has the relationship with your partner changed after having a homebirth together?
I will always think of it as something we did together with little outside help. I will always consider it one of our greatest adventures of our story together.
10. Would you have another homebirth? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Since I have experienced both a hospital birth and a home birth, I would consider home birth the hands down way to go.
Bonus: Will you describe the emotional/spiritual side of your birth experience from a man’s viewpoint?
I am not a very emotional/spiritual person; I can say that there is no other feeling quite like it. It felt like a long, scary waiting a game – but at the end you get a piece of you and in a split second you know you’d give your life for theirs.
[Thanks for your answers, Jason. I'm always jazzed to hear about vaginal home births after c-section (VBAC), because many think it's not an option. Readers, if you know any other homebirth dads that would like to participate in the 10 Questions series, contact me - derek (at) naturalpapa.com]
Homebirth Toolkit: A comprehensive guide for expectant families who are planning or considering the option of home birth.
Image: bjora857 at Flickr