[This post is the second in the series. Read the first one here: 10 Questions for Homebirth Dads: Damon Young, and if you would like to share your experience, contact me at derek (at) naturalpapa.com.]
10 Questions for Homebirth Dads: Sean Daily
Sean Daily is the co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of Green Living Ideas and Blue Living Ideas, as well as being the host of the popular GreenTalk Radio podcast. He is a San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur and internationally-recognized expert on Internet-based publishing and social media marketing, and enterprise information technologies.
1. Why did you choose homebirth?
Our first birth was done at a birth center with midwives and a doula, and ultimately was such a positive experience that we wanted to have our 2nd child in our own home. And, it made sense to us because essentially there was no functional difference between someone else’s home-like birth environment and our actual house with the same people involved — plus was obviously far more personal.
2. Whose idea was it, yours or hers? If hers, what convinced you to agree? If yours, what gave you the idea?
We both wanted it from the beginning and have never been a fan of hospital births or the manner in which the medical community tends to treat births or birth mothers (it is generally treated more as a medical procedure than a natural process the mother’s body knows a lot about, which we fundamentally disagree with).
3. What homebirth books or resources did you find to be the most helpful?
Our local birth center and assisting midwives and dullas answered all our questions during meetings and classes prior to the 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?
Only the obvious one that most parents experience; what if something goes wrong, and we need access to a hospital/doctor due to a complication (breech birth, tied cord, etc.). Because we had such a smooth experience for the first birth and because my wife’s handling of natural child birth was so great, we realized after the first experience the full reality instead of any fear-based perceptions and it made it clear to us that even if a complication happened that we would be able to handle it — and weren’t committing a careless or reckless act through the process but instead giving our entire family a huge, lifetime gift.
5. What do you wish someone had told you before your first homebirth? What advice would you give to a first time homebirth dad?
Nothing; I prefer non-professional people to tell me as little as possible so that my experience would be completely unique and my own rather than being colored by fears of others. I was happy to get the information from the midwife about the practicalities, but that was all I wanted/needed. I would tell a first time homebirth dad simply: “Congratulations, I am so happy for you, because you are making a decision that will reward you and your family, and which you will talk about fondly for the rest of your life.”
6. Which part of the birth did you find to be the most difficult or challenging for you?
Honestly, nothing except the total lack of control of when it all went down!
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?
Didn’t really come up, as I wasn’t looking for external validation (not my style). Those I did speak to about it thought it was cool I was doing it that way, or at least didn’t voice opinions to the contrary to my face if they harbored any. The lack of anyone being outwardly negative was the support I really needed and thankfully got.
8. How was your interaction with the midwife during the birth? What could have made that better?
It was great; she respected my role and right to be there and not only permitted but encouraged my active participation in every step of the process. I was made to feel totally part of it rather than a hapless outsider which is my impression of many hospital births. This was a criterium for us in our search for a midwife, and they lived up to it.
9. How has the relationship with your partner changed after having a homebirth together?
We both increased our respect for one another and felt a great sense of pride in accomplishment (shared) in what we had done.
10. Would you have another homebirth? Why or why not?
Not only would I do it again, I would never do it any other way unless there was absolutely no other choice. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Bonus: Will you describe the emotional/spiritual side of your birth experience from a man’s viewpoint?
I will just say this: There was, at the moment of birth for both my children, an instant connection with both father and mother that felt real and tangible to me, and which would not have been possible had I not helped to deliver the child. My children and I talk about it regularly and they often ask me to retell the story of how I caught them and participated. It’s clear that they think that it is very special and cool that I did that, and it has made the bond between us extremely strong. That’s priceless.
[Thank you, Sean, for sharing your experience with us. Readers, be sure to check out the first 10 Questions for Homebirth Dads]
Image: 1HappySnapper at Flickr under CC License