Thanks to The True Face of Birth for reminding us that there is no comparison between hospital birth and home/birth center birth. I was at my friend's house for a baby shower the other day (our friend is having her second at a birth center and she had her first at a birth center) and she pointed out a picture on her refrigerator of her, her partner and baby just after the birth. She remarked, whenever I get pictures from my friends who have just had babies, I remark at how sterile they look, the white walls, the tubes running in and out, the hospital gown... we look like we are at home. And there they were, the three of them snuggled up against a pillow in a room that looked just like home.
When people hear that I decided to have a third baby (my husband ALWAYS wanted three, I always said well maybe we will adopt a third but I am only birthing two) after the birth of my second, they seem surprised. After my VBAC every fiber of my being proclaimed, I WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN! Now of course that seems crazy. The mom in front of me is probably visualizing that picture of the pale exhausted mom with tubes stuck in her holding baby against those sterile hospital walls or maybe they are seeing a picture from a sitcom, mom flat on her back screaming where is that epidural as her husband wrings his hands helplessly. How can I explain to them that the birth that I know is an experience so primal, so empowering, so full of love and power and strength, that tears well up every time I reflect on its awesomeness?