Julie shares the insight gained from her story. This is a wise lady. Catch up here.
A few things I've learned through my two experiences:
On a practical level, don't invite "Murphy" to your birth (Murphy's law applied to labor and delivery is: whatever you didn't plan for will probably happen).
Don't live in fear, but to the best of your ability, have a backup plan in mind if you choose a midwife or homebirth. Billions of people worldwide throughout the ages have not had health insurance, but the reality is that if you live in America today, you can very easily end up with thousands of dollars in medical bills. If insurance isn't an option, you might want to at least check into a medical bill sharing network. That has worked really well for us.
Don't assume natural means easy or pain free. There are many ways to make your labor and delivery smoother, but ever since Eve received the curse for eating the forbidden fruit, women have had pain in child bearing. I was also surprised that I had a more difficult recovery after my natural birth than my c-section. Having done it both ways though, I can say without a doubt that natural birth is worth it- both for mom and baby.
Another thing, there is definitely an allusion of safety in hospital births in the US. I had a lot of unnecessary fear with my VBAC because of the stories I heard from friends and also because VBACs were outlawed in our area at the time, for all practical purposes, by the malpractice insurance company. It made what I was doing sound extreme and on the fringe.
Our midwife has attended thousands of successful births, but I still heard people say "Oh, but there was that one VBAC the midwife attended where the baby who came out with cerebral palsy." No one talks about the lady I know whose baby died in the hospital because everyone assumes that if they were at the hospital everything that could have been done was done.
Finally, I think it's important to remember that you can have a beautiful birth experience even if it doesn't turn out the way you planned. I love natural birth and letting your body do what it's meant to do. It's an under-appreciated miracle. But I have sweet memories of both my girls' births.
No matter how your little one ends up coming into the world, the gift of their life is a beautiful thing and the details of their delivery will soon be eclipsed by the new little person in your life.