Here's what Heidi has to say:
Asking women about their experiences giving birth when I was pregnant, I heard plenty of scary, pain filled, excruciating hospital birth stories, but no anxiety filled homebirth stories. The women I met who had given birth at home with a midwife assisting had such glowing experiences, it made me wonder what made the difference, why were the homebirth women so uniformly happy and excited about their experience of giving birth, while women giving birth in the hospital so frequently recalled giving birth as an excruciating experience they endured. Talking to midwives, researching birthing practices and outcomes, plus reading a range of birth stories, convinced me to hire a midwife and give birth in the calm, nurturing environment of my home. At home, I felt at ease, I had a level of control in the decisions made and in how I adapted to the pain, how I coped felt under my control. The midwife cared for me and my well being as much as she cared for the baby.
I never anticipated how powerful and rewarding giving birth could be. If I speculate why I felt that way, I imagine the surprising sense of accomplishment, of successfully enduring pain, the tremendous endorphin rush, but I also recall such incredibly warm feelings of love and support there in my home- that was an overwhelming sensation of confidence and security that has stayed with me forever. Birth is meant to be such a powerful gift in all our lives. --Heidi Engel, mother of Natasha, Havel and Josephine