I know that not everyone loves the show Sister Wives, and I completely understand why it's so polarizing. However I'm sucked in and watch every episode.
This season's finale showed the homebirth of Solomon - Wife #4's first baby with Kody - and there were a lot of positive things I took away from it:
1) Post Date - or Overdue - Delivery.
I know how stressful it can be to find yourself 2 weeks overdue. I also know how annoying it can be for people to ask you every 30 seconds if you've had your baby yet. While placenta function can deteriorate after 40 weeks, with proper monitoring most caregivers are comfortable going to 42 weeks. Robyn was 2 weeks past her due date with Solomon, and both Janelle and Christine discussed going past their due date as well. Public exposure to the idea that a 'due date' is an approximation and that the baby can come slightly before or after that date is a good reminder.
2) Natural Home Birth.
It's a given that home birth isn't for everyone, and I know first hand how amazing epidurals can be, however I liked Robyn's commentary that birthing this baby was what her body was built for. I think it's a good reminder that natural birth is just that - natural, and while you might not choose it for your delivery, it's nice to hear if it IS something you want to pursue.
3) Quiet & Calm Delivery.
I'm amazed at how still and focused Robyn was during the delivery. All too often we see the image of a sweating & screaming woman that isn't coping well with the pain. Robyn was amazingly controlled and calm during the final pushes.
4) Delayed Cord Clamping.
Robyn and Kody decided to wait until after the placenta had been delivered before cutting the cord. While this might not be something you're comfortable with, it does bring up a discussion topic for your birth plan: When to cut the cord and do you want to donate or bank the cord blood?
Chris and I were torn on this issue. On one hand we really wanted to donate Hannah's cord blood to the hospital's public bank in case another child needed the stem cells or in order to further research. Both of those things are important to us. However we also wanted to wait to cut the cord until it stopped pulsating to ensure that Hannah received that final iron rich blood volume. There was some discussion of whether or not we could do both, but at the end of the day we were unable to donate because of the infection I developed during labor. (hospital policy)
There is a new study by Swedish researchers that look at iron concentrations and rates of jaundice with delayed cord clamping. If it's something you're interested in pursuing, I suggest reading this article: LINK
While how you grow your family and which fertility treatments you pursue is a deeply personal decision, I SO appreciate that Robyn and Meri discussed surrogacy during the episode - if only just to start the conversation within the general public and to open the door for some education on the topic. I know what an amazing gesture it is to have someone offer to be your surrogate when dealing with infertility, and knowing that someone loves you enough to make such a sacrifice for you is heartwarming. I admit that I cried during R&M's discussion.
6) Change of Heart
I remember how emotional Robyn's pregnancy announcement was - especially for Mariah (Meri's daughter who has watched her mom welcome many children from her sister wives, but has not carried another child to term). It was honest, and real, and I thought that both Meri and Robyn did an amazing job of understanding Mariah's reaction.
I understand that pregnancy announcements can be tough to see and hear when infertility is involved. It was nice to see how Mariah's emotions had developed over the course of the pregnancy though, and I'm pretty sure that somehow Mariah was even more excited than Meri to hold Solomon - and Meri was very excited about this baby, so that's saying a lot.
It was a good reminder that even though the initial announcement might sting, we're not upset about the baby, we LOVE babies!, we just sometimes need a minute to be sad for our situation, and it has nothing to do with how excited we are for your pregnancy.
Sister Wives is on TLC and the Season Three Finale aired on November 27, 2011.