Homebirth Interview & Video with Whitney, a homebirth mother.
1) Was this your first homebirth?
Yes, this was my first homebirth and it most certainly won’t be my last!
2) Why did you choose to birth your baby at home?
When I was 10, my mom gave birth to my sister with an epidural. The numbness went up to her chest and she had trouble breathing. It scared her so much that she decided to go natural the next time. When I was 14, she gave birth to my other sister, and though she wanted an epidural in the midst of the pain, there was no time, as the baby came within 45 minutes of arriving at the hospital. Despite the pain, she said she would do it all over again if she were to have another. This was when i was first inspired. When I was in college, I wrote a psychology paper on hypnobirth, because the idea of painless birth intrigued me. I knew I wanted a natural birth, but that if I were in a hospital I probably wouldn’t be able to say no to an epidural, so I decided a homebirth would take care of that. then, finally, when I was newly pregnant, we talked to a friend of ours who was training to be a physician’s assistant, and he said being in the medical field and seeing everything that went on “behind the scenes,” he would never want one of his children born in a hospital unless it was medically necessary. Thus, our decision was made. We watched the business of being born and read the Bradley Method book and “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and attended Birthing from Within classes. We were having a homebirth!
3) Did you have a painless birth?
No, not painless! [laughing] I wish. But when I hear other’s birth stories I know that mine was not as painful as some. My midwife told me afterward that I have a good chance of my next birth being painless.
4) Were you ever scared? If so, what did you do to reduce your fears? If not, how to you arrive at this fearless place?
I had it so ingrained in my mind that this was what my body is supposed to do that I had very little fear, and I attribute my fast labor somewhat to this. I only felt fear twice. The first time, when I had a very intense contraction three hours into labor, and turned to my friend and said, “I don’t think i can do this for twelve more hours.” My wise friend said, “Oh sweetheart, this baby is not going to take twelve hours. He is going to be here very soon.” A few minutes later, I was ready to push. The second time I felt fear was when I could feel my baby make his way down the birth canal, and I thought, how in the world is this thing supposed to come out? But again, I reminded myself that it wasn’t only possible, but it was how this whole birthing thing worked. I was created to birth my baby.
5) Were the people around you scared? What did you do to reduce their fears?
No one around me was scared. Two midwives, my husband, and three friends familiar with homebirth were present. Everyone was calm, happy, helpful, prepared and excited. It was such a good vibe.
6) For women considering homebirth, what advice or words of wisdom can you offer?
I think the most important things to remember when preparing for a drug-free birth is not to be scared, to trust your body and understand that fear creates tension, and tension creates pain. It is difficult to stay loose when you are in such pain, but the pain will be more intese if you tighten your body. Part of having a great birthing experience is completely surrendering to the process of birth, which can be really scary, because you’re not in complete control. Remember that each contraction is a wave, and that it has a peak and once the peak is reached, the intensity goes down, down, until it is gone. Lose yourself in your contractions and relax your mouth, make low moans as opposed to high sounds, and sway your body to keep from tensing up. Learn about the birthing process and what your body is doing in labor. Watch videos of homebirth whenever you get scared during pregnancy of what’s the come, and remember if they did it, you can do it, too. You are strong, and you are capable, and you are not broken. See your natural birth not only as a gift to your child, but as a gift to yourself. The experience is incomparable.
This video shows Whitney giving birth to her baby at home. Please note that Whitney has graciously opened her heart and voice to share with you in order to create understanding and awareness of homebirth. You may leave a comment below that honors Whitney and her family as well as the gift she has given to all of us to witness her beautiful experience.
Would you like to help normalize homebirth?
The Normalizing Homebirth Project Inc has been formed in order to meet the needs of women who are choosing to birth at home and/or would like to birth at home. Our mission is to support families with one-to-one mentoring, homebirth circles for social and emotional support as well as need-based financial assistance for families who need it. Join today! It is only together, uniting our voice and hearts, that positive change can be made so that all choices in childbirth are honored and supported.