The Voice of a Homebirth Mother.

Via on Feb 13, 2011

#4:

Homebirth Video & Interview with Jessica, a Homebirth Mother.

Interview

Was this your first homebirth?
Yes, this was my first home birth. My first birth, Abigail, did not go as I had hoped. We labored at a freestanding birth center with midwives but ended up transferring to a hospital and using interventions I had wanted to avoid (epidural, pitocin, etc.). Once we got to the hospital, I felt like everything was being done TO me, and that I was powerless. While I am grateful that my daughter was born vaginally, and I have come to terms with what happened to lead us to the hospital, my feelings about Abigail’s birth are mostly negative. Wally’s birth at home changed me forever. There was such a feeling of triumph and strength and joy, and those feelings created a high that I can still tap in to. Every time I think about his birth, I smile. It was a quick labor, and Wally was born right before our midwives arrived. I kept saying, “I did it! I did it!”
Why did you choose to birth your baby at home?
A home birth just seemed to be a simpler choice for us. No worries about packing a bag, or leaving for the birth center at the right time. I wanted to be in the most comfortable environment possible, to have my daughter present, and to be tucked into our own family bed when it was all finished. And that’s exactly what I got!
Were you ever scared? What did you do to reduce your fears?
Early in my pregnancy with Wally, I had to come to terms with what happened at Abigail’s birth and let go of the fear that I would have to go to a hospital again. My midwife helped me to understand the circumstances that led to the transfer so that I wouldn’t keep doubting my body’s ability to give birth on its own. As the end of the pregnancy drew near, I began reading Hypnobirthing, and while I didn’t do the exercises, I paid a lot of attention to the negative effects of fear. I started reading affirmations every night before I went to sleep and focused on positive stories of natural birth. I also created a team of support very carefully. I wanted to make sure that anyone present at the birth had the right mindset and would encourage me. I wanted a circle of strong, natural birth mamas who I could look at and know that they had been through this before. I did reach a point in my labor when I whimpered to my doula, “I’m scared that I can’t do this much longer.” She suggested getting in the birth tub (which I had been wanting to do, but it wasn’t full yet), and less than five minutes later I gave birth to my son.
Were the people around you scared? What did you do to reduce their fears?
We dealt with a lot of fear from family once we announced our plans for a home birth. I think they assumed that because Abigail’s birth ended up in the hospital, that we would just start there this time. Family members would tell us stories of births gone bad and say that we were gambling with the life of our baby. Unfortunately, all the research we’d quote to them didn’t do anything to assuage their fears. Even after hearing about Wally’s wonderful, normal birth, I think they will feel the same fears the next time I give birth. I blame generations of fear-driven birth propaganda, and I don’t know how to fight it.
I want to let you know that you are, right now, today working to reduce fear around birth and homebirth. You are sharing your intimate moments of birthing your child for the world to witness. Thank you!
For women considering homebirth, what advice or words of wisdom can you offer?
Surround yourself with people who believe you can do this, both during pregnancy and during labor. Don’t give any mind space to the naysayers, the sad birth stories, the opinions of people who don’t support you. Oh, and I always hear people say that they’d like a home birth but that they don’t want to deal with the mess, but you should know that your midwives deal with all that! When I got out of bed after some rest, I came out to find my house cleaner than it had started out. Definitely don’t let “mess” stop you from having a home birth.

Video

This video slideshow shows Jessica giving birth to her baby at home. Please note that Jessica 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 Jessica and her family as well as the gift she has given to all of us to witness her beautiful experience.

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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.


About Helene Rose

Helene Rose, MS, is dedicated to inspiring your inner radiance and passionate about supporting women to live uniquely brilliant lives. She offers private mentoring and group mentorship programs dedicated to supporting working women and mothers. Helene also works with corporations to bring balance to feminine leadership and help women and companies tap into and unleash creative feminine energy. Before founding Be Brilliant Network LLC, she completed a BS in Mechanical Engineering, a MS in Curriculum Development, worked within several large corporations, taught ninth-graders in an inner-city school, founded a non-profit to support mothers, and has been on the path of feminine empowerment and mindfulness since becoming a mother in 2004. She lives in Boulder, CO with her family. "Living a brilliant life means that you radiate joy and peace in all areas of your life. You live by your own set of unique values and are empowered to live an authentic, radiant life. Your relationships are nurturing and supportive. Your work is purposeful and meaningful. The earth glows with each step you take. When a woman fully acknowledges and embodies her brilliance, she is an authentic and successful contributor to society - no matter where she is and what she chooses to do. Her inner brilliance shines forth in all she does." - Helene Rose Register for Helene's next Be Brilliant Group Mentoring Program for women. HERE.

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8 Responses to “The Voice of a Homebirth Mother.”

  1. Jennifer Bray says:

    Amazing story and beautiful pictures! Congratulations on your birth and new addition to your family!

  2. Barbara M. Kitzis says:

    This was amazing and very beautiful… I have three children. I am also the proud grandmother of six (6) grandchildren. While I had all three of my children in a hospital setting, I am in awe of all women who are courageous enough to organize safe and healthy home births. Your photos tell of a true success story… Love to the family.

  3. char says:

    I tear up during every one of these videos. thank you, thank you, contributors and helene. I don't have any children and would like to have a homebirth, but I have petite hips, and am wondering if I should have my first birth in a hospital – or is there a way to set up for homebirth, but have a spot reserved at a hospital, or something in-between for the first?

    • helene_rose says:

      Hi Char,

      It's a unique journey as each mother comes to make the choices that feel right for herself and her family. It's possible to come to a place of understanding and trust in yourself and the divine birth process – beginning with a combination of education and tapping into your own inner wisdom to become empowered to make the choices that suit your needs. As a birth coach, I educate and empower parents to overcome fear, recognize their strengths and make a plan that they are comfortable with. There are many options and avenues to explore from hospital birth to birth center to homebirth with a midwife to unassisted birth and so so many professionals that have unique talents and offerings.
      Blessings on your journey,
      Helene

  4. Alice says:

    Char,
    Here's an article you might find encouraging. http://www.havingababytoday.com/articles/pelvis.a
    Gloria Lemay writes here that your pelvic size likely has little to do with whether you could birth vaginally. By the time birth rolls around, your whole pelvis is loose and ready to expand. Don't be discouraged! Do your research, and then make the decision that is right for you and your family.
    Best wishes,
    Alice

  5. Pamela says:

    Lovely x

  6. Nikole says:

    Char,
    Great questions, and it's great that you're asking questions – that's how you'll learn and be able to plan for your ideal birth!
    Be encouraged to know that there are lots of resources out there, through both birthworkers (midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, family physicians, etc) and media (books, dvds, etc). A great book to start with is "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May. It's such an encouraging book as you learn how your body is so beautifully and perfectly designed to give birth. Another book is "Pushed" by Jennifer Block. (This is a book that my husband usually tells his guy friends to read when their wives become pregnant.) It gives you a much better understanding of how American hospital policies sometimes counteract a mother's intuitive and hinders the birthing process. It's very informative and both those books (along with many others) will help guide you as you try to decide where you'd like to give birth and with whom. And a DVD worth watching is "The Business of Being Born". This will get you started, but Helene, and others will have plenty of resources to point you to.
    And just a word about a woman's pelvis. Our pelvis isn't one big bone but actually several bones that are connected by muscles and ligaments. And long before a woman gives birth, those muscles and ligaments start stretching and your pelvis begins to open without the woman having to do a thing – how neat is that?! And that waddle that we commonly see among pregnant women? They say that's not due to the belly alone, but also due to the pelvis opening up and preparing for the big day. So before labor even officially begins, our body is already at work in preparing for the baby to be born. It's an amazing innate process. Just like pregnancy is. And you'll find that birth is a very instinctual process – that's how women and teen girls have been able to give birth on their own all over this world for all of time. Your body is designed for this, so take heart! :)

  7. Nikole says:

    By the way, Jessica, BEAUTIFUL video and birth story. I love the joy radiating from your face!! :)

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