Home Birth: Part One

Day one

Day One

“We must break the myth around childbirth [saying that it is a medical event rather than a physiological one]. Yes, there is pain but one can do it with the right support and freedom to birth the way they choose to.  I chose to birth at home with the help of a midwife, my sister and two close friends.  I cannot imagine doing it any other way. I felt safe and confident, I was free to move about. And when it was time to push, I listened to my body and went into a primal place where I squatted and opened my legs very wide. I pushed when [I felt] it felt right. Nobody told me what to do, it was perfect.”  That was taken from my journal regarding some of my thoughts on education and choice around childbirth.

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of attending the birth of one of my nephews. My sister chose to have a hospital birth with a midwife. When I arrived at the hospital, my sister was already in the second stage of labour, she continued labouring quietly in the tub as she found the water soothing.  After a short time, she got out of the tub because she thought she needed to use the washroom. Suddenly, her water broke and the baby crowned; two pushes later he was born. It truly was a transcendent experience. I was particularly impressed with how calmly my sister handled the labour and how she listened to her body, this was definitely how I wanted to do it.  Shortly after the birth however, the room became very busy with hospital staff, I felt annoyed as it turned a private moment into what felt public and routine. I decided at that point I would plan a quiet birth, with only a few select people present.

When I became pregnant a couple of years later, I naturally sought out midwifery care. I read and researched many books on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. I also watched a lot of documentaries and educational DVDs on the subject matter. One of  the things that stands out to me in my research, is a story from the book on Birth by Tina Cassidy. It is about a young  indigenous woman who gives birth for the first time by herself.  She does so in a quiet place away from everyone which is their custom. Although she experiences pain, she labours through it and the baby is born (page 11).  For some reason, I found this very appealing, there were many moments throughout my pregnancy that I imagined myself giving birth alone (under a tree) or just with a midwife.

As my pregnancy progressed I continued to explore my birthing options. At first I thought a birth centre would be ideal for me since I live in an apartment building, unfortunately my city does not have a birth centre.  And as amazing as the hospital is that I would have potentially given birth in, it was not my first choice.  I also thought about birthing at a friend’s house, but the possibility of there being extra people around was unappealing.  In the end, I chose to birth at home for the solitude it would provide me and the control over my environment and body. The birth of my son was everything I dreamed it would be and more!

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4 thoughts on “Home Birth: Part One

  1. sarahkift

    The birth of your son was truly a singular experience for all involved – I know it changed my outlook on life forever. Thanks for letting me a part of it.

    Reply
  2. Kathy's Chronicles

    All four of my children were born at home. My family was initially very much against it with our first, but they’ve gradually became more comfortable with the concept. (Four times…they’ve come around a bit…)

    I can’t think of any other events in my life that are more precious to me. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the feeling of giving birth to your baby in your own home. It’s peaceful, private, and enormously empowering. After the births I felt like I could do anything.

    I wish more women knew of their own power, strength, and of the importance of birth as a marker in their lives.

    Reply
    1. sarahkift

      I’m so proud of you!

      On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 7:56 PM, thebabyandtheartist wrote:

      > ** > Kathy’s Chronicles commented: “All four of my children were born at > home. My family was initially very much against it with our first, but > they’ve gradually became more comfortable with the concept. (Four > times…they’ve come around a bit…) I can’t think of any other events in > m”

      Reply

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