This post is about our decision to have both of our girls born at home without medical professionals present. This is not a post to slander doctors or hospitals. I believe they have their place in society. This post is also not to be taken as medical advice. You make your own choices in life.
I like freedom. I like freedom of creativity and expression. I like freedom for my body and mind. I love freedom of spirituality and growth.
I dislike confinement. I dislike feeling stagnant. I dislike being told what I “have” to do.
Birth in our industrialized culture is usually presented as things we “have” to do. We have to pee in a cup during each prenatal exam. We need to tell our care provider our weight and talk extensively about what we are eating. As if any of us are telling that we gorge on chicken enchiladas with extra sour cream several times per week. We need to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. We need to see the baby on the ultrasound and have tests done on the baby by poking a needle through our belly. We need to lie flat on our back during birth and only be “allowed” ice chips. We need electronic fetal monitoring throughout labor which also stifles us. We need to be cut because a 7lb baby is just too big for our vagina.
Well, ladies...we have the choice to opt out. Has anyone ever told you that? You can opt out of anything. I understand that there are times that there are reasons for doctors and hospitals. However, they are not as needed as we are fearfully made to believe.
How many of your prenatal and birth choices were made out of love? You would probably answer that you believe all of them were made out of love. You were choosing the routine procedures because that, as you were told, ensures a healthy pregnancy and birth.
How many prenatal and birth choices were made based on fear? Were you fearful of the baby not being alive so you kept having ultrasounds? Were you afraid you would have group B strep? Were you afraid that, even though you knew you and your partner only slept with each other that you should put the silver nitrate on the baby’s eyes “just in case?” We make so many choices today based in fear. Let’s start changing that!
How many choices were you aware really were choices? Blood testing, vaccines, glucose testing, ultrasound, doplar used for listening to the baby’s heartbeat, group B strep test, antibiotics during childbirth, episiotomy, birthing in water, birthing on all fours, cesarian sections, birthing at home, baby’s first bath at the hospital, vitamin k shot, blood testing the baby by pricking their feet. All of these things are choices. Every. Single. One. You have the option to say yes to some or all or to say no to some or all.
I chose to say no to so many medical interventions that did not serve my babies or me. I chose to say yes to freedom and trust. The midwives we used for the birth of the first two boys were truly wonderful. They were open and caring and I felt informed. I felt empowered to research and bring my questions into my appointments with them. I felt like I had the time to question and I was not questioned further when my answer was “no.” They helped me feel supported and normal.
Throughout each pregnancy I became less and less worried about the things we fear in childbirth. I was able to release a lot of ancestral thought patterns and negative emotions that were associated with birth in my family lines. There was so much emotional garbage around birth that was only keeping me in a fearful state.
I listened to a podcast after Rico’s birth about a woman who had a free birth with their 5th child. It was inspiring. She and her husband were not careless. They had researched and were prepared. They understood the responsibility they were taking. They had a beautiful birth experience. After listening to it I asked Jordan to listen to it and let him know that would be happening one day.
When I was pregnant with our second child, Jordan was not quite ready for a free birth. To be honest, I was not either. I still liked the support the midwives offered and still had some fears about birth that I needed to work through.
After the second beautiful birth I was ready for a free birth. Jordan and I prayed about it extensively. Once we both had received an answer that is was right and good, we felt so much peace. When you feel peace from God in a big (or small) decision it is so much easier to move forward. I read Heart and Hands (a midwifery book) and Jordan read it too. Jordan learned to check fundal height, take my blood pressure, check the baby’s presentation, check the baby’s heart rate using a fetoscope, check for dilation, deliver a breech baby or a baby experiencing shoulder dystocia, resuscitate a newborn, stop hemorrhaging, inspect the placenta and water bag, draw cord blood and clamp the cord, complete a newborn exam, monitor postpartum bleeding, monitor for uterine prolapse, and more. We did my prenatal exams on our bed at night before going to sleep. Sound calm? It really was.
It was also fun. We learned so many things. The midwives answered a couple of questions we wanted clarification about and signed the proof of pregnancy we needed to to allow us to get a birth certificate after the baby was born. We had one ultrasound because the state also wanted the ultrasound picture as proof with my name and the date of the ultrasound on it.
I took care of my body by eating well, resting, walking, meditating, studying, and praying. We bought a few birth supplies. We were not careless. We were responsible. We understood the weight of birth. (I had already had two boys!)
I trusted my body and baby. I trusted Source the answer to my prayers. I trusted that I would be safe. I trusted that if we did need medical care that it was available. I trusted that my body was built to birth the little girls that followed our two lovely boys. I trusted my intuition and knowledge about my body and about birth.
During their births I felt empowered. I felt free to use the power of my deep voice. I loved being able to not have anyone check my cervix during labor. I loved using my own bath and bed for support. I loved the little sanctuary of our bedroom for Wheezer’s birth and I really loved that my mindfulness and meditation really did come to fruition as Mimi slid quickly into the world in my safe cave that was our bathroom.
I felt fully alive with no one watching me. Jordan is so good to not stare. His looks were intentional and piercing but in a way that made me feel his love and support. He understood my body’s abilities and held space for me and our daughters to come into the world. I felt mine and Jordan’s ancestors supporting us. I felt them near me. I heard their voices whisper to me when Wheezer was almost born. I actually felt both of my daughters rotate after their heads were out so that their little bodies could slide out easily. I felt ecstatic and alive and free. Jordan and I were fully connected.
Our daughters births were free. I felt free from the confines of the medical establishment. I felt powerful! I felt beautiful and strong! I felt birth in its raw form. There were only three people physically present: myself, my husband, and our baby. And can you guess what happened? They were born. They were breathing and crying and beautiful. I was breathing and crying and beautiful. And my husband? Breathing, crying, and beautiful. Because that is what free birth can do for women and families. It shows the fullness of the beauty of birth. Because that is what birth is.
Birth is normal. Birth is raw. Birth is lovely.