What Home Looks Like

Homebirth has made its way into many conversations lately. People seem shocked that I would have given birth at home, and even moreso that I can't imagine wanting to birth anywhere else. I have had a medicated hospital birth, a natural hospital birth, a natural birth center waterbirth, and two waterbirths at home. I'd love to say that all my children's births were beautiful in their own way, but the fact of the matter is that Alexander's birth was quite traumatic to both of us. His birth, however, led me down that path to gaining confidence in my body's ability to birth, which in turn led me toward homebirth.

People seem to think that homebirth must somehow require courage. It took courage for me to get into a vehicle during labor to be driven to a hospital and to be able to find my center in an unfamiliar hospital room with equally unfamiliar people coming into and out of my room, including the doctor that I'd spent 6-10 minutes with on no more than twenty occasions. It didn't take any courage at all to relax in my own house surrounded by loved ones and under the care of experienced midwives who knew more about the body's ability to birth than any doctor I've ever met, and who spent no less than an hour with me at each appointment, were available by phone anytime should I have a question or concern, and who took the time to get to know me and my family. And besides, I felt ... well ... at home. 

Homebirth may not look the way you imagine it would. My first homebirth looked like this...

Midwives chatting
Gramma reading

Mama laboring
Paparazzi clicking
Coren was my first child born at home.  His was my easiest, calmest, least painful birth. From when my body started pushing to when he was out was a grand total of seven minutes. 
Brother born

Gently floating
Coren's birth was attended by two midwives, three siblings (ages 6, 5, and 3), his Gramma and Papa, "Aunt" Rachel, Daddy, and, of course, Mama. He was born in our dining room, as was Alia several years later. He weighed 10lbs 14oz. Really. We checked. Three times.

Cord cutting

Mamamilk guzzling

Nurse checking
During labor, I was encouraged to move, to eat, to drink, and to listen to my body. After birth, I had people making sure I ate and drank, making me comfortable, cleaning up, and making sure baby and I were healthy and that breastfeeding got off to a good start. There were plenty of hands to hold baby while I showered and whisk the older kids away to give Mama, Daddy, and baby some quiet bonding time - and so the big kids could organize a Birth Day Party.

Birth Day Partying

Family meeting

Life is Good 
As we lay in bed with our newborn baby that night, we marveled at how seamlessly this child entered our lives ... how normal and natural and full to the brim with love the entire day was. And how wonderful it was to be in our own bed, at home with our older children, on the night of the first day of our baby boy's life. 

(Photos by Gene Talbot - my wonderful Dad and my kids' loving Papa)


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