on choosing and planning a homebirth

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i’ve started this post over several times. i keep changing my mind about what i want to say about this life experience.

and i look up at these pictures above and i’m reminded why a home birth was the right choice for us, for this birth:

family.

family-centered care.

what i want to say is that after this experience i feel how much home birth needs to be a viable option for families.

and i don’t want to argue about safety or statistics.  really, i think that’s all bullshit. BIG BULLSHIT. the way i see it, someone figured out long ago that if they kept us fighting about which way of birthing is “safest” then no real work would have to be done to make ALL types of birth safer for mothers and babies.

because as it stands, ALL types of birth in this country, and this world, could be made safer.

there is no right way to do this across the board. these decisions to birth are highly personal. it’s one of the reasons i do the work i do; to help parents achieve the births they desire for their experience and their family.

and now my simple wish is that the only standard across the board was the level of love and care i’ve received during this birth was available and experienced by all. and i don’t believe it has to be achieved only through home birth. i think it can be done through all types of birth. and i see glimmers of hope out there that maybe we’ll get there someday. but, yes, i believe home birth is part of that puzzle for piecing back together our maternal care system as a country.

because y’all, the gift my family has been given from this life experience is astounding. i’m forever changed from this. and i hope it will carry forth with me for all my years, taking the shape of more generous love and kindness for growing families.

please, universe, let me remember this for all of my days.

i look up at these pictures darla helped me draw a day before daphne entered our world and i’m thankful for the opportunity to include my daughter in the birth of her sister in the capacity that we were able to because of midwifery care and home birth. darla sometimes seems like more than a daughter to me. she’s my friend and a partner in some senses and she certainly was for this birth. although there were times that having her with me at appointments was a headache and i swear to the cosmos that she adds about 10 points to my blood pressure reading, i can’t imagine having done this without the high level of involvement on her part.

darla dictated to me how the birth would go down for these drawings: the baby would be born in the birth pool so baby and i would be in there and she and mike would be looking on from either side. she gave mike his correct facial hair and asked if i would help her draw “wild curly hair” on her because she “will probably have to be woken up because the baby will come during the night.”

she was wrong about the birth pool but she was oh-so-right about the wild curly hair. she wasn’t present during the actual birthing. she slept through it somehow but was woken up once daphne finally let out her first real lusty cries about 3 hours later. she ran into the room sleepy-eyed in a whirl of wild and curly golden hair, shyly beaming around the room at the arrival of her sibling.

it was the sweetest moment of my life thus far.

and i realized later that it was that moment that i was looking for from this birth experience. the moment when my oldest baby met my youngest baby in a hazy, golden glow. that moment that was of her choosing, in her own space, in her own skin {literally. she must have unclothed at some point in the night so she and her sister were in naught but their birthday suits upon their first meeting} free from hospital distractions and unfamiliar faces. it was THAT moment i was searching for and didn’t know it until it happened. that moment has planted itself within me and taken deep root. and it wouldn’t have been possible in any other setting than in our own home. and for that i am so grateful. i can’t find any other word for it other than gratitude.

and my husbeau. oh my sweet, beardy husbeau.

i told him i thought i might go into labor later and then he put on bob segar. and then i had my doubts about whether he’d be able to adequately support me through this because…bob segar.

but once my labor really kicked in he knew exactly what to do. he revealed to me later that he didn’t feel like he knew what to do but to me it appeared that he did. he was there with me when i needed him and gave me space when i didn’t. he was my grounding. during the moments that i thought labor was going to carry me away i would look over at him and it would bring me all back to center.

he was able to take care of me in a way that i don’t think would be possible for him in an unfamiliar setting. and he’s taken such good care of us these past few days in our own space. did you know he could make banana pancakes with peanut butter chips? he can. he’s been holding out on me all this time.

but that’s getting into the postpartum period which i wrote a little bit about already and plan on posting more about later…

so, yeah, home birth. this birth was all that i could have hoped for and more. it was the most amazing and wonderful thing that i hope NEVER happens to me again.

well, maybe not never ever again… ;-)

p.s. thanks for reading! please remember that i’m not trying to promote any one method of birthing. i’m only trying to relay my gratitude for this life experience. above all else, i believe in families choosing the way to birth their babies that seems right individually.  for us, for this birth, a birth at home was the absolute right choice.

now go forth and be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.

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daphne’s home birth: a photo tour

ok, so it’s a dimly lit photo tour. we’ll call it ambiance.  or love aura. whatevs…

i’d like to highlight some of the things i loved about birthing our baby girl at home, in our own bed, with these few snaps from my phone. lucky you, nothing graphic will be shown as i was too busy with the actual birthing. i was able to capture one last maternity shot when labor was just getting started.

there was so much i was thankful for about being in our own space for laboring and birthing. i want to write a little bit more about the experience and process but i think that is for another time.

so we’ll flash forward to the immediate postpartum which, for us, seems to be bursting with benefits:

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^ the first being that we were given time and respect. our space and experience were honored. i have several photos of daphne just looking around the world for the longest time. it was all so peaceful and serene. at least for us. daphne has a bit of a what-the-heck-just-happened-to-me look going on.

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^ all daphne’s measurements and exams were done in our bed, by our side.

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^mike got to be the one to give daphne her first “bath” which was just a washcloth rubdown

and we all got to hang out in various stages of undress holding miss Daphne:

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^and darla held daphne for the first time. darla’s thoughts on the experience: “she doesn’t smell very good.”

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 ^home birth meant my parents could come and be with us and the lack of visiting hours has lead to lots of bonding time for everyone, which works well for our family.

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and mostly we just sit around and stare at daphne josephine, completely comfortable and settled in to her home surroundings from minute one.

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 our home birth = a home filled with love. a birth filled with love.

bump day

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i know, you thought bump day updates were over didn’t you?

well, i’m just still very much in love and in like with this midsection that has grown two people now. maybe i’ll just keep bump day up forever…hmmmmm….

no, BUT, maybe this is a start to something along the lines of the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. we’ll see.

it’s my first bump day post-birth and things are looking very similar to 5 months pregnant. i don’t really mind carrying around the extra pooch for a bit. i think it would be too much of a change and a loss to go straight back to a pre-baby body. i’d like this little reminder to stick around for a while.

and yes, those are the tops of the adult diapers i’ve been rocking since daphne’s birth. i’m not ashamed to admit that i’ve been quite comfortably not hating this decision. ladies expecting babies, do yourself a favor and just give in to the adult diaper for your initial postpartum period. trust me.

I’m a magician

Because I turned this

last maternity photo

into this….

dap jo

 

Daphne Josephine is now a member of the Wrucker crew, living on the outside of my body and looking pretty cute while doing so.

we’re healthy, happy and well-cared for. i’m now enjoying all the baby snuggles and fun time after pains, along with those lovely, humbling things like starting a new breastfeeding relationship and relearning how to pass a newborn back and forth. sheesh.

life is a trip, man.

{ps. glad i had the where-with-all to snap one last maternity shot at the beginning of my labor, before things really took off}

bump day

baby belly pic

it’s a birthday baby bump post today. it’s hard for me to believe that the body holding that baby is 31 years old. i never thought i would get old.  the 30s are a weird decade where sometimes i feel much, much older than my years only to follow it up with feelings of eternal youth the next day.

anyway, i’ve enjoyed a day of rainy solitude for my 31st birthday. husbeau left me cinnamon rolls for breakfast and i’ve been catching up on household projects, rest and online work that was all put on the back burner during 6 long days of workshops and learning for my ventures into postpartum doula work and childbirth education. there’s a lot to unpack in this brain. i feel like i have a 50 item laundry list of things i want to get started on asap to further my career in birthwork.

but in the middle of it all, i’ve made sure to stop and spend time with this belly. i cannot believe it will be only a few short months before i meet the little person inside there.

journaling the maternal experience

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at a recent appointment with our midwives i discussed trying to find the balance between being connected to this birth and being controlling. with darla’s birth i believed that everything would be ok and all would be well, as nature intended. well, that’s actually a pretty good way to head into your first birth since things did end up pretty well. but i don’t feel like i really connected to my pregnancy with her ahead of time. i feel much more spiritually involved with this little one. however, i’m also feeling more aware of the possibilities of things that *could* go wrong and i’m having a harder time disconnecting from those thoughts. that ignorant bliss goes right out the window with naiveté once you’ve been doing birthwork for a while. it’s given me a lot of empathy for medical professionals given the fact that the majority of the births i’ve seen have been peaceful and natural.

so i decided journaling the rest of this pregnancy would be a good thing for me. i feel i’ve been involved with this pregnancy at a more heightened level and i need to make sure that continues to come from a good place and not a place of fear. because i do believe this natural act my body, baby and self are to perform in a few months will be lovely and healthy. i might just need a place to write that down daily as a reminder. and i believe that when actions are motivated by fear then they secondarily become motivated by control. i don’t need to control this life event. i need to experience it. i need to cling firmly to the faith that all will be normal, healthy and safe, as intended.

i have a few other things i’ve been practicing and/or plan on incorporating into birth prep that i’ll share here in time.  because having faith in the process doesn’t absolve me from doing work on my end to nourish my body, mind and baby. please stay tuned for future pregnancy work updates!