All four of my children were born at home. My first born, Joshua,was "delivered" by a naturopathic physician. It was a good experience, but some part of me longed to give birth alone. When I conceived my second child, Becky, in 1972, I thought I would finally get my chance, but my family objected so strongly that I decided to take a wait and see attitude.
Noah was born just after 9:00 am on December 12, 1969. It had recently snowed: a crisp, thin, white layer sparkled outside the living room window. I woke up just after 7:00 in the morning with a slight twinge in my lower back, the kind of ache anyone who has ever had menstrual cramps would recognize immediately.
My birth was a "Dream Birth," better than I could have ever imagined. I am indeed, after two years, still reeling from the exuberant empowerment of it. I caught Max myself in a bathtub of lovely relaxing warm water - and he was born in a "laugh," as I was vocalizing a HO - HO - HO sound ( a very open sound which came instinctually).
Allison: "Unconditional faith" was the theme of my whole pregnancy and labor. This was my first child and I did not know what to expect at all. I just followed my intuition, went along with it and knew I was protected by God. I had read Birth and the Dialogue of Love by Marilyn Moran many times and it was that book I used for guidance in preparing for a homebirth. The love and support my husband Michael gave to me throughout my labor was incredible. I would have never had the same care with anyone else because no one can care for me the way my husband can. I was relaxed and comfortable and the mood was perfectly set.
It's a boy! Name - Birdie; born - October 10, 1995; mother - Sam; father - Erik; place of birth - teepee - New Mexico; time of birth - around 4:45 a.m.; moon - full; weather - clear and cold; "midwife" in attendance - Granny Helen; weight - probably over 8 pounds (he wasn't weighed until two days later); length - about 23 inches; hair - brownish & plentiful; appearance - magical!
Donn: When Jean and I were expecting our first baby, in 1966, there was very little literature about natural birth. We had read enough to know that we wanted an undrugged birth, but we took for granted the "necessity" of birth in a hospital. From the beginning, we felt that both the pregnancy and the birth were ours, together. All we asked was permission for me to be present during the labor and delivery. "Oh, no," the doctor said, "we have enough problems without having fainting husbands all over the floor."
I have no fear of birth. That's a gift as well as an earned trust. From the moment the bloody show comes, I know my babies will arrive within several hours. All my other babies have been born on the full moon (or within hours). How did I know the deliveries would be graced? The same way that I knew I was pregnant so early on. The brain-heart knows. And once the monkey-mind quiets down enough, all the information we need is right here, within.
Friends and family keep telling me that they're eager to hear the story of my son John's birth. I've been having a difficult time figuring out what to write though, because besides the arrival of another incredible child into our lives, there wasn't much to write about outside those little details that mothers can't help but remember, and love to ramble on about. He was born at about 9:10, the morning of July 18th, 2001. I had felt strong and regular contractions from about the time that I first began feeling little Johnny's first kicks, but the time between my first awareness that birth was close and the actual birth itself, was fairly short.
I’ve started to notice recently that childbirth is sometimes referred to as an “ordinary miracle.” The recent experience of my third daughter’s birth really fits that description to a tee. It’s only been three weeks since our little one’s arrival, and yet I’ve already struggled with how to explain how beautifully simple, peaceful, and just…well…normal this birth was. At around my seventh month I wrote in my pregnancy journal, “I've been thinking that it may be difficult to write up this little one's birth story when the time comes, because it will be so simple!” I imagined it would all go something like this, “I had some contractions, baby came out, we all celebrated, the end!” I was so right!
The night before my second daughter was to be born I started having comfortable but regular contractions. They came five minutes apart for half an hour, so I called my mom and my girlfriend Bridgette to let them know that the big event might be soon around midnight. I was thirteen days past the estimated “due” date, so I was really emotionally ready.
It became apparent by the time that I was only 22 weeks pregnant that Maverek was anxious to get here. It was at that time I had some problems with pre-term labor and began to dilate. We made it until I was 38 weeks and 2 days before he was determined to make his entrance, and quite a dramatic one at that. The day he was born progressed like any other until about 5:00 p.m., at which time, I began feeling very sick with flu like symptoms.
I have four children. Pampa is nine, Bahia is six, Selva is three and weaned at around two and a half years old. Nazareno breastfed exclusively for eight months, now at one year has learned to walk and eats a little fruit and bread and nurses all the time.
How can I even begin to describe my home birth experience? Of course it was the comfort of husband and home, freedom from harmful medical intervention, joyful, painless labour and the sheer ecstasy of birthing my child into my own hands.
My pregnancy was wonderful. I felt healthier than any other time in my life. My baby was due on September 10th, and this is the day I started having contractions. They were like feathers compared to the real thing, and made me giggle. I felt like I was being tickled from the inside. They got stronger and stronger, and on the morning of the 14th, I knew this would be the day.
After Dora's mild, gradual warm up and fast culmination of birth with no show, etc., I am experiencing something different to show me that I don't know everything. I went to bed at about 8:30 last night. I kept semi-dreaming through some really strong, crampy expansions. Finally got up to pee at about 12:30 am, and noticed a tinge of pink. I called Matt up and he set up cameras. I put laundry away (so the couch would be clear), very excited.
So, for the last few weeks (gee, maybe longer), I have been having a lot of pretty strong Braxton Hicks- though some were so strong that I could feel my cervix changing a bit, so I wouldn't call those BHs.
During the early months of my third pregnancy, while under the care of my OB, I began questioning traditional medicine and hospital birth. I delivered my first two children in the hospital.
My water broke early on the morning of Saturday, April 6, 2002. It wasn't much, just a trickle, and there were no contractions yet. So I got up and went to some garage sales and spent the rest of the day straightening the house, resting, and playing with the kids.
One day overdue, I was awakened by the first contraction at 7:00 am. This was it! I had to moan through the contraction - "ahhhhhhhhhh" - the birthing song that I had learned during labor with my first child, Alyssa, 2 years earlier. I waited and timed another contraction. 15 minutes apart. I mumbled to John, "I'm in labor, but go ahead and sleep a while longer. It'll probably be a long day."
I dreamed of delivering my own baby, unassisted since I first became aware of where babies come from. I really could not fathom the idea of being watched by strangers for such an intimate act. At 22 I gave birth to my first baby at home with my boyfriend, a midwife and her assistant. The presence of the assistant just sucked! I did not like her one bit. The homebirth was definitely a joy and I really felt accomplished at not doing it in a hospital, but it was not the fulfillment of my dream.