When I think of childbirth, I don't think of it as an emergency, or asickness, or something that needs to be managed or controlled. Women have been having babies since the dawn of time. It wasn't until the late 1800's that Doctors started to get involved. The Cesarean rate in the United States is sitting at 32% as of 2011. In my opinion, this is due to the increasing number of unnecessary interventions inside of Hospital Delivery rooms. How do we get away from such a high Cesarean rate and unnecessary interventions? Doulas, Homebirths, and Midwives.
My son was born at home with his cord wrapped around his shoulder and chest into the hands of my skilled Midwife, Ellie with her amazing Apprentice, Shawna looking on. Ellie swiftly and skillfully unwrapped his cord and handed him to me. He came so quickly that he forgot to breathe. Ellie grabbed her oxygen tank and mask and administered it to Emery. He pinked up immediately and Daddy cut his cord. All of this happened in a matter of seconds, and I honestly didn't think anything of it. I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant with our second child, they will be born at home as well. I have a different Midwife because we live in a different state, and this time I planning on a Water birth. I'm not one bit concerned. It's like breathing to me. It's birth. I trust my body. I trust my midwife. Its not an emergency or a medical condition that needs to be managed or controlled.
How did I get to this point?
I have older sisters and I have friends and they have babies. I've been witness to many Hospital births, and nearly every single one has left me feeling unsettled. Not because anything went wrong, but because in nearly every single one, there seemed to be a sense of urgency, emergency. Unnecessary interventions happened. The moms didn't want to trust their bodies, and if they did, they were led to believe that... "it would be better if..." or "Intervention x-y-z- will make this easier for you"
In 2002 I began babysitting for a woman who had a 4 year old boy, a 2 year old girl and another baby on the way. All who had been or were to be born at home. This family was so foreign to me. They lived simply. They were happy. I looked at pictures of both of the births.
Candice was smiling in all the pictures, she looked ecstatic, she was eating and drinking, walking around and getting massaged. Guess what? They were at home! No monitors, no IVs, no doctors, no nurses. Just them, a Midwife (or two) and a comfy bed. To follow up, a luxurious looking bath with mom and baby together, right there, nursing.
Candice let me borrow her copy of "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin, and my whole world was turned upside down. Women still did this? They birthed at home? Without doctors and nurses and IVs and Monitors, and WOW!
Suddenly my mind was asking all sorts of questions that I didn't have the answers to.
What if I could spread the word that childbirth is a natural body process? What if I could be a part of this magic called Labor? What if I could be a Midwife? Whoa! Hey, I could be a Midwife!
Erin is raising money to go to school to learn to be a midwife. Please consider donating to help her on her journey!