Sunday, May 16, 2010

Only Dirty Hippies Birth At Home

I ran into somebody the other day who it turned out was using the same midwife I had for my homebirth. I had met her once before and was really surprised to find that she was planning a homebirth.  I think I even said, "Oh- I wouldn't have pegged you as a homebirth mama." 

Later I realized how biased I was being.  Any type of woman can birth at home.  And it seems to me that more and more of them are.  We (or I) tend to think of people having their babies at home being women who are kind of alternative, maybe braid their hair, use natural deodorant, don't shave, go to chiropractors and all "that stuff".

When I take a step back I realize that I don't even fit all that criteria.  And more and more I am seeing women choose homebirth who I never would have expected to do so.  Women who look "normal".  Women who go to church.  Women who don't dislike modern medicine.  Women who are just your neighbors and friends but want something more than what is offered in hospitals. 

Why are these women choosing homebirth?  When I ask them I find that they just want a natural birth experience.  They feel they will be most comfortable in their own home.  They don't want the interruption of traveling and arriving and checking into the hospital.  Most of all they do not want to be another one of those one in three who have abdominal surgery to remove their baby.  They realize that the "normal" hospital birth is not really that normal and certainly is not natural. 

I love Ina May Gaskin.  I love her books where women talk about feeling "high" while they are in labor. I love hippies.  I have even been called one a time or two.  But what I love even more is that women who appear "normal" and mainstream are choosing homebirth.  I also love that ACOG and all their knife wielding cronies are running a little scared as they start to realize that a tiny minority of women are choosing to birth on their own terms.  They are scared because they realize that we as birthing women have the power to CHANGE OBSTETRICS all on our own.  All we have to do is realize that homebirth is not just for fringe hippies who live on communes, it is for anybody who recognizes the power of their own body. 

Take back your power.  Choose natural birth.

19 comments:

Nick said...

Very well put. My wife and I are just a 'regular' couple in many ways, and after becoming informed on birth in the United States, choosing to have a homebirth was really an obvious and easy decision. She recently purchased one of these shirts, "Women of Earth: Take Back Your Birth!" and your post reminded me of the shirt. http://madebymomma.spreadshirt.com/birth-C60775

Sarah C said...

Awesome! Thanks Nick! Congrats on the homebirth!

def2002 said...

Perfectly said. I am a "normal" but have been called a hippie lately. Both my babies were born naturally with an a amazing midwife. It was the hardest and most rewarding experience of my life. Leaving me forever changed and completely empowered. I am a mother and I feel it to my core.

Kelly said...

LOVE this post. I wrote/illustrated/selfpublished a childrens book about homebirth and the style is very contemporary and modern - I specifically made it so because 'not all homebirthers are hippies'. My fave feedback about my book is when others points that out as well. Congrats to you and your family!

Kait said...

This article rocks. Thank you.

I was lucky to have my first child, a homebirth, in the Netherlands where 30%+ women give birth at home. They feel if you have no complications there is no reason for a doctor to see you. Pregnant? See a midwife. It was the most powerful and transformative experience of my life.

I was 8 months pregnant with my second when I moved back to the USA. Knowing the chances of a less than optimal experience happening the second time around if I went with the standard hospital birth I chose homebirth with a midwife. I was informed late in the pregnancy that my baby was breech and would need to be "flipped" to avoid the MANDATORY c-section that WI requires of all breech births (anyone who has read about this kind of breech and homebirth knows how unnecessary a section would have been). I was referred by my midwife to a chiropractor who practiced the Webster method. In fact I was given a choice of over half a dozen chiropractors that offered this in my area. The Webster method of chiropractic saved me, and my baby, from that fate in 2 sessions just scant weeks before the birth, oh and it was PAIN FREE. This cost me less than $40 w/insurance. It would have been $90 without. Much less than a c-section.

I may fit all the hippy "criteria" but really, I've just been given options, educated myself on all the ones offered (and all the ones not offered) and come to a place where I realize I am capable of (in fact, made TO) birth babies with as little to no intervention. I've realized being at home and using non-painful, non-medicated ways of optimizing my birth experience has impacted every facet of my life in such wonderful ways. Ways which would not have been available had I left my fate to the Doctors who, though home birth friendly (not easy to find here) had no good advice on how to flip my baby and avoid a section though that info was readily available and a scientifically proven method of doing so. Face it, even OBs aren't focused on avoiding problems, they are trained for emergencies. They have their place. For me, that is not at my birth unless I have a concrete medical emergency.

Signed - A "Dirty Hippy".

Sarah C said...

Thanks for the feedback! Love it-
I would love to know what your book is called and maybe do an interview with you Kelly?! I am starting weekly interviews on the blog-

Property said...

nak-
thanks! people are always surprised when they find out i attempted two homebirths and at 15 had my baby in a hospital with midwives.
Im the furthest thing from a hippy, i wanted to stay home and listen to some good jungle, happy hardcore, or trance, my TNA bags were packed in case of a hospital transfer and god i wish prada would come out with a ring sling ;)
its nice to be represented!

Carrien said...

Funny I should find this today. I just posted about my experiences w. this, my 4th pregnancy and obstetrics. http://shelaughsatthedays.blogspot.com/2010/05/were-not-in-kansas-anymore.html(We can't afford a homebirth this time.)

It has me contemplating going completely unassisted, and just showing up at the hospital later for Rhogam.

Sarah C said...

Congrats on your 4th Carrien! I thought about that with my last pregnancy too because I just was not willing to go to a hospital again. I was however lucky enough to find a very hands off midwife in my area who has allowed me to make payments even after the birth so even though I couldn't afford it, I was able to have a midwife assisted homebirth. I have a few unassisted birth stories in my birth stories section too if you are interested-

KimraDiggs said...

i love everything you just say. my husband's family is full of home birthing mamas and natural birthing mamas...and NONE of them are what i call a "hippie". i would consider myself a hippie, though i did not end up with 100% natural birth that i wanted (i transferred the hospital after 40+ hours of laboring). i know new things about my body and how i labor and next time i'm gonna try for a natural home birth. i do wish more women would at least TRY for a natural birth, and that more women would educate themselves on why natural birthing has better outcomes for the women and babies..slowly, natural birthing is starting to become more accepted by society, and i'm glad. this is your first blog i have ever read, and i plan on following your blog from now on.
peace and love
kimra diggs
www.humanitarianopp.blogspot.com

Sarah C said...

Thanks Kimra- Welcome to the blog!!

mamapoekie said...

Great post. I have never been called a hippy. I have been claimed to be *like that* and to be an anarchist though

jaycee said...

great post! i love that i don't fit the "hippie" stereotype, even though i have a lot of crunchy ideals and have chosen homebirth with all three of my children. i like to think it helps open eyes that "regular"people do this too.

and kelly's book is great! my midwife had a copy. it's called We're Having a Homebirthand her site is here: http://homebirthchildrensbook.com/

Nicole said...

Great post! We are planning to have our next child at home :O) I'm so excited - just have to get pregnant first lol!

Joni said...

Love this! I'm a little crunchy BUT I'm also a RN (and a former L&D RN at that). We just had baby #4 at home. All 10 pounds 6 ounces of her. People act like I'm crazy but I hope our choice helps to normalize what's already so normal!

Louellena said...

Oh wow, second read-through, I actually went and read the link...
:-/ By going to the hospital, I *put* myself and my baby at risk. :(EFM on my back when I first went in and then being denied any food or ice-chips because of the possibility of C-section {OB's orders}). I felt like collapsing and the IV was out for most of it. Medical staff didn't even look at my face until our midwife friend asked about the ice chips and I finally had the attention I needed to tell them about the IV dislodging. 8-S Little one had a seizure a few hours after due to birth trauma (low sugar, low oxygen or something like that).

One OB told me that no I didn't want a home-birth when I did (decided against it for GBS - not enough information beforehand). I've never been a hippy, but maybe a little enchanted by hippy-ish people. My parents had five home-births, me among them.

Sarah C said...

thanks for your feedback- and excellent point Louellena- so true!

Krista Eger said...

I'm glad I read this post. Sometimes I feel like I really have to hold back in the home birth community about what I say because I'm SO afraid of being judged. I feel like there are so many moms that think you have to do everything a certain way or you don't love your kids. But in my opinion the ONLY thing that matters is that you LOVE your kids. Love as an action. If I did everything perfect by everyone's standards I would go crazy! I chose home birth initially because I wanted to go natural and didn't want the temptation of the epidural. It was an incredibly empowering and amazing experience that I am a strong advocate for it. But just because I believe in it so much doesn't mean I want to do everything the way the home birth community tells me to. And I don't want to do everything the way society says either. I just wish there was a happy medium where I didn't feel like I needed to defend anything and where I didn't feel judged!

Anonymous said...

True. I'm an active duty military mama and I had two wonderful home births with CNMs. It's a great option for all types of women.

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