November 13, 2009
When I was pregnant and planning my home birth, I literally became obsessed about it, which I think every expecting mother tends to do (obsess over their upcoming birth).
For me, it was a time period of research. Having a home birth requires a kind of responsibility of your birth that you don't necessarily need to (but, of course you should) take on if you're going the traditional hospital route.
My first step was to find a childbirth education class. Eric and I enrolled in Jessica English's Birth Kalamazoo. It was just after two classes with Jessica that we started talking about hiring her as our Doula. I will forever be downright ecstatic about our choice in having Jessica as our *Doula.
Next, I read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. I did so in 4 days. It was so awesome. The first half of the book consists of nothing but home birth stories. And not all of them are "perfect successes," either. There were transfer stories, difficult labors and breech births. The second half is completely factual and informative - all about the process and history of labor and delivery. I would definitely recommend this book to any pregnant woman, whether they are choosing to birth at home or not.
My home birth midwife, Linda Healey, came to see me every two weeks, and then ever week after I hit 32 weeks. We developed such a beautiful bond over those weeks. The difference in my experience at Bronson Women's Services and her treatment were complete night and day. She has a brand new website, which you can see here ~ Birth Alternatives. Linda Healey has attended over 1,000 births.
Just after Ella was born, I saw Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (creators of The Business of Being Born)on the Today Show talking about their new online social community, My Best Birth. I immediately jumped on the computer and became a member. Since then, there have been several groups created within the community, including 'Home Birthers' which has a total of 447 members (I am an active member within this specific group).
So why am I telling you all of this?
First of all, I'm sharing this information because it's good to share information, and I have, in particular, two good friends who are currently pregnant and could benefit from these links.
The second and more pertinent reason is to share with you a pretty big project I am in the process of putting together.
I'm creating a blog and writing a short book to go along with it called Bring Birth Home.
It's primary goal will be to empower women who are planning on or interested in having a home birth to educate themselves and own their birth. However, it will also serve as a resource for expecting mothers to know how take control of their birth - learn about birth plans, about hiring a Doula and other self-advocacy methods, if they are planning on having a hospital or birth center delivery.
I've been thinking about this project for a year now, and slowly creating connections with home birth mamas who want to contribute their stories, pictures and birth art.
I'm doing a lot of research myself too, that's for sure.
The best part about this whole process is how good I feel. I think I've really found my passion!
It was important for me to tell all of you what my goals and plans are so you can help me be accountable for them. I want you to. Saying it "out loud" is helping me take responsibility for my goals as well.
I hope you are all well and will talk to you soon!
*What is a Doula?The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. - www.dona.org