Inspired By Birth Stories

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Kara described her homebirth with the collectedness and radiating wisdom of someone who had done it several times! It was humbling to be in her presence as she discussed her intuitive decision to have her baby son at home in spite of the suspicion and initial criticism she encountered from her family. Kara’s story is reflective of the modern climate women often face today when they decide to give birth in a culture that has moved away from the tradition I spoke of earlier: shared knowledge, trust in our bodies, and respect for a women’s natural given ability to birth a baby. And, like so many, Kara’s family’s concerns about her having a homebirth were voiced out of a place of love, misconception, and fear. So it is no small feat that Kara managed to design a birth in her own best interest. And it is inspiring for us all that she recalls the birth as a peaceful event lasting less than twelve hours. Kara warmly talked about the highlights of having her baby at home, from having the chance to relax in nothing but her own skin, to falling asleep in her own bed when all was said and done. What a gift for her, her partner, her family, and us all—to hear about such a successful and empowering homebirth!

I think I can speak for everyone in the room when I say that I was floored (and also pretty teary eyed) listening to Martha’s touching story of how she literally had to fight her way to finding a provider who supported her decision to have a natural, vaginal birth. Martha described her encounters with members of the childbirth community as cold and not reflective of the way she expected to be treated as a soon-to-be parent. It was difficult to listen to her talk about the discouraging relationships she had to end with both a doctor and a midwife before meeting her doula and eventually finding the midwifery-led delivery unit of a hospital where she gave birth. I could see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice that the process of birthing her child the way she wanted to definitely took a toll on Martha—she was unprepared, as any of us could understand, to deal with how hard she would have to push to get things done in the way she knew was right for her.

But I also heard incredible strength in Martha’s story. From the moment she introduced herself as a single mother by choice I knew that she wasn’t the kind of woman to take anything lying down (no birthing pun intended). Whether she had acquired that fire in the pregnancy and birthing journey or it was just something she came with, it definitely shined through on Wednesday night. She proudly asserted that she would be able to teach her new daughter how to fight for what she deserves in this world. No doubt about that. Martha’s story is also a great example of what we know at Choices in Childbirth, emphasis on the choice: that how you birth your child is a personal decision! Not every midwife is right for you; not every ob/gyn has all the answers. Every woman has to make that decision for herself and every woman deserves all the information she needs to do so.

Melissa’s story is another great representation of the importance of choosing a provider you can trust, whoever that turns out to be. Because she found a family practitioner who respected her wishes and was committed to realizing them, she had a birth experience that was consistent with her values. Speaking again of women who take charge, Melissa’s story was infused with inspiration and humor as she described enforcing rules about how many people would be in her room at a time, and who they were, dealing with a husband who drove her crazy, and renegotiating hospital rules to suit her needs—all while, you know, trying to have a baby! In fact, Melissa continued to do her day job while in labor, and drew up her own legal document, complete with necessary witnesses, to inform the hospital’s legal counsel that she would not be having an IV and that she was absolutely going to walk around during labor (the hospital did present her with their own document but Melissa didn’t like what she read). I think that all the expecting moms and partners in the room left with ideas for some options on delivery day that they might not have previously considered!

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4 Responses to “Inspired By Birth Stories”

  1. Martha Says:

    I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to stay and hear Melissa’s story! It sounds AWESOME!!

  2. Ariele Says:

    All of your stories are *incredible.* I’m so glad you were able to come and share. I hope to see you again soon!

  3. Sherry Reynolds Says:

    Wow, great blog you have here. I love reading on the internet about parenting! It seems like there is constantly new things to learn about it. I don’t have time to read it all right now, I found this site when looking for something else on Google, but I’ve bookmarked your homepage and will come back again soon to read the latest. Visit my site if you’d like to read more. Thanks again for this blog – it is really good.

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