My Natural Birth Decision
Many people think I am absolutely crazy when I tell them I am doing an at-home natural birth. Yes you heard that right, no medicine, pain killers, hospital, etc. and I am beyond excited! It has been the most fulfilling and wonderful process, and I wish every single person could have a pregnancy and birth as incredible as mine. It has been a breeze, and I have learned so much about myself and my baby.
I have always been a bit “granola” I guess. I grew up using alternative remedies, loading up on vitamins, and have always had a firm belief in the power of our thoughts and mind in relation to our health. 9 months ago when I found out that I was pregnant, I was ecstatic! I immediately began research to find the best options for me in pregnancy. To be honest, at that point I didn’t know a single person who had ever done a natural birth outside a hospital and didn’t know that it was even an option. I had always assumed that I would give birth in a hospital like every other person I knew. But, the more I researched, I began to love the idea of a midwife, a personal intimate birth where I dictated what happened, and foregoing modern medicine as much as possible in my birthing time. Immediately I shifted my mindset, and began looking for a midwife.
I interviewed several midwives until I found one that I felt best matched me, my goals, vision, and birth plans. Her name is Heather. For the last 8 months, I have visited Heather in preparation for my birth. Each time is met with minimal intervention, lots of excitement, honest information about my choices and serious female empowerment. I recall the first time we heard the babies heart beat, she looked at me and got teary eyed and said “Thats your little baby! That’s yours. You did this! What a beautiful thing you have created”. It was such a raw, tender moment and I knew that she was invested in me as a person.
Beyond this personal touch, I have been empowered to make my own decisions. I personally believe that pregnancy and birth is a WILDLY important women’s health issue that is largely ignored… but thats a discussion for another day. I am not forced to do any tests, ultrasounds, check-ups, etc. Each time one of these things is available for me, I am given the options along with education on the pro’s and con’s of each option, and then I am left to make the decision on my own. It has allowed me to become well educated in pregnancy and make decisions based in research and backing. It has been amazing to research and study out each decision and determine what is best for me and my family. We have decided to opt out of many traditional practices that you are forced to do in the hospital, which has relieved a lot of burden and stress from the process.
The empowerment that I have found is not only in my ability to make decisions, but also in embracing who I am as a woman. For thousands of years, billions of women have given birth. Almost all of those women have given birth with no Pitocin, Epidural, or modern medicine. Even today, millions of people give birth around the world in their homes with only a midwife or village doctor present. They are strong and powerful. We as women, are capable of so much. How are we to empower ourselves or realize our potential when we are entirely disabled by medicine? Now, this is not to say that medicine is evil. There is a time and a place for these wonderful medicines that have saved many lives, but in a normal, healthy birth, there is no need! To realize my full potential and recognize what I am capable of, I need to experience what I was literally made to do. As a women, my body was made for this, and I instinctively know what to do. It is not scary or painful. It is natural, normal, healthy and safe!
There is so much more that I could get into, including common hospital practices like cutting the umbilical cord while it is still pulsing, clearing the vernix off immediately, painful vaginal exams, unnecessary C-sections, and so on. However, suffice it to say, after all of this research, I simply knew that a hospital was not the way for me and I will never look back! I have loved my pregnancy journey. I have felt so wonderful and healthy. Now as I sit here, I feel my pressure waves and am so excited and happy to be a woman. What a glorious experience to make a human life, nourish it for months, and give life. I am so grateful for this birth experience and so excited to share with you the beauty that is birth!