I’m in love with birth stories. 

I’ve been reading birth stories almost daily the last few days/weeks although I’ve enjoyed reading a good home birth story occasionally these past few years.  I read them now not only to feel connected to other pregnant/laboring mothers but also to glean as much information as I can about them.  It helps me to feel more prepared for the big event in some way.  I’ve learned about how women choose to labor, positions for laboring, how to identify transition, that not everyone identifies transition, that some women labor days after their water bags have ruptured, that some labor for days (80+ hrs!) and still deliver healthy babies, that meconium in the waters makes it look kinda greenish, that babies are born kinda blue normally, but shouldn’t turn black or purple, that placentas come out naturally without having to pull them out (although some hours sooner than others), that one should take motherwort if there is fear of hemorrhaging, but that women bleed a lot normally after the placenta comes anyway, that breech babies can be delivered naturally and safely at home, and many other things!  Who knew that reading about others’ experiences could be so educational? 

I’ve also gained a feeling of empowerment through the reading of these stories.  Lately I’ve been reading about unassisted childbirth and the stories of women who have birthed either by themselves and caught their own babies, or with their husbands or families nearby, but no other birth attendants present.  Just knowing that there are and have been many women who have chosen to labor by themselves and have gone on to birth perfectly healthy babies gives me confidence in my own ability to birth without anyone’s help.  Afterall, no one else really births the baby except the pregnant woman!  It has given me confidence to trust that my body was designed to birth and that I have the BEST physician on my side (HaShem) and that I will know what to do given that I listen to the cues my body gives. 

I’ve been fascinated by how different and yet how alike all these birth stories seem to be.  Women who know their bodies’ patterns and women who experience different patterns with different births.  It makes me wonder what my own birth experience will be like and makes me excited about the day when I will feel birth happen in my own body.

I have spoken to my husband about going for an unassisted birth, given that I now have full confidence in my ability to give birth without a medical professional nearby (or midwife) but I knew he would not go with the idea right away.  He feels much safer knowing a midwife will be there “just in case” something should happen.  I can understand that, as that is where I was just a few months ago myself, but I just know now that I can do this, whether or not there is a midwife present.

I know, just having a midwife at a homebirth seems scary to a lot of people, let alone the idea of birthing by myself, but I have no fears about it and know women throughout the ages have done it, and done it well.  Having some knowledge about what to do in case there are complications, such as having motherwort or a cayenne tincture around for hemorrhage, olive oil for the perinium, rescue remedy for anxiety before/during transition, counter-pressure for back labor and other such things helps me feel even more armed and ready. 

There is still much for me to learn, but thankfully I have another five months or so in which to glean even more information and maybe put a little notebook together for reference on the big day.  I think I’d like to have some poems and prayers there, too, in case I want to say them while I’m still in the early stages of labor.  They’ll be handy to access, then.

Now I’m excited to talk to my mom and grandma about their birth experiences as well, and ask them what worked for them.

What worked for you?

Unassisted Childbirth Stories:
Born Free! (Scroll down for more pages of stories)
Free Mom