Home Birth Advocacy

Maybe We’re Crazy!

68 Comments 28 February 2012

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of this site.

I’ve been thinking all day about what to write in celebration of this hallmark event.

A list post dedicated to what I have learned thus far?

A whimsical story about what home birth means to me?

Boring!

So here’s what I came up with instead.

I hope you dig it.

“Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe you’re crazy. Maybe we’re crazy. Probably.” – Crazy, by Gnarles Barkley

 
Please click “Play” before reading, and read while listening to achieve the full affect of this blog post.

When this song first hit the scene, I literally went craaaaazy over it on the dance floor.

I’d be sitting across the bar, slowly chipping away at my vodka tonic with a lime, smoking stacks of cigarettes, and BAM. That song came on and I would politely ask my date night partner to hold my drink first (okay it was more like “Here! HERE! It’s my song!”). Hehe…

I couldn’t get to the dance floor fast enough.

I’d edge my way through the crowd like a snake cutting around blades of grass. And when I arrived…everyone on that floor saw me. I’m sure they laughed their butts off (actually, I know they did - it was impossible not to).

I flailed my body around. Arms cascading through the air. Head twirling. Body spinning. Legs bounding, kicking, running in place.

Come to think of it, I think I even literally ran circles around that room…

Crazy was my anthem.

I can see now that this song, and my intense reaction to it, was full of foreshadowing.

See, there are a lot of people out there who think giving birth at home is crazy. Heck, some of them were my friends and family (not anymore, they’ve since changed their minds).

And on the other side of the isle, there are a good number of people out there who think giving birth at the hospital is crazy.

Well that’s just plain crazy! Yeah, a little bit. And I’ll tell ya why.

Because I don’t want to be thought of that way!

Why then, would anyone else want to be considered crazy for giving birth the way they want to? Educated or not?

That’s not fair. Or nice.

When I started Bring Birth Home, it was only about one thing: home birth advocacy.

Who wouldn’t want to give birth at home? I thought.

Turns out, there are a lot of women and families who don’t.

And that’s okay.

As soon as I realized this, and it really sunk in that I couldn’t be a successful advocate for home birth if I thought anyone who didn’t give birth at home was crazy, was the instant Bring Birth Home grew to outstanding proportions.

If there is anything I’ve learned about home birth advocacy in the past two years, it’s this: people want to learn more. 

The most popular blog posts on this blog is routinely are articles I wrote about the pros and cons of induction, epidurals and cesarean sections.

They search for information, and Google sends them here. Huh, what? Home birth? Hmm…

Nuff said.

Living By the Golden Rule.

I won’t treat you like you’re crazy. And I won’t use the word “should.” You do the same. Capiche?

Voila! Haaaaaarmony. Beautiful, sweet, harmony (this is the answer to world peace, I tell ya).

We’re all a nuts. Let’s embrace that, and each other.

Things can only go wrong when we start pointing fingers or throwing stones.

Until then, sing along with me, and dance like an effing crazy person. Because you are. Just like me.

And with that, I’d say it’s time for a giveaway!

One lucky winner will be chosen at random a week from today and mailed this beeeeautiful home birth necklace made by Mountain Girl Silver exclusively for Bring Birth Home.

Simply “like” Mountain Girl Silver, and leave a comment below sharing how you came to discover Bring Birth Home – who introduced you to the site and when? Then, if you’d be so kind, please recommend Bring Birth Home to one of your friends! Thank ya & good luck!

Love!

Home Birth Advocacy

Valentine For a Midwife

No Comments 14 February 2012

a guest post by Denee
To my midwife.

http://kikidonahue.tumblr.com/post/16572747886/also-stocking-several-of-these-i-love-my-midwife

I thought and prayed long and hard before I choose to deliver my baby at home.

My hubby was from the approach of not being sure that home birth was safe and was worried about ‘what if’ something were to go wrong. I pressed on, reading many books and searching for as much information as I could gather to make sure we were making the right decision.

Than I called you.

You were so kind from the get-go and you allowed the choice to birth at home to remain ours; you never pressured us and that meant so much. You just let the process be and that made me realize that we were the ones making the decision-not because someone else was telling us this was how it should be.

You listened to me and were genuinely interested about my well-being.

There was never a time when I needed to call you that I felt I was inconveniencing you or wasting your time. You left all the decisions up to me in the end-from if I felt like giving the ‘tinkle’ sample,to if I wanted to have my blood pressure taken or my baby measured.
Sure, most of these things probably needed to be done occasionally, but you never made it ‘protocol’ or treated me as if I was ill.

You were so gentle when you’d measure my belly and feel my baby.

It always seemed as if you really looked forward to meeting our baby as much as we did-and that influenced my feelings about you substantially.

Your visits were something I looked forward to.

Unlike my previous providers who insisted on examining me every appointment in the 9th month, you made it an option if that’s what I wanted…and surprisingly I never really wanted to. I understood that my body didn’t need to run on a clock and that it would do what it needed to when it was suppose to.

You always were so nice when you came into our home; you always greeted our other children and asked how they were doing-even though they ran off with your urine test strips a time or two!

One thing that meant so much to me was how you would always tell me that I was glowing,and how I looked so beautiful pregnant….I believed you.

Even though I was big and sore and heavy, I truly was made to feel amazing and beautiful.

You encouraged me and told me I would do splendid-never offering a hint of anything less than belief in me, my body and our birth.

The day I called you telling you I’d been having contractions, the words you spoke were nothing but compassionate and there was certainty in your voice that I was competent to know what my body was doing.

You did everything I needed during my short labor.

You offered to be as involved as I wished-or as hands off as I preferred in order to give me the privacy I might desire.You never insisted I be subject to prodding or exams,and you were considerate of letting me birth the way my body instinctually knew how.

When I was in the most intense phase of my labor, you were there putting cool washcloths on my body and quietly encouraging me.

My birth experience was beyond words. 

I felt so empowered and it was far above my expectations-I never thought I could feel so much love and caring during my birth.

For everything from the visits before Jacobi was born, to his birth and then all the postpartum visits and phone calls, it was amazing to have you as my midwife and I will forever be grateful.

Thank you for devoting your life and your heart to guiding families through this life changing event. Because of providers like you, birth works!

Love,
Denee

BBH TV, Home Birth Advocacy, Pregnancy

Karen Brody, Playwright of BIRTH, Founder of BOLD

1 Comment 13 February 2012

Karen Brody is a writer, activist, mother, founder of BOLD, author and playwright of Birth, a realistic portrayal childbirth.

I have the extreme pleasure of speaking with Karen this Wednesday, February 15th on Bring Birth Home TV at 9:30 PM EST – join the event.

This blog post is dedicate to getting to know Karen; all of her wonderful accomplishments and the work she is doing to support and educate women about childbirth.

Karen’s journey began in 2003.

She began interviewing women to hear their birth stories. So many responses came in, she had two, sometimes three phone interviews per day and still didn’t get to everyone who wanted to share.

Then began the arduous task of selecting stories for her book – only eight of them.

She describes the selection process: “That was the hardest part — choosing only eight. An impossible task. What about women who give birth to stillborn babies at seven months? Birth from a blind woman’s perspective? Women who give birth in prisons? Some birth stories had to be dropped. I chose the most typical ones I heard; the most common themes. Namely: epidurals, cesareans and natural births.”

Karen chose the stories of low-risk, educated women to depict childbirth in the developed world.

Birth the play has been performed around the globe, and translated into several different languages.

“The ‘Vagina Monologues’ of birth.”
- Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

About BOLD

The goal with BOLD is to make maternity care more mother friendly, and to inspire communities to organize local productions of Birth. 

BOLD stands for Born On Labor Day, as the first event kicked off on Labor Day and through the month of September. These days, BOLD is a year long event and has raised over one million dollars for pregnant women, teens, VBAC organizations, doula programs and independent organizations.

Join my fabulous co-host Gena and I this Wednesday on Bring Birth Home TV as we speak with Karen about Birth, BOLD, and the creation of her newest venture, FEAR to FREEDOM, offering birth facilitator certification and childbirth preparation.

Sign up for a Vokle account, (it’s free!) to watch and participate during our Wednesday event, and all other upcoming BBH TV shows!

 

Home Birth Advocacy

Announcing Bring Birth Home TV!

7 Comments 02 February 2012

I am beyond excited to announce Bring Birth Home TV!

The story:

Last week I was approached by fellow birth advocate, Gena Kirby of Progressive Parenting (she’s way cool. I’ve been on her radio show twice – listen to Bring Birth Home on Progressive Parenting Radio).

She asked me to co-host a new TV show with her.

And here’s the cherry on top: I could call the show whatever I wanted to.

I could call the show whatever I wanted to? 

Yes.

Well golly! I’d like to call it Bring Birth Home TV thank you very much! <wide grin>

And so, in the snap of a finger, BBH  TV was born. Yay!

Bring Birth Home TV will air LIVE every Wednesday night from 9:30-10:00 pm EST, beginning next Wednesday, 2-8-12

I will be discussing pregnancy, home birth
preparation, how to find a midwife, relaxation techniques during labor, laboring at home, and much more!

We will interview the experts – midwives, doulas, and…YOU!

BBH TV will be a weekly event hosted live Vokle. You can participate with their chat feature and ask us questions, as well as use Twitter. Membership is free.

So, who wants to be a guest on my show?

You need to have a webcam and headset with a speaker. 

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Share your home birth story on BBH TV. What makes your story unique? Any home birth story is welcome.
  • Have an area of expertise pertaining to home birth? We’d love to hear from midwives and doulas.
  • What are you burning questions about home birth? We’ll do our best to answer!

Email me with you ideas at: KaitlinRose@BringBirthHome.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Bring Birth Home TV will be broadcast using Vokle. Check out their cool features! 

Home Birth Advocacy

Joe Valley is What I Call a “Smart Papa” | Audio Interview

No Comments 30 January 2012

In this interview with Joe Valley of Empowered Papa, we discuss the need for support and empowerment for fathers.

Joe realized how much fathers need a guide through pregnancy during childbirth class with his wife Andrea. They were expecting their first child and planning a home birth.

The class was obviously geared toward mothers. Joe didn’t feel like he, or the other dads, really fit in.

So he decided to do something about it.

Empowered Papa is the result of Joe’s hard work.

Listen to our conversation below:

Find and LIKE Empowered Papa on Facebook right now (after you’re done listening that is).

Guest Writers, Home Birth Advocacy

19 Ways a Dad Becomes Involved with Homebirth

3 Comments 03 January 2012

Birthing a child is an intimate and sacred experience that is a reflection of the love making that conceived the child. Doesn’t it make sense to have that experience in a familiar and safe environment?

For those of us that decide to bring birth home, we take responsibility for the grand entry of our children into this world by involving ourselves with every aspect of birth that might otherwise have been handled by someone else in a medical setting.

More and more homebirth dads are choosing to get involved with many aspects of birth because it makes sense to them and their definition of family. Furthermore, moms are asking for their support.

It made sense to me to get involved in the birth of my son. Also, my wife wanted me to be involved. Who else knew her better than me? Who was there more than anyone else throughout the whole pregnancy time? The benefit of my involvement was that I had increased bonding with my wife and my son, and I count his birth as the most transformative event of my life.

Here are 19 ways dads can positively get involved with the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.

PREGNANCY

  • Say, “I am a dad.” Say it everyday
  • Attend a childbirth education course
  • Attend a breastfeeding class
  • Ask other dads about their personal experience with birth
  • Research birth options with partner
  • Watch natural birth videos
  • Be present for the sessions with midwife
  • Ask compelling questions about birth such as “How can I positively influence the birthing time?”
  • Participate in deciding who will be present at the birth

BIRTHING TIME

  • Prepare the birth pool if mama wants one
  • Organize the supplies requested by midwife
  • Believe the process works, a woman’s body knows, a midwife is competent, and the water is safe and effective
  • Watch, wait and let the process unfold

POSTPARTUM TIME

  • Say, “I am postpartum care-giver.” Say it everyday
  • Prepare healthy, hot meals [warm food helps new mama recover faster]
  • Provide hot water bottles for mama if the weather is cold
  • Be the organizer for houseguests and the duration and frequency of their stay
  • Provide assistance in baby’s breastfeeding latch
  • Help organize the assistance from family and friends to get all of the household chores done

Joe is an accidental birth junkie since supporting his wife, Andrea, in the homebirth of their son, Sacha. His work as a psychotherapist coincides with his new venture of Empowered Papa where he offers classes, coaching, and ongoing support through his blog. Joe is passionate about fixed gear bikes, running, yoga, and organic foods. He has devoted himself to a heart-centered practice.

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