Home Birth Advocacy

You’re a Hardcore Home Birther When…

20 Comments 24 August 2011

Some would say the simple act of birthing at home is “hardcore.”

And that is true. While the percentage of women who give birth at home has risen in the past few years, those of us who choose out-of-hospital birth still only make up 1% of the birthing population in the United States.

However, I will venture to say, there are women who birth at home, and then there are “hardcore home birthers.”

Hardcore home birthers show no hesitation nor present an ounce of shame when they ingest their own placentas. Yes, I mean eat, drink or swallow their placentas. (!!)

They are the women who free birth. Who spend more time fantasizing about birth positions than sex positions. They look at the size of a home’s bathtub before making the purchase. Hmm, could I submerge my entire body in that tub?

It turns out, I am one of these women.

Who woulda’ thunk? <wink>

In all seriousness, I never thought of myself this way. I suppose because home birth has always seemed right and natural to me. Heck, so much so that I gave birth to my first child at home. That qualifies me for “hardcore” home birthing status right there!

My doula called me hardcore
when I nursed my daughter through labor.

Right after my water broke. Two hours before I gave birth to my son. I could only handle about 3 contractions before she needed to be taken by Grandma. But yeah, looking back, that was pretty hardcore of me.

The biggest reason why I think I rocked my home birth was laboring and birthing my son practically unassisted.

It truly was self-lead. (I did it!)

I provided my own perineal support and pushed out his head. Then with the next contraction, Eric, with the support of our midwife, reached down and grabbed our newborn, placing him on  my chest.

Speaking of Eric, he called me hardcore too.

Right as I was taking my first big gulp of a freshly blended placenta smoothie. “That’s a pink smoothie but it doesn’t have any strawberries in it!” Hahahaha…

So, what makes you a hardcore home birther?

Do you have frozen placenta in your freezer? Do you daydream about the day you gave birth as you gaze at the stain on the carpet in the living room?

The BBH fans at Facebook had quite a few answers to this question. Read their hilarious and inspiring answers here: You Know You’re a Hardcore Home Birther When…

p.s. The sake of this post is for shock, awe, humor and pride. Please don’t be offended if you don’t feel you qualify to be “hardcore.” The fact that you gave birth at all makes you incredibly awesome. Peace.

Your Comments

20 Comments so far

  1. Alie says:

    I love this! A friend sent this to me and said “you deffinetly qualify to be a harcore homebirther”. My first was also born at home practically unassisted with my midwifes only being there 35min before he was born and led me to my midwifery studies… now I attend births as a doula/student midwife and spend more time looking at placentas than the baby :) lol

  2. Sarah Davis says:

    Starting to wish I’d saved my placenta… Would have probably helped with the ppd…

  3. Shanti says:

    I am a hardcore homebirther, I had my first at 20, way up a 4×4 road, which you had to hike the last mile, with only present my brothers, sisters, mother and my 16 year old best friend. I had a midwifes’ number in case something went wrong, she came a few hours later and stiched my tear. I gave birth outside in a tub, which we heated on a firestove, and I did eat my placenta, which my friend cooked. I stayed in an 8×8 shack with a tarp roof, and we shared a kitchen in our greenhouse…
    My next births were also at home, unattended by a midwife, with my husband. Didn’t eat my placenta, planted a tree on them instead. Yet all were births as simple as can be and I guess nowadays that is called hardcore, it was only what seemed right to me.

  4. Eva says:

    lol this is super funny. I don’t see myself as ” hardcore” at all. all 3 of my kids were born at home, all 3 unassisted.
    I guess some people think we are “hardcore” but to us it was just natural, it’s how babies are born.
    =) Rock on you hardcore birth junkie!

  5. Michelle says:

    I seriously considered my placenta, but I couldnt convince my DH to mix it up for me. So I didnt have any. LOL

  6. Heather says:

    LOVE this!! Sounds like your birth was amazing!! So, I have to ask… how was the placenta smoothie?? What did it taste like?? I want to capsulize mine next time around… but I’m very curious about the smoothie idea!!

  7. Aileen says:

    I feel a bit hardcore, since even though my first labor was 34 hours of posterior hell, I still chose to birth at home with my 2nd baby. Oh, and I did it while my husband was deployed. :)

  8. Christine says:

    I don’t think of myself as hardcore either. Mostly I would prefer women weren’t so scared of birth (Oh! But it hurts! Not really THAT much!). All three of mine were home birthed, the last one I caught myself and I *lotus* birthed so that makes me an anomaly if not hardcore.

    I confess, it does feel good to be proud of my births, logical or not!

  9. Heather L says:

    My youngest child was a completely unassisted pregnancy, and her birth was at 41 weeks 1 day after 44 hours of active labor, unassisted, and VBAC. The only people present were my husband and my mom, who caught her. I did eat a chunk of my placenta raw, as a preventative measure against PPH. I intended to encapsulate my placenta but it went bad in the fridge before i had time to :-/ (one of the few things I do wish i had a midwife there to do for me). I’m pretty sure a lot of people saw it as “hardcore” (or completely insane)…but to me it was natural, normal, and as non-scary as something can possibly be. It was hard, and not at all pain free…but I’ve definitely had many things more scary and more painful, for sure. The biggest thing about her birth that I take pride in, is the fact that we learned 4 months later that she had a genetic disorder that causes tumors throughout her body, and she had bradycardia and arrhythmia, and heart tumors. Usually babies in hospitals born the typical American way, with the condition she has, die in labor due to cardiac arrest (or they do a scheduled c/s if they know beforehand) …the pitocin contractions are too much for their already struggling hearts. My labor was long, very irregular, and not super intense…I know just what she needed to keep her little heart beating. For more info you can read her birth story and how I feel having her unassisted saved her life at http://www.cafemom.com/journals/read/1532562/Audrey_Cherelise_s_Birth_Story

  10. Bethany says:

    I’d like to think of myself as hardcore, but I think since the idea of home birth never even occurred to me until after the (unnecessary) c-section birth of my son, I will settle for passionate :) My midwife encapsulated my placenta because while I was happy to eat it, I just could not stomach the idea of actually working with it, cutting it to dry it, etc. I do, however, spend quite a bit of time staring at the spot in the living room where the birth pool sat and remember how great it felt to give birth right there.

    And PS–hydrogen peroxide will take that spot in the carpet right out :)

  11. Shannon says:

    Haha, I loved this. I have 2 placentas in the freezer (and the other was buried under a sapling) and though the stain can’t be seen by the naked eye, thanks to my sister steam cleaning my carpets as a “birth” day gift, I do daydream lovingly about that day. The day that I birthed our third baby into Daddy’s hands because my midwife was not here yet.

    My first was born with a midwife in the hospital and I vowed never to do that again.

    My second was born in the kitchen because denial lasted way too long and I couldn’t make it into the bedroom. My midwives just giggled with me as I sat on that cold tile floor and snuggled my newborn.

  12. Susan says:

    Yeah!! Question … can one menopause whilst brestfeeding? I am 50 and breastfeeding my 4 year old. Sx

  13. Cindy says:

    I am totally a hardcore homebirther. I had no hands touching me or my baby as he was born in water in our living room. My first was born in the same bed she was concieved. I have my son’s placenta in our freezer, with plans to bury it. I want to get pregnant again just to have another home waterbirth (and the baby that comes with it of course.)

  14. Sheila says:

    Can I get the placenta smoothie recipe? I got the first in the fridge (can I still bury it with a tree?) and another coming in January. I like the idea of the smoothie and am hoping to encapsulate.

    I guess I am a hard core homebirther, though I don’t think of myself that way. I do admit, I must be because a family member having an elective c-section due to a possible 9-10 pound baby kept me with at night with sadness and disbelief. Passion can be challenging…..

    I’m glad you’re hardcore enough to have started BBH, Kaitlin! (and family!)

  15. Jennifer says:

    I also labored mostly alone. After about an hour, I woke my son up and asked him to fill up my tub. Told my older daughter “I think this is it.” I called my Fiancee’ and told him the same. I called the midwife and she asked why I thought this was it (I had numerous bouts of false labor.) I told her well the contractions are about the same as the false labor but I feel pressure with them. She wanted to come right then and I said “No I think I got this.”

    My Fiancee gets there and I finally calmly call the midwife. She asks if I think she has time to brush her teeth and stop for coffee. I said “oh yeah take your time I will be here.” The assistant finally gets here after what felt like an hour of waiting but turns out it was less than 20 minutes. She is with me for 2 contractions when the midwife shows up. She asks if I want her to check me. Yeah sure, but I am worried I will not be as far along as I feel emotionally. (After all it had been under 2 hours but I felt like I was in transition emotionally but not physically.) Guess what I am 9cms. 2 contractions later I am pushing. My water breaks and my son is born same contraction. My midwife had been there under 10 minutes. Yet I had said to take her time because I just knew he would not be born before she got there and if he did it would all be ok.

  16. Alice says:

    I have a great chance of bring home the trophy on hardcore home birther. Having been a midwife that had attended over 1000 births, I was more than a week overdue with my own 5th child. I was attending a VBAC labor 50 miles from my home that ended up producing an 11# plus baby with a compound hand presentation, very short pushing phase (15 minutes). We were both 7 cms., contracting in unison, and I sped her up with positioning, and slowed myself down with positioning. I already had 2 other midwives assisting me so that I could leave as soon as the mom was stable. Triumphant birth of baby boy, and intact placenta, I announced I would be on my way. The new father was very concerned for my welfare, and begged me to stay at their home. But I am a HARDCORE HOME BIRTHER and I wanted to go to my home to be with my family. I drove with the seat completely back, big toe to the gas pedal, thinking about my game plan should I push her out at each exit. Thankfully, I drove myself all the way home, kicked in the front door and went straight to the tub that was filling with my anticipated arrival. I was there just minutes before she was born with one exhausted midwife/mommy push. My teenage daughter caught her beloved sister and became like a second mom to her. The new daddy across town waited just long enough to call, to check on me and see if I made it home. He was shocked when he heard my baby in the background crying. My Cassie and my client’s baby Daniel will always have a special place in my heart. “There’s no place like home……there’s no place like home….”

  17. Andrea says:

    My birth story may not be flashy but I can tell you that 13 hours of the most intense pain of my life laboring in the pool, puking constantly, on no sleep after an HG pregnancy for me = hardcore. I pushed him out on this torture device they call a ‘birthing stool’ and after getting the tears stitched up, I announced to my birth team that I would be going into the kitchen to find something to eat.
    To which they replied: ‘We’re happy you’re finally hungry after 9 months of barely eating but I think we’ll get Joe to round something up for you’.
    We knew no one who had actually had a home birth or a water birth or an ingested placenta so at the time it all seemed very hard core especially to our families.
    And yes, I ingested my placenta. Joe steamed it and dried it in the oven the next day. From what I gather this is rather unusual but he said it was seriously grounding for him. So we might both be a little hardcore…

  18. Mclean says:

    I birthed at home and didn’t accept the fact that I was in labor until it was active. It happened so fast that I’m not sure I was truely present. My DS presented with both fist’s at his chin. When asked about pain levels I responded that I was uncomfortable but no more than that. I kept my glasses on the whole time so I could see, the midwife said she had never had anyone do that. All I could say was that I really wanted to see my son. My husband calls me a bad-ass all the time now, I’m just happy to be a Mama!
    We planted a tree with his placenta at it’s roots so it could continue to give life :)


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  1. Ritualizing Loss: My Story of Miscarriage « alivingfamily - August 31, 2011

    [...] it’s my story and the annoying details are how I ended up the childbirth advocate, mother, and  “hardcore homebirther” (BBH post) and I am [...]

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