Death is a necessary part of the life cycle of all living creatures on this planet. As our own modern science teaches us, nothing truly dies, but only transforms. The story of my natural homebirth is one of the way my life changed; my old self dying while my new self: mother, caretaker, and one with the universe, was born. My old-self died with the birth of my first son. I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy while I gave birth to a new me. My life-partner was also transformed by this process and he became a new man, as I had become a new woman.
I first heard about homebirths with midwives from a friend who had decided to have her baby at home naturally with a midwife. At first I was just very intrigued by the idea, and I admired my friend for her decision, but at the time had zero plans for having children in the near future. I was single, living alone in a small but cozy studio and I was enjoying my life exactly as it was.
My single lifestyle changed when I met my current life-partner! He was handsome, charming and most importantly, funny. We dated for a few years and formed a solid friendship, which later developed into something more romantic and serious. We fell in love. We both knew we wanted children one day, so when we discovered that I had become pregnant during the early summer of 2012 we were beyond ecstatic. I won’t lie—I had some initial fears when I first learned that I had conceived a child, but intuitively I knew I wanted to experience a homebirth.
Finding a midwife was not a problem. I had an old friend from my college years who had studied midwifery, so I contacted her to see if she was available. I was so excited to be able to work with someone I knew. She came over to my house for my prenatal visits; she took my blood pressure, she drew my blood, and she even conducted a pap smear from the comfort of my own home.
During the first two trimesters we met once a month and then during the last trimester we met twice a month. Our visits were nurturing, intimate and educational. I was thoroughly informed about my body’s function in the birthing process as well as the baby’s role in the process—my body and the baby’s body were going to work together during the labor. This alliance was as old as the species itself!
The relationship with my midwife and my own studies of natural birth empowered me to view having a baby as a completely natural occurrence, which required that I surrender to my body’s innate intelligence and wisdom. That is exactly what I did and my experience was intense, yet beautiful and exciting at the same time.
My mucous plug ruptures at about 5 A.M. in the morning and we are a few hours outside of town…I am not worried at all. My partner has a very important engagement to attend so I spend the first few hours of my labor completely alone in the hotel room listening to jazz and reggae while going in and out of the hot shower. I feel completely at peace and I cherish those solitary moments. A few hours later we speed back toward where we live. I count my contractions from the back seat of the car where I am laying down. About ten contractions come and go.
When we arrive home my mother and sister have lit candles throughout the house and they are cooking food and they are just so excited, there is a buzz in the air. My partner immediately sets up the birthing tub and starts pumping water into it. I drink tea and rest in between contractions.
Eventually time progresses late into the night, everyone except my sister is asleep. My contractions become more and more intense with little rest in between them. At about 1 or 2 A.M. we call the midwife and two of my friends who I want at the birth. When the midwife gets to my home she checks my cervix, and lets me know that whenever I feel like pushing I could. I transition into my birth tub and took a few deep breaths while I gear up to bear down and push my baby out.
I hold on to the side of the tub while positioning my body into a squat-lunge like pose. I scream “I love you baby” as I push about three or four times before he glides out like a slippery fish. Daddy catches him and we determine that “it” is actually a “he” (we didn’t know ahead of time). Everyone in the room is emotional and ecstatic but the baby has a calm, thin smile on his face. By this time the second midwife shows up.
He was very quiet that first night. But oh did that change! That night was the first night of my new life. My old life and my old-self completely transformed into something much more complex and much more wonderful. Contraction by contraction I shed my old-self like a snake sheds its skin during the ecdysis process. I gave birth to myself as a mother while I gave birth to my son. With love, excitement and no fear, I surrendered to a higher, more ancient intelligence than my own.