As I face and prepare for another homebirth, I have been seeking inspiration and information. I find that in all kinds of places, not just stories about homebirth. Here are some of the spots I’ve stopped along the way:
Want to birth naturally but feel safer in a hospital? Looking for natural pain management tips? Try out of the box, yet ancient, technique! I know I feel more freed up and interested in creative movement this time around. Last time I kind of went to Birthland and rode things out without too many tricks. I don’t want to be caught in my head or body without extra tricks to help me and to help my husband help me through the tough spots. Bellydance is just the thing. (Also good for heartburn and other pregnancy aches and pains….)
Worried about a “big baby?” Since my first was a six-pounder with a head circumference in the .5%, I have been working on getting my mind around birthing a bigger baby. Of course I hear women tell me all the time that they were/are unable to birth a baby over 8 pounds. (Someone is telling them this, too, obviously.) I find joy in reading big baby natural birth stories because they strengthen my faith and understanding in the power of a woman’s body. Trust is everything in birth and life, in my experience. (This is an awesome story about a 5 hour, second time birth, too.)
I may be getting carried away because of my own ambitions toward a gentle birth, but I think everyone should understand this reflex. Essentially, if you wouldn’t tell a breastfeeding mother to “let down” so milk would flow or wouldn’t tell a man to ejaculate to release sperm then it follows that you wouldn’t need to tell a woman in labor who has had uninterrupted hormone flow to push. Brilliant. Gave me some great ideas for letting go and letting my body and baby work.
I feel strongly that homebirth is right for me. This means epidurals are not an option. I hate needles, so I can see me going without in the hospital, too. I guess since I haven’t considered it for myself and because it seems so common among people I talk to, I never considered the risks of epidurals — a medical pain management technique. (I found natural methods highly effective in my first birth, and there is no risk to swaying, moaning, visualizing, breathing, and saying mantras/affirmations in my head.) Our friends, the Dyen Family wrote this blogpost….or there’s a video version if you prefer.
Ahh, the cervix. Mysterious little thing in the unknown darkness. Lots of myths surrounding this body part that is most significant during childbirth. Here are four of them. The point? The cervix is capable of doing things that you cannot imagine. Give it some credit, and let it do it’s thing.
I am a strong believer in birth art. “Birth Art is an incredible method of teaching you what you already know about your birth, but didn’t know you knew it!” For both mamas and dads, for first time moms and moms of multiples, before and after birth. Birthing from Within gave me the idea and the encouragement in the first place. I am no artist, but, as I describe in my birth story, making the 4 drawings I did and sharing them with my midwife before the birth meant that a lot of stuff that could have come up as obstacles during labor didn’t. I like seeing other people’s birth art, want to incorporate art into Birth Story Circles and will definitely have it as part of my childbirth classes when I become an Birthworks educator.