Homebirth. When you say that word… “homebirth…” you’re often met with a variety of responses. People are either like “whoa, homebirth is scary and weird” or they’re like, “Oh, I love homebirths, my second and third babies were homebirths!” And everything in between. Birth on its own provides all sorts of opinions, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my own fairly-strong opinions. I just heard a story about a 12-year-old who helped deliver her baby brother (with the help of an OBGYN). This story was presented on a local radio station as a really negative thing and it instantly rubbed me the wrong way. The question they were asking was “is birth too graphic and traumatic for a little 12 year old to see?” And it hit me that that’s why so many people in our culture aren’t really prepared for birth.
My sweet friends birth was beautiful. She surrounded herself with a loving support group, she took a hypnobabies class to learn about birth (prenatal to postnatal education) and how to relax through birth to have a better natural birthing experience. I had the honor of being there, for her homebirth, and taking photos and video for a birth story she will have to share with her loved ones as well as to show her sweet baby boy one day. My favorite thing about Val’s birth was that she had her 3 year old daughter there. They had prepared her with talks and with books made for children about what birth would be like. She was a trooper, she helped her mom through some of the intense moments of birth and she wanted to see it all. She was there for delivery and got to experience the emotional high of bringing a baby into the world. This little girl knows more about birth than three fourths of the women in our culture who are about to have babies for the first time. It’s amazing to me how natural it is to include your family in this joyful time. But, ultimately, I want to express that Val and Milan chose to include their daughter in the birth of their son, it’s not the choice every family will make. But everyone should have the respect and opportunity to choose for themselves.