Birth is dependable. Birth is reliable. Birth is beautiful. Birth is sweaty, raw, bloody and sometimes loud. Birth happens.
As a Certified Nurse Midwife who is currently providing home birth services, I can say that 100% of the time when I sit with prospective clients I get the same question, usually the first question of any interview – “What if there’s an emergency?” Now, I get it, they’re about to do something at home that typically happens in the hospital. A place where there is every opportunity to deal with any emergency that could arise.
The irony here is that true emergencies and emergent transfers from home in labor happen very rarely. Transfers from home, in general, happen in 12% of labors, but the vast majority of these are for non-emergent reasons – such as lack of progress. It is much more common that the home birth experience will be one of the most amazing of their lives!
So let’s talk about how birth is dependable, birth is reliable, birth is beautiful and fulfilling and amazing! It is way more likely that this will be your experience instead of some unnamed, vague, emergency that can take your life and that of your baby. Birth is unpredictable and very predictable at the same time. It is predictable in that there are stages to the flow of labor, contractions are necessary to allow the uterus to release the baby, and the baby will emerge from the body. The unpredictable part is how long each stage will take – it is different for every woman and every birth. At the same time, we can make some gross generalizations when we look at populations, and we have a general idea of how long each stage should take. There is always an emergence, but rarely an emergency!
Babies are under a biological imperative to survive! It is CRUCIAL that the pregnant person take the best care of every aspect of both physical and mental nutrition. Eating only organic natural foods heavy in healthy fats and protein with a good amount of fruits and veggies for the body. (Don’t forget an ounce of water for half the body weight in pounds.) And for the mind, reading helpful books, watching positive natural birth videos, childbirth education, an understanding of evidence based practices in birthing, and hypnosis training as a tool for labor. With this picture of health, natural birth can be an ecstatic, empowering, and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.
Here is one of my favorite birth poems:
What if… I have the most beautiful experience of my life?
What if… I could actually feel a wet, mewing baby on my belly – just after birth – and fall in love with that feeling forever?
What if… I give birth and feel pure ecstasy?
What if… I give birth as a powerful, free woman?
What if… I claim my right to give birth as my biological destiny impels me?
What if… I emerge victorious, free, sentient, powerful?
What if… my baby never feels anything in her first moments other than my body and my love?
What if… I push my baby out into my own hands and pull her up and kiss her wet head and cry and moan and weep my joy in privacy, darkness, and love?
What if… my birth is the most loving, sweet and gentle moment of my life?
What if… I give the birth of my dreams and feel raw beauty, love and power?
What if… I go on to teach others the sweetness and beauty of what birth really can be?
What if… the very future rests on our blissful empowered “what if’s”?
What if… we stop asking the medical profession to feed us fear about our births?
We will finally become as powerful and wise as we are intended to be.
We will finally stop rushing to be induced and sectioned.
We will change the way the world spins.
Thank-you Leilah for putting into words such positivity and support of natural birth. It is an honor to serve women and families as they birth their babies into their own loving arms in the quiet, comfort, and safety of their own homes. For a pretty pdf version of the poem click here.