View Full Version : Journey towards Freebirth
I have always seen a womans body to be an amazing thing, full of power and fertility, and wonderfully designed for the work of nurturing a fetus and giving birth, and this view drew me to homebirth. I did however, feel that I needed a 'professional' to assist, as I had fears about what might go wrong etc.
So I have now had two births attended by an independant midwife...who I love to bits...she is a wonderful woman :yes:
However, lately, I have been questioning this need to have an overseer of my birthing, I am coming to the realisation that birthing no longer holds any fear for me, in fact I see it as an ecstatic act, something which my body knows very well how to do.
So I am beginning to do my reseach on freebirth, simply letting my baby choose their entry into this world at their own time, in their own way.
I want this birth to be a completely intimate event..just DH, my two DS's, and possibly one other birth supporter.
I have a list of books as long as my arm to read up on, I am really excited about this, I see it as the ultimate manifestation of womanly power...being completely in tune with your birthing, trusting your instincts, and listening to what your body is telling you.
I have downloaded a copy of "Emergency Childbirth" by Gregory C White, it is a good read, and outlines very clearly things which may (rarely) go wrong, and steps to take if anything does.
I think my next "must read" will be "Unassisted Childbirth" by Laura Shanley.
I used to think Freebirth was irresponsible, but now I know it is all about responsibility...deciding to take responsibility for yourself, instead of handing it all over to someone else.
A wise woman said to me
The more you read and the more you see, the more (if you're like me) you'll see why its not only a responsible decision, but a very practical and logical decision.
Every person brought to birth brings their baggage, and their chance of adding complications. The less people involved, the less complications that are likely to arise. After you can grasp that, its just about knowing how to handle the complications that COULD arise and having a solid plan of attack on how to handle them.
This is going to be one interesting ride...:D
Good for you Angie! I really enjoyed the reading I have done about freebirth and continue to see it as an option for the future if we have more, even though we have the midwife covered for this preg. I so wholeheartedly agree with you re birth being instinctual and natural - and freebirth is sort of the logical outcome of that belief.
Some of the literature I have been reading regarding freebirth (and I have barely scratched the surface) has been the most informative about birth however you choose to do it and I will continue to read while approaching my next birth. It is a great way of reclaiming and normalising birth and thus making it not something to be threatened by or frightened by, but something to anticipate with joy.
I'll be interested to follow your very interesting ride.
Ahhh Love It!! It warms my heart to know that the books, video and dvd that i had read and watched many times during my journey are now going to you:thumbsup: I am still in the process of giving them back to their owner.
Freebirth is amazing and yet so normal all at the same time time. I look forward to reading along with you on your journey.
Thanks Angie, you have inspired me to homebirth unassisted this time around.
Quietlt announced our decision to TTC today and was going to contact you in regards to some more reading matter.
Will prob have some questions for you but I know that I can do this.
DH still convinced the middie needs to be in the house, just in case but we'll see(few months yet to bring him around and beleive).
Oh what a glorious decision !
Wish i had the guts :o
That is so fantastic. Good luck with your decision.
I also plan to freebirth my next child. Hospitals are for sick people, not babies. I found from my first birth, that I was able to manage everything fine on my own, even though I had no education on pain management (I was very much :thumbsup: for drugs prior to my birth experience)
The only reason I sought medical assistance with my first birth was because I started bleeding and had no idea what was happening. Again, education would have taught me what to expect :rolleyes:
And finding an independent midwife in Brisbane I can afford? Not very viable!
I am so jelous...if we do manage another, (planning one, but wether the IVF works is another matter), my homebirth loving hubby is not as keen on freebirthing. I feel I could do it, so will keep pestering him:D .
Good on you Angie. Enjoy your freebirthing experience! I too will folow your journey with much interest.
Thanks for all of the lovely comments!:D
Here is a couple of lists of UC resources I found, I'm going to try to work my way through everything, but the biggest challenge is actually getting hold of it all, as not much (any) of it can be found in your ocal library, so I am relying on lovely helpful friends to lend me what they have, and I'll try to pick some stuff up without breaking the bank!! ;)
Unassisted Childbirth, by Laura Kaplan Shanley
Birth Reborn, by Michel Odent (anything by Michel Odent, a French OB who helped to get that country into the midwifery model of care.)
Energetic Pregnancy, by Elizabeth Davis
Birthing From Within, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
Wise Woman Herbals for the Childbearing Year, by Susan Weed
Mind Over Labor, by Carl Jones
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Spriritual Midwifery,by Ina May Gaskin (anything by Ina May Gaskin, a Tennessee-based midwife who delivers at the Farm.)
Unassisted Homebirth An Act of Love, by Lynn M. Griesemer
The Birth Book, by the Sears
Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, by Janet Balaskas
Childbirth Without Fear, by Grantly ****-Read
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, by Susan McCutcheon
HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method, by Marie F. Mongan
Special Delivery, by Rahima Baldwin
The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth, By Laurie Morgan
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Birth, by Sheila Kitzinger
The Labor Progress Handbook, by Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta
Emergency Childbirth: A Manual, by Gregory J. White, M.D.
Birthing Normally, by Gayle Peterson
Transformation through Birth
Sacred Birthing, Birthing a New Humanity, by Sunni Karrl
Pregnancy Fitness, by Fitness Magazine
Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love - by Lynn Griesemer
Unassisted Childbirth - by Laura Shanley
Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin
Emergency Childbirth, by Gregory C. White
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Susun Weed
The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth, by Laurie Morgan
Prenatal Yoga & Natural Birth, by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Special Delivery, Rahima Baldwin.
Basically a midwifery textbook, about half really annoying and outdated, and half very informational. I still use it as a reference for some things.
Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin.
Don't care at all for her approach to birth, but I loved the stories. It's all I wanted to read in the last month before my first UC.
Birth as an American Rite of Passage, Robbie Davis-Floyd.
Mostly about how screwy institutionalized birth is, but a great chapter at the end -- "Birth as the Biodance" -- that talks about the importance of the existence of the wholistic extremes, including unassisted birth.
The Scientification of Love, Michel Odent MD.
Theorizing on why birth has been ritually disturbed throughout history, how this serves aggressive societies, and how it can be harmful to the individual.
Magical Child, by Joseph Chilton Pearce.
Okay, so he sometimes spirals out of control into the fringes of the weird and questionable, but some of it he is right on about, especially his ideas on the importance of acting in harmony with the natural matrix. This definitely influenced my philosophy of birth.
Heart and Hands, by Elizabeth Davis.
A midwifery text, so not directly advocating UC. Disregard the stuff about needing to manage labor and birth. But... I liked the basic information a lot. Easy to follow and organized logically.
Primal Mothering in a Modern World, by hygeia halfmoon
Active Birth: the New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, by Janet Balaskas
As a 1st timer, it explains some stuff intellectually about birth, which helped get my mind out of the way to enjoy the intuitive side of pg, and soon birth. i'm also having dh read atleast the chapter on labor & birth since he'll be there for at least part of the process if not all. it goes into different positions and what they offer, and other things that he may enjoy knowing like tips for how to hold his body while holding me in standing squat, etc.
Henci Goer's book, Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth.
This may be good to help make the decision to uc, and explain to others why the decision to uc seems safer. it's a little too hospital/medical for me, but i'm still wading through some of it, just in case/just out of curiosity.
The Complete Guide to Postpartum Wellness, by Aviva Romm
Childbirth Wisdom: From the World's Oldest Societies, by Judith Goldsmith.
It is pretty good, and discusses "traditional" societies from around the world and how they view/treat pregnancy, birth and newborns.
"Unassisted Birth, Free Birth" by Jana Kutarna
Excellent essay on her philosophy of unassisted birth.
"Maia’s Birth - a family celebration", by Sarah Buckley who also wrote the Ecstatic Birth article listed above
"Birth, Sexuality, and Orgasm", by Michel Odent MD, on the hormonal process of birth, and what interferes with it
"Birth and the Origins of Violence", Michel Odent MD
Leilah McCracken's "Resexualizing Childbirth" changed all my views on birth - it even helped to convince my dh on my decision to freebirth.
Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor, Sarah Buckley. The science illustrating the importance of undisturbed birth.
The CBirth UC Videotape. Nine unassisted births, really beautiful and inspiring, and oh so different from your average professional-assisted birth. You probably have to be a member of the yahoogroups elist c-birth to access this page.
Laura Shanley's website Bornfree! has lots of good articles/essays on it written by her.
Psalm & Zoya--The Unassisted Homebirth of Our Twins.
This is my favorite birth video ever. Just amazing.
Good for you, I hope it goes well.
Its not for me, not because I think there is anything wrong with it, but because when i gave birth that was one of the only times in my life that I felt that it was okay to act like a bit of a prima donna!!
I really enjoyed that part of it, but its a bit hard to be a prima donna without the servants to do my bidding, LOL! so I am looking forward to it next time as well. My doula and my DP were my slaves for a day and it was wonderful!
gosh I am evil, ha ha ha ha.
Good on you.:thumbsup: Like Shed, I'm a prima donna also, so I'd be hopeless.:p Good luck.:fingerscrossed: I also wanted to add that I love that fact that you've honoured Midwives in your signature. The majority of them do a wonderful job.:yelclap:
I have to say I am jealous too. It will be amazing for you! Unfortunately since DH had a vasectomy, we have had a lot of problems TTC, but hey, all we can do it keep trying (hehe).
Angie, what an awesome catalogue of affirming reading and viewing! My heart leaps for joy just reading down the list. I love the UC videotape. I show it to clients (most of whom are not ready to contemplate homebirth let alone UC) because it is such a valuable resource in showing what natural, spontaneous birthing behaviour in able women really looks like - it dispels the medical and media images and shows women who have never witnessed instinctive birthing before what their bodies can actually do. It is a shame that images like these are 'rare' instead of routine.
Angie I hope you have a blissful, wonderful birth ...
Hey Ang :)
How are you going with your reading/learning/reflecting on your freebirth? I have been thinking of you and your journey.
I have a link to a diary of a woman who free birth's....her birth stories are incredible. She has birthed three babies...the first I've never read her story, the second one ended up in hospital and ended in a c-section....her baby died when he was three hours old. She then free birthed her third baby. If you want the link to her diary just pm me (I just read her sometimes cause she's such an amazing writer but her diary is set to public so all can read it.)
I have been very busy actually...trying to get pregnant! :laughing:
When I first made the decision to freebirth I became obsessed about all of the things which I feared most, pph, cord prolapse, tearing up the wazoo, nuchal cord, and researched all of them ad infinitum, and now I am feeling just so peaceful about it all, I'm just enjoying the ride now, enjoying being a mum to two yummy boys, enjoying trying to get pregnant, and enjoying connecting with other freebirthing mums and soaking up their awe of the birth process, and the power of their experiences.
I had a lovely mothers day too. :thumbsup:
I think its wonderful - sounds like you've really embraced the spirit of birth.
My first (and only) son I had in a hospital, with just midwives, drug and intervention free.
My next birth will be at home with a midwife..
and if I ever make it to 3, I hope to be doing what you're doing :D
hey i was just checking out born free website, very inspiring... it has already started to alter my perceptions of birth..... wow... i think im going to try an unassisted birth... i mean all the midwives did was watch me... and deliver the baby... nothing i cant do myself:D
my family will think im crazy..and dh wont be happy...
way to go BJ :smiliedance:
You should buy the unassisted childbirth book, that will convince you for sure, its an amazing book :D
Wonderful,I feel like you the excitement really comes out in your post, my next baby we hope to be a VBAC and a homebirth,we have already started planning for 2 doulas to be there myself, DH and maybe DD I have concerns but they are nothing compared to concerns of birthing in hospital lol GL TTC#3 I kinda hope we get pregnant similar times and will be able to share our journeys!
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