It has taken me about a year and a half of blogging to get to a place that I feel I am really doing this and that others see it too. I’ve always had this vision…to passionately share my views about childbirth and inform woman they have choices in how they birth, but not alienate anyone.
You have a few natural birthing communities that freak out at women who have interventions or cesarean sections. They exclaim the mother was not patient enough, strong enough or educated. When a mother shares a loss, they are shunned. Not always because other women want to hurt a loss mom, but because their own fears of loss in childbirth cause them to do so. Then you have ‘mainstream’ communities that say VBACing is dangerous! That if a mother cared for her child she would never birth at home and that home birth is for hippies.
There is a lack of knowledge, understanding and support on both sides. It has taken time, and a lot of criticism on all sides, but I think I am here. I think we are here. I think there is finally a true Birth Without Fear COMMUNITY coming together. A place where we all want to inform women that yes, they have choices in their births! A place that women can get support in the informed choices they do make, even if different from what we would do. A place ALL women can share their stories.
That is not becoming mainstream. That is not people pleasing. That is amazing! In our private support group, a woman announced tonight that she decided to have a repeat cesarean section and was on the way to the hospital to do so. Instead of other women asking her why or criticizing, she has received nothing but an out pour of love, understanding and support. Women share they are educated and informed and having a home birth and even if other women wouldn’t do that, they get support and understanding.
That is amazing.
I’ve had this vision since I started BWF. I have evolved. I have let my guard down. I have been open and communicated more. I have worked on finding a way to not lose my passion or my opinions, but also have more balance. To also support all women. Not every post I do will be for everyone. Not everyone will agree with every post I write or birth story I share. However, there is something for everyone.
I can and will still share different births from breech, to home twin births, to unassisted birth, to midwife assisted home or birth center birth, to hospital birth with midwives or doctors, to cesarean birth. No matter what I feel is best for me (or even you), I still think all birth should be celebrated. I believe all women should be supported.
We can share information, we can educate, we can inform women that they actually have choices. Then we support. When a woman is in labor and gives birth, why criticize? Why say, ‘How dare you share this?!’. It’s done. Having a child is a blessing. A pure and incredible blessing and no kind of birth takes that away.
A woman is beginning her motherhood and it should begin with love all around her. If a woman has a birth she sees as traumatic, no matter what kind of birth it is, give her support. If a woman chooses a different path that you would, remember it is HER journey. When you want to put a woman down, remember that if you want her to come to you with questions, be the person she wants to receive answers from.
I love all the Birth Without Fear stories and what this blog stands for. However, all of the different stories have gotten me thinking about my own experience. When I was pregnant with my daughter I only ever thought of having a hospital birth. I never even considered other options, because I just wasn’t familiar with them. At 37 weeks through regular testing I found out I was GBS positive. Of course after googling it and reading all of the horrific stories, it sent me into a panic. I was so worried about this so I hammered my OBGYN with questions. One of my biggest fears was what to do if my water broke. My OBGYN said that even thought I had GBS, if my water broke I could remain at home until my contractions were within so many minutes apart.
So to my dismay my water broke at home around midnight at exactly 39 weeks of pregnancy. In my heart I felt like I should go to the hospital right away, which is what we did after contacting the OBGYN. Thankfully I went with my gut and made this decision, because within a couple hours of my water breaking, I developed an infection which they think was chorioamnionitis. So after 17 hours of ups and downs, lots of scares, and being put on pitocin, my daughter was finally born. Because I had GBS, chorioamnionitis, and it took over 17 hours to get her out, the hospital went into precautionary mode with my daughter. They ran lots of tests on her and hooked her up to IVs so that she could get antibiotics. Luckily even though she had to stay in the hospital for 72 hours, she never got sick. Unfortunately this whole experience caused me to have postpartum OCD, which by the way I didn’t even know existed. After struggling with that for over a year, I am finally doing much better with the help of a wonderful CBT therapist.
Now that I see all these wonderful home birth stories it makes me feel somewhat sad. I do not know if we will even have more children, but I feel based on my past, if I were GBS positive again I would have to have a hospital birth for the sake of my unborn child. If I had chosen to stay at home, my daughter may not have survived. I have not yet seen this covered here on the blog. I am curios to hear stories and opinions about how life threatening situations are handled like this with home birth situations. I would also love to see Postpartum anxiety and OCD stories covered as well. It is very different from postpartum depression and I didn’t even know it existed until I had it.
Thank you for an that you do and for empowering women even though their birth choices may not reflect yours.
Your birth story sounds just like mine. If you need support, feel free to contact me!
I’m sorry you had such a traumatic birth experience. It was very fortunate you and your daughter got the care you needed. When you say your daughter or you would have died though, as a home birth mom, I hear that phrase all the time from moms that hear about my home birth choice and I don’t want to discount your experience but I do want to take the opportunity to educate you a little about home birth. When you plan a home birth, usually a mother’s first thought is safety and that’s why most home birth moms hire a midwife who is trained to carry things along if all goes well and to recognize problems and transfer you to urgent care sooner rather than later. Midwives test for GBS as a part of prenatal care and if you remain positive will recommend you transfer to hospital care. So if your baby had been born at home, yes, that would be dangerous, but a good midwife cares for you and your baby’s health and would transfer care well before a problem arose. So even if you had planned a homebirth, more than likely you and baby would still have gotten the care you needed. <3
lOVE ME LITTLE ONE
i have turned to this page because i lost my 1 pregnincy and it heart alought but after a wile i tryed again and im am happily pregnet omce again and i had so many ? to ask and this site has answered them all and them some
Can you start a section for Plus Sized natural births? I don’t want to even begin to describe my experience as a “morbidly obese” patient but in order to avoid a C-section, my only option at the moment is to birth at home. It would be nice to see more stories, or more searchable stories to gain strength from. Thanks!
Oh my goodness! I had no idea such a thing existed! I didn’t know that they could make you have a c-sect because of your BMI! I’m so sorry that you were given such limited options! I would love to hear about what you chose and how your labor went. I’d also love to hear how you and baby are doing today. <3
I LOVE this. Having had a homebirth myself but friends with inductions and csecs that automatically get very defensive around me and family members who believe we were out to harm our precious child by choosing not to have him in the hospital, I truly appreciate your words. I want every woman’s educated choice in birth to be celebrated 🙂
One of my friends shared this on facebook. I’ve been reading since last night and I’m so interested in all the different stories. I’m six months pregnant with my second baby. Seeing all those woman breastfeeding and being close to their babies, it takes my breath away. I experienced a very small amount of that closeness with my daughter, but she was unable to continue breastfeeding. A community of woman being so supportive and there for each other is encouraging. I’ve felt like birth has lost it’s importance and value somehow. It’s been described as a hippie view, but I feel that birth is the best, and craziest thing ever. To think that you are making a human being, a life. That it only takes one person to change the world, or an outcome and that just maybe your baby could be that one person. Also when I look at my daughter I think I created this gorgeous little thing. I am responsible for shaping and molding her into an incredible woman and eventually a mother herself. And it all started in my body. It’s incredible and so is the sense of community. I love the necklaces as well and at some point I’d like to own one before I give birth to my baby girl. I will be reading and keeping up with your blog. Thank you for creating this safe space!
I appreciate all that you do for women, families, and the birth community in general. I agree that, every woman is not going to make the same choices as I might, but we should support them no matter what. They have been through a journey and it should be honored.
Hear hear! I am a hypnobirthing teacher and I also work in a maternity department as a clinical support worker. Personally I have experienced a forceps birth, an elective c section and a waterbirth VBAC using hypnobirthing and each birth was right for me at that time with the information that I had available to me. I agree that we should not try to impose our personal opinions/experiences on anybody else. Each and every mum, each and every baby and each and every birth is UNIQUE and if we wish to champion women’s ‘choice’ in birth then we must be prepared to respect and support their choice no matter what our own personal beliefs are.
Well said. Birth isn’t a competition. Parents make a variety of choices about their birth based on the information that they have at that period in time. That might be for a natural birth, induction or C-Section. Really, who cares how people birth as long as everyone is safe and the parents can look back on their birth experience in a positive way. As a HypnoBirthing teacher, I think it is assumed that I am pro-natural birth. As it happens most of ‘my parents’ do have wholly natural births but what I want for all of them is a good-birth and one of my favourite testimonials is from a mum who had an emergency C-Section. She owned the process and embraced it – and that makes me happy.
Someone posted this Page on Facebook and I started reading the stories all the stories are interesting and they show just how strong pregnant women are!! It also helps ppl that are pregnant deal with issues that they maybe having!! I also think it helps ppl that have suffered a loss deal with it or at least get some advice on how to del with it! This is a very Good page!! Knowing from experience that losing a child is very hard to deal with plus I had a lot to deal with while I was pregnant with my son!! I was so discouraged after my miscarriage bc I didn’t think I would be able to have a baby!! I love this page
I have been following BWF since right after I had my son two years ago. I have watched this community grow and flourish. My goals and dream of becoming a Doula has been fueled by your passion and that of this community that you have created. I am excited to say that I have finally after 4 years of trying to find my path to become a Doula it is starting to come together. I have been offered a Scholarship to help cover my costs. I have found the courage to attempt my 3rd birth as a nonmedicated birth. My first I was scared, Uneducated and uninformed and had little support. That changed my views and allowed me to attempt my second birth differently which I did. I ended up with an ER induction due to medical issues but still had a vaginal birth. I did opt for the epidural because of the pain the pitocin induced contractions caused. I am so excited to be able to have the support from this community with my 3rd pregnancy. I can’t wait to share my story.
I will always remember the experience following my first child’s birth, which was cesarean. I was at a gathering of mothers sharing birth stories as well as parenting suggestions. Upon learning that I had a cesarean birth, one mother literally backed away from me with a horrified look on her face, as though I had a contagious disease. She remarked, “Well, I’M glad I didn’t go that route . . . I wouldn’t be the strong woman I am today if I had.”
I wanted to, but didn’t, say, “I labored for a long time, hoping to birth vaginally. AND I AM just as strong a woman as any.” And then I asked myself why I felt the need to respond at all.
I went on to HBAC with a later birth, but the memory of that interaction remains a touchstone for me. There is no judgment in birth – women supporting women is at the heart of our community. So I agree – let’s create an open and accepting environment in which mothers are honored and feel safe.
I think what you have done by creating this website is a wonderful thing. I have been a Doula for 4 years and I am of the mind set that I am there for the expecting parents 100%. I have had a few people look at me like I am crazy when I say that my client has had an epidural or stadol. This is their birth and if they want it they have the right to have it. I believe that the support of a Doula is very important but we aren’t to force our beliefs onto the client. A Doula is there for emotional, physical support and to help educate their clients through the pregnancy and birth process. At least that’s what I believe in and find that your site is all about these things as well. Thank you for creating a wonderful place for people to turn to.
Hi, I have been following you on facebook and always tell my clients about your amazing site, what a resource! I have’t had the opportunity to give birth myself, though I have adopted my husband’s daughters as my own (their mama died when the youngest was a baby). All of this work around mothers is near and dear to my heart. I love reading the birth stories and I especially love seeing all the amazing photos you post.
I just saw that you posted something about world breastfeeding week and I would love to submit some amazing UNIQUE photos. I create body art (henna tattoos) that honor the breastfeeding bond – check out my gallery! http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/breastfeeding-body-art
Shoot me an email and I’ll send you one (or more!) you can post. Women have been really loving being celebrated in this way….. I’d love to share this idea with a larger audience.
I am so glad that I found this website after wanting to have a somewhat natural hospital labor/birth everything went wrong for me. After close to 20 hours of labor I ended up needing a c-section because babies heart rate fell every time I pushed, they tried to turn her but were unsuccessful. I struggled to breastfeed, lots of things happened and I felt like I had no where to turn and that no one could understand what I had been through.
I am very interested in joining the private group. How do I get more information. 7 months out, I still struggle a lot with everything that happened that day and at the moment don’t know if I want anymore children because of the emotional and physical scars.
So thankful for this blog! 🙂
I would like to share my “i am strong” story but where and how do i send it?
I would like to share the story of my sons’ birth however, our pregnancy played such a big part in our birth that I have included it as well:
I’ve dreamt of starting a family since I met my husband at 17 in high school. We talked about it for years and then the time finally came when we felt it was right for us. At 25, we began to try and were so thankful when only four months later, our test came back positive. When it came time for our first ultrasound, I remember telling a friend that I was curious to see if there were one or two little ones. Well, my intuition was right. The technician told us “You are the third couple this week I get to say this too; congrats! Your having twins!”. I will never forget the look on my husbands face; shock and excitement and disbelief and joy in one look. For the next few weeks we enjoyed telling family and announcing it to friends, but that joy quickly became dulled by our fears. At 16 weeks we were sent to a specialist for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome: a placental condition that occurs when one twin is recieving more nutrition from the other twin. There are many levels to TTTS. Through our pregnancy we were barely stage 1, which is not often the case. We were offered, and denied, laser ablation surgery, and in leu chose to be monitored the entire pregnancy. Later, our smaller twin was labeled Interuterine growth restricted due to the discordance in weight and size. We had our good days where both babies appeared to be thriving and then we had our bad days in which our babies looked to be at risk. This went on until our delivery. After one of our routine monitoring, they noticed our smaller baby was falling further behind and delivery needed to be early. Though both babies were head down for two weeks and I was healthy enough to push, we decided to have a csection in order to lessen the amount of stress our smaller baby who was already showing distress. This was devistating for me. Though I knew a cesarean was a possibility I held into hope that maybe, just maybe, I could still start my family in the way that I had dreamt of. But I couldn’t risk my little ones life. At 34+2 weeks, we had a scheduled csection. The idea of being cut open scared me more than I had thought it would. Walking into the hospital, I began to panic. From the moment they tried to put the IV in, I began to shake and cry. The nurse decided it was best to have an anesthesiologist help. He was so kind, using a butterfly needle to numb me first, just for an IV. This gesture alone helped me to feel more comfortable and started the process off establishing trust and compassion. The OR was the strangest place I had even been in, too white and too bright with too many people I didn’t know walking around. And then my doctor came out. She knew I was afraid and made sure I had a familiar face to focus on. She held my hand through the spinal and helped to prepare me until my husband could join me. As the process began, I asked them not to tell me what was happening. Because of my request, the moment I heard my first baby arrive took both my husband and I’s breathe away. I wasn’t able to hold my babies, they both needed to be rushed away for oxygen aid, but my husband was able to go over to meet them and took pictures for me. It wasn’t until four hours later I was able to see my sons for the first time. Our NICU journey began that day, and ended exactly one month later. But that’s a story for another day.
If you asked me what I thought my first birth would be like a year ago, my birth plan would have been structured and laid out to the “T”. I’ve learned a lot since then. There is no right way to give birth, only a right way for you and your baby (or in my case, babies). Birthing is messy business, no matter how it happens but having a team of doctors or midwives or doulas who support and treat you with respect and kindness can make the difference in a stressful and beyond the norm.
Lovely post! Exactly the approach to take. So often, things do not turn out the way we plan, and it is crucial to be loved and supported through whatever come!
My friend told me to share my birth story with this site, so here it is.
So Monday we woke up and were getting ready for the day. I told my bf I was feeling cramping so he might want to keep his phone on him while he was at work. He took a shower and when he got out i told him they’re definitely contractions. So he said ok well lets go drop all the kids off and you maddy and I will go to breakfast. He had called work and told them he would be in later if nothing happened with me. I text my friend and told her she might want to call work and let them know she Wasnt going to be into work and I informed her my contractions were getting stronger but not closer. She thought maybe they were just braxxton hicks. So my bf and I go to breakfast and while I was there I talked to a nurse and told her what was going on. She basically told me I Wasnt ready to go to the hospital. So we eat our breakfast and I then go check my BP. It was high so I told my bf I would go home shower and get my bag ready and we would go to the hospital. Well I first try going to the bathroom because I was feeling pressure. I then was like forget it i need to get going. Im in the shower and the pain was strong and I cried my way through a contraction. I thought I never felt that pressure with that amount of pain before so I hurried up and got out of the shower. I get out grab onto the towel rack and wall and start screaming. My bf came in and asked what was wrong. I told him I felt pressure and needed to push. He said we have to go and to get dressed. I then yelled no i have to push! He picked up his phone and called 911. I was standing up, screamed one scream pushed and out she came. By then my bf was able to tell them i was about to give birth so they already had an aide car on the way. So he picked up Maya and dropped his phone. I picked up his phone and continued to talk to the dispatcher to figure out what to do next. I of course was worried but did everything they said. Maya’s umbilical cord separated when she came out. And I was able to keep the placenta in until we got into the hospital room.