I’m Jordan, the newest addition to ‘momming’ in the Birth Your Way gang. Alder, the boy who made me a mommie, is 11 weeks old. Born in my bathtub with no medical assistance… no cervix checks, no fetal monitoring, no fuss; I pulled him out of the water myself.
I had the most amazing support from my partner “doula-dad Justin” and beautiful photos taken by my shutterbug Aunt. That is really all I needed. Yes, you CAN Freebirth your first born, and No it doesn’t have to be terrifying. But the rest of that story is for another time.
(pssst. Next monday tune in for my unhindered birth story).
For now I’d like to introduce myself and help you understand how I came to birth unassisted.
Who am I?
Today I am Composting-Mommie, with worms in my closet during the winter. I dream of building an earth rammed house, on our *impulse bought* 10 acres, in Nevada. Yes, I do have a collection of jars that WILL, inevitably, take over my small apartment.
No, I won’t get rid of my orange peel collection from last Christmas, and don’t even think about touching my yogurt containers. I never took the short bus to school…but I did live in one; we peed in a bucket…and speaking of urination, I have this habit of getting peed on, we call it ‘elimination-communication’.
When my son isn’t leaking, my oversupply of milk keeps me in wet clothing, So no worries there. Keep your moist and musty t-shirts for another Mommie-in-need, I’m well stocked.
But why Freebirth? Maybe it started with a friend…
Rewind to 2011 in Talkeetna, Alaska. After a productive day harvesting nearly dry Yarrow, we regrouped in Willow’s cabin; a friend I looked up to as a creative mind and musician.
Willow was raised crunchy; organic, self love and exploration, hairy legs and pits: crunchy. Growing up, my idea of crunchy was graham crackers and pretzels, we used ivory soap and hearing my dad call people like her “hairy legged yogurt eaters” was normal. The point being, I had an uphill battle ahead of me to become the crispy-crunchy-granola-me, that I am today.
On this early fall day, in the coziness of her small cabin, she introduced me to the book “birthing from within”. I had no idea how much this book would impact my life. I skimmed through vivid drawings of unmedicated women laboring wildly, squatting down, gripping fat lengths of rope in attempt to cope, and read about birth as a right of passage. While the book was interesting, I was still pretty far off from acquiring my birthing hips, let alone imagining myself in their shoes.
But the seed was planted…Fast forward 2 years.
Justin and I were living in Chugiak, Alaska, in the 12×8 tiny house I designed the previous year. While I was busy getting my domestic-diva on, and paying only $200 rent, I found myself thinking about babies; My ovaries way of saying “Farm fresh eggs for sale!” That good ol’ biological manipulation, to getcha up and reproducing. Except, one problem, I lived in fear of SEEING birth, let alone giving birth! Alright, two problems, like I said…12×8.
What was I afraid of?
If you haven’t been afraid of birth at some point, count yourself among the minority. Have you SEEN the movie “knocked up”?! For that matter, have you seen any birth scene depicted in film? This, along with a not-so-birth-positive mom, left me petrified, confused and extremely conflicted. I kept hearing that quiet voice in my head saying,
“I feel like I SHOULD want a natural birth, but I don’t know what that means. I apply natural philosophy to everything in my life, so why wouldn’t it also apply here?”
I’d learned how to use less than 4 gallons of water daily, how to manage macro-nutrients in a square foot garden, and how to fill my clothes and fuel barrel with diesel at 3am; Yet, I didn’t know ANYTHING about birth.
I guess thats not entirely true. I knew my mom spent 6 months in water rehab after an epidural, that when I was born sunny side up, they tore something in her while attempting to turn me, she was induced because my brothers head was “too big” and “my body would be destroyed”.
Like I said, I knew NOTHING about birth! Until, I ended up on a page filled with unassisted birth videos…
*GULP* here we go…that awful thing you can’t unsee. The retching, stre—tching, bleeding oozing…..
I clicked the first title, my fingers half covering my eyes, shielding myself from the impending gore. But wait, something didn’t seem right…or did it seem TOO right? This wasn’t what my mom had described. I proceeded to watch every video listed in awe. My neurons fired and lit up like a lightbulb, my eyes welled with discovery, and my uterus stirred with purpose.
Birth is amazing! Birth is intuitive. Birth is a source of strength not weakness.
My mind was blown, I was rocketed to Another plane of existence. An amazing place, where birth no longer stood as a dreaded barrier between me and my future. Without a doubt, I would birth in the freedom of my own home. I became instinctively aware of my power, the same power that allowed the women in those videos, to bring life.
It took me another 3 years to convince “Mid-husband-Justin” I could [and would] have our baby with no doctors or midwives. I poured over blogs and books, participated in groups, listened to podcasts, cross referenced conflicting data, and watched videos with my eyelids stapled to my forehead. In the end, evidence based knowledge is what it took to get him on board. We finally saw eye to eye by about 7 months pregnant. Just in time for my big performance …at 42+5 days pregnant. But that, Mommies, is a story you can tune in for next Monday.
Did you have an uphill battle to crunchy? What’s your story?