Home Birth Stories
JulianArts - Real Life Birth Stories


My VBAC Homebirth
Written by Justine Julian   

Baby Mathilda 2008

Thursday March 13th Our Due Date: I woke up in a total funk today. Nobody knows more than I do that due dates are suggestions, not rules. Intellectually I can accept this today. Emotionally, however, this realization sends me over the edge. I did everything right. I ate right. I gained the right amount of weight. I went to all of my prenatal appointments. I took the right vitamins. I believe the right things about birth and babies and parenting. I want to be rewarded for doing things right, dammit. That IS how it works here in America, right? (okay that might be a bit facetious, sorry) I decide to spend the entire day pouting and wallowing in self pity since no one could possibly feel as sorry for me as I feel for me. My cankles are huge. My feet hurt when I bear weight on them. My hands swell when I...well, when I do absolutely anything. This child's head is literally taking up every bit of available space in my pelvis which leaves room for about ½ teaspoon of pee. The biggest of my big maternity clothes no longer have the capacity to expand over the belly. I have become some monstrous caricature of a pregnant woman: a barefoot, swollen, waddling, nearly naked, puffy faced, screeching like some crazy Medusa-headed Harpe, who will never, ever, ever, go into labor. I will be pregnant forever-- or at least long enough to make the skin on my feet explode while they wheel me into the OR for the miracle of my MRSA infested surgical birth. Then I will finally have the c-section which everyone will console me about while not so secretly scolding me for selfishly thinking that I had what it might take to pull off an empowering, healing, society-defying homebirth. Childbirth sucks for a reason, right? How dare I be arrogant enough to think that I could escape what our society has planned for me?

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Justine's Story: My First Birth
Written by Justine Julian   

The Birth of Baby Brenton 1989

My mother agreed to be my birth partner for this pregnancy and commented that not much had changed in the OB/Gyn business since she had given birth to me and my brother! The doctors never talked to me or asked what kind of birth experience i desired. I was treated like a vehicle-a container- for the baby i was carrying. I was to “be a good little patient” and just keep quiet, take my pain relief medication, lay flat on my back with an IV, a fetal monitor, a catheter, and a full pubic shave. My mother commented that I was lucky since back in her day they also administered an enema to the laboring mother! All of these are done so that the doctor doesn't have to acknowledge that it is a real human being that is birthing this baby...not a vessel, not a Tupperware baby-holding robot...a real human with real bodily functions, and pain, and emotions. The nurses rolled their eyes at any of my questions and simply replied “Let us do our job, ok?”

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Justine's Story: My Birthing Center VBAC
Written by Justine Julian   

The Birth of Baby Gabriella 1994
When i found out that i was pregnant five years after Brenton's birth, I cried and cried for days. I knew that “once a cesarean, always a cesarean” meant that I would have another humiliating, shameful, painful birthing experience. I was distraught for weeks. Even though I have considered an abortion, simply because I was so traumatized by my sons birth. Instead, I called a midwife.

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Justine's Story: My Hosptial VBAC
Written by Justine Julian   

Picture of EudoraThe Birth of Baby Eudora 2003
 Nine years after the glorious midwife attended birth of Gabriella, and 14 after the trauma of Brenton's hospital birth, I felt incredibly well prepared for the birth of my third child. I was older, wiser, experienced—and I knew that I would be “in control” when it came to expressing my preferences and communicating my needs to my care providers. Midwives were not readily available in the geographic area I was now living in, but I had little doubt that in 2003, with all of the new support for “natural parenting” and the public acceptance of things like breastfeeding, and the wide availability of ground-breaking research results, that doctors, nurses, and the hospital would all be “on the same page” as I was.

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Gretchen's HBAC

Cody Ryan Arnold, Born at Home on March 22, 2009

Written by Gretchen Arnold. I will start by saying that my idea of birth is that women grow the perfect baby for their body and give birth naturally.We had our idea of the perfect birth plan in place for the birth of my first son Jeremy. We had a good midwife and support team including 2 doula's and a supportive hospital near Atlanta, GA. We read everything you can think to read about natural birth. We even took a 10-week Bradley Method class. So much to our surprise we ended up with an emergency cesarean after about 10 hours of un-medicated labor, five of which was pushing. When it was all said and done we were blessed to have a healthy, beautiful 9lb 9oz baby boy. Even though everyone told me to feel blessed because he was alive and we were both healthy, I couldn’t help but feel like something wasn’t right. It was a very long hard recovery. I nursed my son for 19 months and together we worked through a very emotional journey. (please click on the Read More link to continue reading Gretchen's story...)

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Stacy: Another Homebirthing Goddess
I am so thrilled to be able to share these two wonderful homebirth stories with you; the births of Baby Orlando and Baby Mica. Thank you to Stacy at Mama-Om. Be sure to visit her site and pay homage to yet another homebirthing goddess! I've just had a good chuckle reading about the redecorating efforts of her very creative boys :0

And just a reminder in case you haven't visited API Speaks in a while...get over there and read the great content contributed by parents who are doing their very best to raise great kids, keep their sanity, and make the world just a little bit better as they go.

 

 
Karen Shares Her Story: The Birth of Aren

Thank you to Karen for sharing this absolutely beautiful birth story with JulianArts. The only way we will ever reclaim birth as a gentle, lovely, life-affirming event rather than a gory, medicated, terrifying drama is to share the good stories! All types of birth stories are welcome here--the invitation is always open to share YOUR birth story. Just send me an email using the contact page to let me know you are interested.

Here is a snippet of Karen's homebirth story...

Hurray for your own bed, your own blankets, your own kitchen, your own food, your own toilet, your own shower, your own closet, your own jammies, the smells of your own home, your own telephone, and your own sunlight coming in your own window on your own newborn baby who hasn't been taken out of your sight unless you've wanted him to be and your da*n well happy about it, too....) Click on the Read More link to finish reading Karen's story

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Scarlett's Homebirth

Written by Emily Render Graham

Scarlett surprised everyone (except Jill) by coming a week early. Throughout last week, after a night of love with Jason (husband), I was having "late pregnancy symptoms" including a dull lower backache, PMS-y cramps and soft stools, beginning on my birthday, Sept. 11th.  Some days the symptoms were so strong I felt convinced that labor was about to begin.  Some days they would disappear altogether.  I had also been waking up nightly to cramps and myself moaning.  (Jason would moan back to me in his sleep, what a sweetheart!) Click on the Read More link to continue with Emily's story...

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Juliana: Two Different Stories

Juliana's stories illustrate the differences between the medical model of care and the midwifery model of care.

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