Andre’s birth day: I become a kook

So I’m going to explain why I became a kook, because it is actually a very scientific process, influenced by a doctor and the fact that I believe God created and designed the world as we see it working.

{My apologies to other unassisted birthers for the term kook– I know you’re really in your right minds, perhaps more than others. Please allow me this freedom….}

Andre was my first (of two) unassisted births. For many years, I never even knew that birthing unassisted was in realm of imagination. Then for years, I thought people who did this were complete kook-heads. And then I became one of those kooks.

I believed in midwifery. I have read about home birth since I was about 15 years old, so the idea of giving birth in a hospital was/is actually frightening.

When I started studying midwifery, I had an awesome school. Because the director believed in birthing women and the process of birth as it was designed. Sure, things can go wrong, and that is one of the main purposes of the midwife, to be able to spot and monitor the situation and act appropriately.

But the birth– it’s all done by the mom.

OK, so for my schooling, we were required to read Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley, an MD in New Zealand who specializes in obstetrics and family planning.

The book is a tome of science all about birth and medical practices surrounding it.

In this book, there are three pages that describe the hormones of birth. I, of course, read this as a Christian who believes God made things this way. These three pages described in intricate detail the hormones that start, conduct, and finish labor, the hormones that create bonds, the hormones that allow us to breastfeed and feel good– I was amazed.

They are all so incredibly and intricately designed.

I never before understood hormonal processes before studying this. Like puberty beginning in a girl or boy. Those are hormonal processes. Like digesting your food– a hormonal process. We pretty much have to stay out of the way so the process can occur in peace and safety. (Selah [pause and ponder, or crescendo] that last sentence: We pretty much have to stay out of the way so the process can occur in peace and safety.)

Dr. Buckley describes the normal practices occurring at birth in a medical environment that actually make the birth less safe. It’s strange, but true.

After reading those three pages, pieces suddenly flew together in my understanding, and I became an official member of the Kook-Head Club. One of those really off-the-wall, dangerous, bizarre people who birth unassisted.

Well, at that point, I was interested in birthing unassisted. But … Vitaliy.

{And I will insert that I don’t have any physical issues that would preclude a home birth.}

I think it’s pretty important that partners at least feel the environment is safe during birth, though they might not agree on the actual place. I guess we usually defer to the woman, for obvious reasons, but I think the dad ought to feel that the birth environment is safe for his wife and child, too, even if it’s not the decor he would’ve picked.

So, following the advice I’d read somewhere, probably a marriage book, as we were laying in bed one night during my pregnancy with Andre, I said, “Maybe we should birth this baby by ourselves,” or something like that. And Vitaliy said, “no way” or something like that. And I dropped it. He wasn’t a Kook-Head just yet.

About a week later, maybe we were again laying in bed, he said something like, “I think we should birth ourselves.”

And there you go.

For Andre’s pregnancy and birth, we had a “friend” we called once or twice during pregnancy, once during the birth– it was a very long birth and my most painful– maybe he was posterior? But I don’t really remember the pain now– hormones are lovely that way.

What I remember is the ecstasy after he came out. I was quite “high” with happiness, for days. It was amazing.

{Now, for any women in the childbearing years reading this: You will never have this birth or experience. You will have your own, unique experience that will be a gift to you from God, to bless you and form you into His Son’s image. Your husband will love you in details probably different from how my husband loves me, but he will love you and your child.}

For days afterwards, Vitaliy would come to me and say, “wow, you did it, honey.” And after the birth, he went and bought flowers and the Georgian food we love.

Andre’s birth story is here.

My page about the pros and cons of unassisted birth is here.

Actually, if we were to have another baby, I would consider having a midwife-type person there. Not to make me feel safe, but someone to nurture me. But I don’t know. It’s a decision I probably will never have to make.

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