Ah, my very first childbirth documentary. At a time in my life when I was walking parades chanting "Adopt don't shop! Save a pet today!", agonizing over weather to eat cooked or raw kale, and planning my next half marathon, giving birth was on my mind, but it was way in the back waiting it's turn.
Then, before I knew what hit me, Ricki Lake was in my living room telling me about the cascade of interventions, and my whole world changed, even if I didn't know it yet.
That first glimpse into the world of birth was the year 2011. Three years later I would find out I was pregnant with my first baby. As soon as I found out, something switched in me. I had to know everything there was to know about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. I pored over library books, watched every free documentary and you tube video I could find (you do what you've got to do when you're living off of a start-up massage business and graduate student income), and even scraped together some cash for a childbirth class outside of the hospital, even though the hospital class was free. I hired a doula even though we had no idea how we were going to pay her. I went to every hospital breastfeeding group, and every La Leche League meeting I could. Oh, and my midwife got all of the questions! I left no stone unturned. That baby's birth was life changing, intense in all of the good ways, and completely indescribable except to say that the transition into parenthood, for us was brutally magical.
Fast forward a little over two years later. We've moved to a new city, and have found out I'm pregnant with our second son. I quickly signed on with the closest group of hospital midwives to me. Hospital birth seemed logical. It went so well last time. However, I learned very quickly that not all hospitals are the same, and not every midwife is the same. I transferred care to another hospital, and when that didn't work out, I found a home-birth midwife.
A home-birth was my dream birth, so I was thrilled to be transferring care at 21 weeks! As it turns out, home-birth midwives are people too, and some of them are tired and burnt out and have a hard time keeping commitments. None the less, my baby came earth-side in a pool in the bonus room of my home with my husband by my side while my almost three year old slept upstairs in our room.
It was everything I wanted it to be, and yet I couldn't shake the feeling like all through my pregnancy we had been secluded while among so many people. The birth of our second son went unnoticed in our community. We were completely alone save for a midwife who couldn't keep appointments. I developed crippling postpartum anxiety, depression and rage due to the complete lack of support from our community. This is certainly not to say that everyone is heartless and selfish. On the contrary. If they would've known, as a stranger, how to help then I'm sure they would've. This is an issue with our social structure as a whole. I don't say any of this to scare you. I'm putting this out there to show why I'm so passionate about my mission which is to show birthing people and their partners their power. I show them what they are capable of in the most intense time of their lives. I redirect them when they start veering off into I-can't-do-this land. I offer my lap and my arms when they need a rest, my ear when they need to word vomit, and my heart when they need to cry. This is what every single birthing person and their family deserve, no matter where they live or what their socioeconomic status is. It is my dream to one day be able to provide anyone free midwifery services, doula services, and childbirth education. These basic things are a human right, and believe me when I say that I am working hard every day to make them available.
I'm a wife, mother of two, avid reader, doula, birth educator and an aspiring midwife. I grew up in Iowa, and my family and I moved to Columbus in 2019, and have decided to call it home.
I am deeply passionate about birth-work, and aim to show birthing people just how powerful they are. My long term dream is to be able to provide access to home-birth midwifery care, doula care, and childbirth education for anyone who needs it regardless of their socioeconomic status.