This is more on the personal side of my blog posts, but I wanted to share with you the birth of our third son, Cy:
He was born here at home in Vermont, in a big tub in our living room, on October 23. Molly’s water broke at around 4:30pm that day, and her contractions started in earnest around 6 pm. The boys, Sepp (5yo) and Asa (2yo), were busy messily painting their halloween costumes, so we let them finish. I put them to bed at around 7pm, as usual, and then went downstairs to set up the tub:
By then our incredible midwives, Tanya and Lucinda, were arriving and we started filling the tub. Also, Molly’s Mom, her sister, and our dear friend Libby were here to help. We got a nice fire going in the woodstove and had the house up to 80 degrees pretty quickly. We quickly ran out of hot water, so we put every pot we had on the stove to heat more. By 9pm Molly’s contractions were getting very intense and she decided to take a stroll outside. It was a particularly clear and dark night, with the Milkyway crystal clear and Jupiter brighter than I’ve ever seen it. (i’ve always loved stargazing so it felt particularly meaningful to see the sky so clear.) By the end of our walk around the house, with frequent stops for contractions, Molly was ready to get in the tub. By then it was full of hot water and ready to go, and we got in around 10pm. From here her labor progressed very quickly and intensely, and she gave birth to Cy at 10:22pm, catching him herself and scooping him up to the surface of the water. With barely a sound he looked up at her as if to say “Hi, Mom.” It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Here’s a picture of them just two hours after he was born:
They are both remarkably healthy, happy and seemingly unfazed.
This was our second homebirth. Asa was also born at home, up in his bedroom. After Sepp’s birth in a hospital, Molly was adamant that we have our children at home. Sepp’s hospital birth, although it wasn’t traumatic per se, was offensive to Molly on a number of levels. Her own birth experience and studies of midwifery and the birthing process has lead her to the realization that birth is not a risk-frought medical procedure as we are lead to believe by well meaning yet fearful OBGYN’s. It is a natural rite of passage for both mother and child; a sacred time to be experienced as fully as possible. From my limited perspective, it took me a while to see the truth in this, but having just witnessed what I can only describe as perfect, we highly recommend homebirth. Be sure to find an experienced and warmhearted midwife. As someone once said, “Locals are born in the hospital, ‘natives’ are born at home.”
Thanks for reading, Nick