They were all birthed gently at home, these babies of mine. We labored without intervention, and they were born into their familiar bacterial environments, passed straight up to my waiting arms and breasts, cuddled without interruption, and given the best start that I could manage to give them, to the best of my knowledge at the time.
I know we could be viewed as “lucky” for successfully having five undisturbed and non-medical home births, and in some ways, we ARE lucky because fate is not always fair and even those with the best-laid plans sometimes end up necessarily in hospitals and under surgical lights. But I also give us a little credit for being audacious enough to lay hold of that which was outside The System and outside the paradigm of acceptability and normalcy for almost everyone we knew at the time, and to venture into the waters of the birth we knew we wanted but weren’t yet intimately acquainted with.
So many people said we were brave for daring to have even our first baby at home, but I say I’d rather get it right the first time (😉).
I’m so happy with their births, but as time passes and their births are a more distant memory, and these children of mine are not evidently any different from any other children born in other ways, I sometimes question, “Did it matter? Does it matter that I took that road rather than the other more typical paths?”
I know in my bones that it matters for ME, and that I was reborn in that journey in ways that continue to impact me as a mother and a woman.
I guess maybe time will tell whether it matters for these babes of mine. I see hints of the impact in their robust health and secure attachments, but the rest I can’t prove is related to the way they were born. I can speculate and I can hope that what I gave them in their births is shaping them in countless deep and mysterious ways physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually, but maybe I won’t ever be able to prove it and maybe they won’t ever see it or give any credit to their birth stories.
I think it matters that they have only ever known birth to be normal, love-filled, approachable, and gentle. Their own births as well as the ones they have witnessed imprint them with that impression, and because of that, they will expect no less for themselves when they are grown and having their own children.
It matters that from day one they have been opted out of the medical system with its erroneous presumptions about health and wellness and the facilitation of dependence on outside authorities with their artificial and misguided means of disease-avoidcance. From their very first breath, they have inhabited an entirely different paradigm than most of their peers.
It matters that the first hands that held them were those of the person who loves them most and is devoted to them, wholly, for their entire lives. A soft landing matters.
But ultimately what matters the most, in the end, is that I made choices out of love and not out of fear. And that – no matter what else happens – is the foundation of a good start to a mother-child relationship. It’s a good start to a life.
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