Written by Jessica Marie Baumgartner
I’m a mother of 4. I have 2 boys and 2 girls, and though they all have very different personalities, they were all brought into this world at home. There is not enough I can say on the subject of homebirthing. It’s not easy. It is not for everyone, but I have always left my fate up to my Gods.
This instigated varying reactions from others throughout all the different pregnancies. Some people wrote me off as a crazy hippie, others believed that I am damning myself to complications, and then there are the few who truly understood.
Faith is powerful. No matter if it is faith in medicine, God(s), oneself, nature, or something else, anything a person trusts contains magic. It is an old, subtle, magic. It weaves its spell slowly through bonds and hours, days, weeks, months, or even years of patience.
With my first child, I held the usual superstitions. Every milestone was a victory. I never assumed that everything was kosher and that bad things only happen to others. I continuously reminded myself that I have been gifted with a healthy body and that does not always translate from mother to child.
I put my trust in my creators, myself, my midwife, my family, my baby, nature, and fate. It is not for everyone. There was an element of uncertainty that modern society looks down upon. I didn’t have any ultrasounds, sonograms, or tests done. Some people considered this naïve, but I did not wish to have to make serious medical decisions before the time came.
My firstborn entered the world with the cord around her neck and took a while to get going. There was no time to worry or panic. I’m not good at worrying, I’m better at reacting. I listened to the midwife, did everything she asked. I released my healing energies, and now I have a brilliant, sweet, caring, funny, young lady who adores her younger siblings.
My second pregnancy took a rougher route. My already low blood pressure dropped. Every ache and pain seemed intent on magnifying my mortality. Just as before, I knew that the baby or I could die. While this is a terrifying prospect for some, for me it is just a natural fact. Taking the time to focus on relaxing my muscles and stretch my body with healing energy made all the difference.
As before, labor was like going to war, but this time my second baby was tilted. She kept getting stuck in the birth canal. Her head emerged then went back in again and again. Agony struck me. Exhaustion set in. The midwife warned me that we had one more chance to get the baby safely out.
I breathed deep. I pooled my energies to my core and pushed them out with every ounce of strength that lived in my body. She did what she had to and together, we got my baby out.
This tenacious little girl was born with bruises all over her face, but hasn’t stopped adventuring since. Like me, she approaches everything face first. We both get scared. Everyone has fears, but refusing to allow those woes and worries to stop us is why we have survived thus far.
After a shift in family life that included a divorce and re-marriage, I faced birthing baby number three. My husband had never experienced a homebirth. He was concerned about his PTSD, I was concerned because my previous midwife left the area, and my in-laws were terrified of homebirthing.
Their energies were filled with negative perceptions that had good intentions, but it was draining having to defend the choice to give birth naturally, at home. I worked to combat the doubts with a lot of internal positivity.
I understood that I knew what I was doing. I knew the risks and dangers. I never expected anyone to fully agree with my methods, but they were not my concern.
My first son was the easiest birth. He came out quick and healthy with a full head of blazing red hair. He smiled and laughed right away. His bright blue eyes have toned down to a warm gray/green that reminds me of my grandmother and the stories she used to tell about her cousin who looked like a little leprechaun.
My husband decided to have another baby because our hyperactive boy missed his sisters when they went to their dad’s, and having a big family is not the strain that some people seem to think it is. We’ve quickly learned what a blessing it truly is.
This pregnancy had similarities and differences to the others. I was older and my body reminded me every day. My joints ached more than ever. My stomach popped further, and I felt like a full moon, but each morning I awoke to meditate on maintaining my health and energy. Every night I visualized a healthy baby gracing our family.
This not only boosted my spirit but offered me a slight sense of control. As someone who loves to be in control of most every situation and aspect of my life, it takes a great deal of patience and power to give in and allow the unknown to surround me.
Rituals to honor the seasons were most important during my pregnancies, but they became a lifeline during this last gestation. They allowed me to physically connect with my surroundings on a heightened spiritual level and also appreciate aging.
I do not generally engage in spell work when I am pregnant because it takes too much power. When carrying a child, the universe speak to me in other ways. I needed to focus on the life within and push out all other elements in order to reach the destination of labor.
Grounding techniques and getting as much outdoor time as I could calmed me and entertained my other children while we all prepared for the new arrival. Hiking and swimming kept my body healthy while my mind focused and my soul soared to hopeful heights. These practices were extremely helpful, but it was the pure art of trust that brought my family together.
Like my youngest daughter, my youngest son also got stuck coming out, but through the power of faith, healing energy, and love, he was born a big healthy boy full of love. The bruises on his face healed. My body has recovered. There is so much to celebrate.
I learned that when I was sick as a child. Life is meant to be celebrated. The meditations, rituals, and exercises implemented into my time lifestyle have aided me in safely birthing my children, but mostly my youngest. His beginning taught me more about myself than I could have learned otherwise.
I know my body. I know my faith. I know my baby and my family. Faith is all about letting go. Healing is about leading with all that we are instead of just what we see. I trust the Gods, and in doing so, I trust the experiences of life.
Text © Jessica Marie Baumgartner
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