It's hard to believe that my little girl is already more than a month old (how fast babies grow!) She's certainly more alert - staring at windows and lights- using her unpractised little eyes more and more. She's beside me in bed as I type, mewling noisily....
I'd never have believed child birth could be so simple, calm and joyful if I hadn't just experienced it myself. Judging from some of the reactions I've had, though, you'd think I'd jumped from a plane without a parachute! It's made me realize how 'Hollywood' our expections of birth are (hospital wards, doctors, screaming patients, someone constantly telling you how many centimeters dilated you are and yelling at you to PUSH... a certified medical professional 'catching' the baby!)
In harried preparation for my own home birth, I did read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. The first half is composed of stories of women who've given birth at The Farm, Gaskin's mid-wifery commune. It was a bit sappy and creepy, if I'm being honest. I wanted information. I was worried about safety, pain and mess (I love the idea of a homebirth... I just didn't want to look at evidence of it on my sofa or floor forever afterwards!). I think Gaskin's book is too much about her and The Farm to be of much practical use if you're preparing for a home birth. And I find the bit about orgasmic birth just too fantastical, though I'm sure it happens!
More spot on is Sheila Kitzinger's book Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital. A highly experienced British midwife, Kitzinger explains natural labour and birth in the right depth, with lots of practical advice. I highly recommend it. Looking back, everything in it chimed with my own experience.
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