Friday, July 4, 2008

Brighton's Birth Journey:
Taking the Red Pill

July 4th. What an important day for our country. Our declaration of independence--our cry of freedom, our proclamation of liberation.

This holiday I am still lost in the celebration of the birth of my 3rd child: Brighton. It was, indeed, a liberating moment for my family to birth in the privacy and comfort of a home environment after enduring two prior surgical births. I'm thankful that in the land of the free and the home of the brave, I was allowed to cross two state lines to birth my baby in peace and solitude, the way nature works best.

Our story, home birth pictures, and journey music can be found here:
http://www.millermemo.com/BrightonBirth.html

While the AMA and ACOG are diligently working to pass legislation that will, without doubt, hinder a woman's right to birth in privacy, I will continue to shout my story of liberation and empowerment from the rooftops. It was a day to celebrate independence from the over-medicalized "birth machine." And I will bend over backwards, if necessary, to help just one more woman avoid the cascade of routine hospital interventions that too often lead to that first unnecessary cut.


63 ♥ thoughtful comments ♥:

Somer said...

Your story of LOVE and STRENGTH is an inspiration! The Verses from the Lord placed so eloquently in your story moved me to tears many times along the way. HIS strength, HIS love, and HIS plan for us is obvious in your message!! May many women see this and know HIS DESIGN!

Clara said...

Your oldest daughter's upraised arms moments after the birth (photo) say it all. I keep returning to this site- and am always overwhelmed. I hold my own C-section baby, and am inspired and uplifted for next time I birth. Praise be to the Lord!

Tonya said...

Such a beautiful story of faith. Mine is similar (no c- secs, but of faith and trusting the Lord for a perfect birth rather than fearing). It is good preparation for the rest of our lives, to trust and live boldly the life God has plodded out for us. I am so pleased that more and more are coming to try homebirth. It is so beautiful! Bless you and your growing family!

Teresa said...

I'm speechless! What a beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring, inspirational birth story!!!! You rock girl!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the story of your journey from fear to faith. Enjoy that sweet baby.

Kimberly said...

Beautiful powerful story!

Kristie said...

I loved, loved, loved reading this! I'm so happy for you! Your story give me hope for having a vbac! Thanks so much for sharing!

Abby Nicolai said...

Loved this birth story! Really sweet!

Jenny said...

I read your full account with tears of joy welling up continually. What a victory for normality and peace. When people ask me about feminism, I always talk about birth in the USA: a situation in which a woman is told that because she is a woman she is defective and must surrender her will, her body, and her safety to the hands and priorities of others and that any subsequent problems are unavoidable consequences of other people having to fix her. A situation in which major surgery is passed off as routine--but only if a woman must endure it. A situation in which a normal physiological process is described as an emergency because it's a female thing, while the people who have studied the actual process as it occurs naturally are sneered at, marginalized, even jailed--because they're treating this female thing as if it were normal (imagine that!). Look at that brilliant smile on your face. Look at your family, so happy and content. Look at that baby! BRAVO!

Lily said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I've been needing some encouragement. I'm 40 weeks and 3 days. Am attempting a VBAC. This is my second pregnancy. The first was an induction that ended in an emergency C-section. My doc doesn't want to wait past 41 weeks. So, if baby doesn't come by the end of Monday, it is probably going to be a C-section on Tuesday (which saddens me). At the end of the day, I'm hoping the Lord makes a VBAC possible for me, that's safe for both of us. I just need assurance that I'm not doing anything stupid or self-serving.

Tenny said...

I just read your birth story, and it’s inspiring, touching, and beautiful. I love how your faith is definitely a part of it—I hope to meet God in this place, too, and seeing that He’s a part of your journey helps me know that He’s a part of this one, too, and that I’m not necessarily being selfish in investing a LOT of time learning about birth right now. Thanks for sharing your story in so much detail and with so much heart and eloquence.

Megan said...

What a wonderful birth story! I clicked on your link from the main ICAN list. I'm a chapter leader in Tallahassee Florida. I have had 2 c-sections, and without a doubt, I want to have my next baby at home. It's so inspirational for me to read stories like yours, so thank you for sharing it :).

Rachel said...

Love love loved the story. I am wanting to VBAC my next as i had an emcs with Autumn but the mw has said there is a high possibility my pelvis is too small so they will need to do pelvic scans etc to check things when i am prg again. You did so so so well, and the wee one is gorgeous.

Shauna Sheets said...

Love the story. Wow! Congratulations on your victorious birth! Now, write a book!

Beatrice Carre-Alleyne said...

Here I am my 27 weeks self, crying as I read this. Thank you so much for sharing such a spiritual and personal moment in your life. Thank you for aiding in my courage, despite all the grumblings to go on with my HBAC.

Christy said...

Hi Shaye! I am Christy, from ICAN as well. Your story had me shedding tears throughout, understanding the emotions, the difficulty. All the way down to not understanding how the HBAC labor could possibly be harder than a pit-induced labor. ;) I'm so glad that you were able to experience such a life changing birth. Your son is absolutely gorgeous. Congrats dear mama.

Teddi said...

This is so wonderful and enlighting! Very awesome...I've always thought of doing an at-home birth, but never researched...you can hear the peace of the entire process in your writings...thank you for sharing! Beautiful family! God Bless.

Lydia said...

I found your link on the HBAC list, what a beautiful and empowering story. My second was a HBAC, 2 years later I am still giddy when I think about her birth.

Lauren said...

Oh this is BEAUTIFUL! I am so, so happy for you! As a fellow hba2c mama, it has been great for me to read your story and get to relive my own triumphant birth. It's been almost a year and I'm still on a high from it. I can tell that you will carry this amazing birth high with you for quite some time- forever- as well. Congratulations and great job. You worked so hard, you did it!

Jenny Miller said...

oh my goodness, what a wonderful story! I felt like pushing along with you in the tub as I read your story. I can totally respect your homebirth and I think it's great for you. I had back labor with Lauren and don't want to ever ever feel that kind of pain again, so I was perfectly fine with hospital birth for ME. It's great that the options are there for all of us! ps- Can't believe you were in Borders within 3 hours! I wanted to go sleep just from reading!! LOL :o)

Shelly Smith said...

I loved your story! I found the link to this page from your ICAN message posting and am considering home birth myself. I am due the first week in July and so far, due to ever-changing plans for my husband and his potential military obligations, I still am not "locked in" as far as where I will deliver, who will assist me, which state I'll be in, etc..... Wish me luck. I am so happy for you and love your expressive style in your birth story! You made me laugh and cry! What an inspiration you are. Thanks!

Nicki said...

Congrats on your beautiful little blessing! He is truly amazing! I loved your birth story site. I had to relook at the pictures again and again. You wrote it out so neat that I could picture the time in my mind. I am so very happy that you had such an awesome experience, I knew you could do it! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Honey said...

What a wonderful story. I love how well you described everything.
I am a future homebirth midwife, born at home myself. from Australia :)

Lexi said...

What a great story! Thank you for sharing this. It so inspirational that you chose to drive so far rather than give up on yourself and your birth! I am in awe of you!

Pam said...

Shaye! Congratulations again. I sat crying such happy tears reading your victorious hba2c. I pray that God will help me in these last days of my pregnancy to find a supportive provider to do just what you did :) Thank you so very much for sharing your story. Your children are beautiful. The pic of you all together right after birthing your baby made the tears flow so freely.....I am so happy for you all....what a gift...the way it is meant to be. God bless. ~Pam

Tamrha said...

Shaye....You are an inspiration! I read every word of your story ( found the link on the ICAN list), cried, smiled and thoroughly enjoyed all of it. What a beautiful family you have, and what a empowered woman you are. Bravo! Tamrha Richardson CD (CBI) & mother of two born via cesarean... who hopes to have a story such as yours next time around....

Holly VanTassel said...

Shaye, this birth story is so beautiful! I have a question though...what would you have done, if you did need a transfer. How would you have dealt with that? I'm trying to figure that out (mostly for my dh's sense of security). He's concerned about the insurance covering the hospital if there was a transfer. blessings...

Shaye said...

Holly, it’s a very fair question and something that every home birth family has to consider. For us, we learned how an attentive midwife can identify red flags early enough for a safe transfer a majority of the time. Most midwives will go over a list of emergencies that could come up in any birth and discuss what they do in each case. We weren’t far from a hospital and so if we truly needed to transfer for any reason, my midwife had already mentioned it would be in the car with me on all fours. I believe the hospital knew she was delivering a HBAmC at the time, so we would have phoned while on the way to make sure the OR was set up, if necessary. Keep me posted on your birthing decisions and God bless!

Angela said...

Oh Shaye, he is so beautiful and so are you! I am so very proud of you and your transformation from fear to glowing accomplishment!

Beth Oster said...

You may not recognize my name, but I watched your children while you attended your Hypnobirthing class. I am so happy for you and your family. You had a truly beautiful and blessed birth. What a beautiful baby and mamma! It was a pleasure meeting you and being able to hear your story.

Amy said...

All I can say is wow! You are superwoman with a beautiful family. You are very blessed, and no one deserves it more than you do, Shaye. Thank you for sharing! Xo

Tammy said...

I just cried reading your story. What a journey in more ways than one. I laughed at your labor bag mainly over the fact that you didn't have a list of things for your 2 and 4 yr olds to pack or was that a separate list.

Shaye said...

Tammy, LOL. Yeah, we pretty much had a separate list for the kiddos. And we kept most of that stuff in the car during my last trimester due to all the traveling we were doing. We were blessed in that our midwife had this whole room devoted to kids--it was full of toys and other fun stuff. =)

Treese Morford DeBoer said...

Loved reading your story and my husband sat next to me and read the whole thing too!! I haven't typed out my own birth story for others yet. Just wrote it out in the baby book. Now it's 2 years later and you may have just motivated me to do it! Thanks for sharing your experience, this story, your awesome pictures, and mentioning HypnoBirthing. God does work in miraculous ways! Treese

Jasmin Devitt said...

Congrats!! I also have had 2-cections due to Dr.s and not medical necessity. I am pregnant with my 3rd and searching high and low for a midwife to do my home birth in November! It's not all illegal in Florida but the OBs sure treat VBACs like an expensive dirty word. God Bless you for your efforts and perseverance!

Angela said...

WOW! YOU GO MAMA!! What an amazing story...thank you for sharing it with the world!

Stefany said...

What a wonderful, heartwarming story. The kind that brings tears of joy :) Your story makes me want to get pregnant again. I don't think my husband will thank you for THAT lol. You are so ferociously strong!

Shannon said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey of faith toward a beautiful and empowering home birth. Your story has encouraged me greatly. Do you have anything saved or recorded that helped you decide that a home birth was safe and the best environment for you? My DH and I are seriously considering home birth for our next child (not pregnant yet!) but I don't know how in the world we'll tell his parents. They are very mainstream and critical in general. Any ideas would be great! Thanks!

Shaye said...

Shannon, I'd be happy to share with you some of what we read and watched. Off the top of my head I enjoyed Birthing From Within, Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, Birth Partner, and a few other odds and ends. We also loved the movies Business of Being Born and Born in the USA as well as many other natural birth videos (often on YouTube). We also attended a HypnoBirthing Class which came with another great book.

I found no large scale comparative studies here in the states (go figure), but as I'm sure you've discovered, the few comparative studies we DO have show same/similar mortality rates between home and hospital and far better results at home for other issues and interventions because the mother's body is allowed to labor naturally without interruption, stress, or fear. That's why many birth advocates argue that if you look at more than just mortality rates, there's a larger measure of safety when birthing in the home--away from negative labor management and unnecessary interventions and yet with a capable provider.

Never underestimate the power and training of a midwife. They have a large amount of training under their belts. Yet, just like with medpros, not all midwives are created equal. Be sure to interview several to get a good vibe. I met a DEM, a CPM and a CNM during my pregnancy. I knew that my CNM could administer drugs (for things like hemorrhage, infection, etc.), she carried oxygen, she could perform infant CPR, etc. Midwives have the skills and training to manage unexpected smaller emergencies and they know when to transfer if a bigger emergency presents. Be sure to go over emergency presentations with them to find out how they handle each one. I cannot even compare the attentive care I received from my midwife to the care I've received in the past from my OBs.

All of that aside, I must say that what convinced us of our decision was the peace we felt as we began seeking midwives and praying about the decision. It was an answered prayer. Once we were met with that confidence, other doubt dissolved. I kept focused and was able to gestate in peace for the duration of my pregnancy. It was a gift.

If there's reason to believe his parents might possibly disturb your peace or resort to unfounded fear tactics, why invite that negativity into your space? It's counterproductive. If you decide to birth at home, you'll have your reasons and you'll have done the research and preparation by that point. These days, getting a home birth is often an uphill battle to begin with, so I would find a way to protect yourself from unsupportive people or other negative influences (even watching Grey's Anatomy didn't sit well with me due to all the FEAR, FEAR, FEAR in every episode). My feeling is that IF you come to the decision to birth your baby at home, you'll find it to be 100% your decision. Everyone else can mind their own business and celebrate with you and baby on the other side of birth.
:) Please feel free to contact me offline to discuss further.

Michelle ~ Mother Nurtured said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Thank you for sharing such a lovely birth story. Blessings, Michelle

Hannah said...

I came across your beautiful Birth Story from Laureen's site. I am so happy for you and your family! Your son is beautiful and you look so great! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!

Cat said...

stunning
i cried lots
and super pictures too
cat 39+ hoping to HBAC v soon
xxxxxxx

Leah said...

What an amazing story, Shaye and thank you so much for sharing it! I had tears in my eyes as I read through much of it! Enjoy that sweet little boy and your new family! Much love to you! Leah, a fellow ICAN sister and HBAC mama

Nichole Hayden said...

Congratulations!!!! What an amazing story of hard work, dedication, and such a beautifully perfect reward in the end! Blessings, Nichole

Sheridan said...

Wow, what a beautiful story! Congratulations to you and your family!!!

I collect positive birth stories and would love to add your link to my VBAC page.

Shaye said...

Sheridan, That's wonderful! Link away! =)

Amber said...

Shaye, it's beautifully written. Praise God! I am so glad you got the peaceful birth you and your baby deserved. God Bless

Gina C. Underwood said...

Beautiful story. I felt like I was right there and I'm still wiping the tears away!

LK said...

Oh, my gosh, this is a BEAUTIFUL story! I have stayed up way past my bedtime and am so glad that I did. :>) Thank you for sharing. (Now, let's get those Nebraska laws changed!)

Diane said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!! I experienced two highly MD intervened births before a natural, drug-free mid-wife assisted birth in a hospital (where all the staff asked 'Did you mean to go natural??'), then a home birth, then a midwife assisted drug-free hospital birth. The body is a beautiful thing, perfectly created by God to have babies. Thanks be to God for the OBs to assist when needed, but those same OBs should leave women alone to let their bodies do what they were designed to do when they can. You go girl!!

Chandra Stewart said...

Shaye, I cried and cried as I read your journey toward HBA2C. I could almost have written it myself. My own mourning in the loss of the birth experiences I desired has led me to become a doula, to help other women get the information and births they deserve. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your strength and determination are truly uplifting. I hope to someday join you with a successful VBAC of my own.

Jan said...

Wonderful Story. I am a midwife in another state and have helped about a dozen VBACs. They are always such wonderful miracles. Congratulations on your courage to follow your heart and have a wonderful birth.

FR said...

I'm a friend of Laureen's who also found wisdom and courage via ICAN & other research; had a successful HWBAC in 2006 after an unnecesarean for breech 2003. 'nuff about me - CONGRATULATIONS to you & your little one & your family - and THANKS for sharing your journey!!! May your babymoon and confidence in own thoughts and faith last forever. Blessings, FR

Maisie said...

Shaye, all of it is beautiful! I'm jealous that I didn't have home births! My mother birthed 2 of her 4 children at home, I was the second home birth. She chose to have is that way, unfortunately my younger sister was a Cesarean. My mom labored for 2 weeks at home and then realized her heart was telling her something was wrong. Upon arrival at the hospital they made it an Emergency and my sister was attempting to come into the world hip first and the cord wrapped 4 times around the neck. She was my mother's last baby because the c-section destroyed her uterus and caused it to collapse. Home births should be celebrated! If only I had realized I too had a choice. Congrats to you and your beautiful family. Love, Maisie

Lori said...

Shaye I am so happy for your incredible deliverance. With this child you have been freed! Your story is so moving and will be one to share and teach many. God is good and your story is one of HIS greatness - that can never be denied! I can't wait to meet your newest family member.

Jessica Freeman said...

Shaye, how beautiful! I'm glad I finally found the time to read through your long but lovely story. It is really inspiring to read something so glorious, especially as I prepare for my 2nd homebirth (and 3rd birth) next month. I wish you and your family much joy as you grow together. And Amen to questioning society's norms!

Liz in New Zealand said...

What a wonderful story, it was a pleasure to share. well done everyone! I linked to your story from L's blog

K said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm a VBAC mom planning a homebirth this summer. Your story is an encouragement to me. I really appreciate the scripture! Many Blessings on your family.

Deborah said...

I love your triumphant birth story. It is so inspirational. And that little baby boy is just amazingly beautiful! I am so happy for you and your loving family. I hope that you continue to live in peace.

Mimi said...

I loved the birth story. I wept. I laughed. My mother, your Nana, always spoke of the "valley of the shadow of death," how close we are to death as we bring in new life ... and how in that valley, "we fear no evil." What sacrifices mothers are willing to make so that their babies can experience God's world! I am so proud of your Christian faith, my daughter. I am so proud of you and yours, happy to be your mother, humbled that you are carrying on the bloodline with such strength and determination and discipline. Your Nana would be so, so proud.

Jenn Riedy said...

I LOVE your story, so inspiring. Beautiful family as well.

BTW...you don't "need" to wait 6 weeks. ;-) Even my OB for my first 2 births said "when the bleeding stops and you feel ready."

Anna said...

Beautiful and inspirational

Katie said...

Comments: I loved your story. It was a great inspiration to me. I too am working on a VBA2C. I am due Oct 2008 and am currently 29 weeks. We have been through many loop holes and closed doors but I am glad at this because if it wasn't for that I wouldn't be attemping Homebirth. In my state (Nebraska) it is illegal to have a midwife at home, so we are going unassisted. I have been searching for birth stories like yours for motivation and have done countless research on birth in general also.

Thanks for your story!
Katie

Maxine said...

Thanks for sharing, you have a beautiful story, and beautiful pictures. Having 9 homebirths myself I can relate to much of your experiences. Thank the Lord no C's tho. Wish more mothers/families could experience the total awesome of what "Birth" really can be!

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