Doula and mother Courtney Jarecki, along with her midwife Laurie Perron Mednick, are working on an important new book about home births that result in cesareans. While we wait for the book to be available, the authors are publishing an excellent blog of their own which gives us a preview. Some of you may have experienced an unexpectedly difficult birth, and may be able to relate to the stressful impact these births can have on the relationship between a mother and her midwife (or her doula). I am very moved by the goals of the Homebirth Cesarean book, and I also invite you to read the chapter "When Epidurals and Cesareans are Unplanned" in my own book, which addresses related issues. Here is what Ms. Jarecki has to say:
Homebirth Cesarean is a book-in-progress inspired by HBC (Homebirth Cesarean) birth and the way midwives care for these moms. The name Homebirth Cesarean originated as a way for me to distinguish my birth from the existing categories that didn’t apply. I spent nine months preparing for a homebirth, and after 57 hours of home labor, was transported, where my labor culminated in a Cesarean.
When I began discussing my birth with other mothers whose experiences paralleled my own, they quickly understood the distinction, and the ways that language can both empower and set limits around a mother’s ability to tell her story. As this project has unfolded, it has become clear that part of the healing process for these mothers – and for myself – involves our abilities to reframe the story of our births, beginning with the name we give to them.
However shocking it may be, the name Homebirth Cesarean demands attention, invites inquiry, and sets the stage for the telling of our stories. Most importantly, it captures the many qualities and pieces involved in these experiences, and validates the entire process of our birthing; from home labor, to transport, to surgery, to finally holding our newborns.
Homebirths that end in hospital Cesareans are the homebirth community’s dark secret. Our work is focused on providing a platform to discuss these births so that mothers and midwives can regain the power and confidence that can be lost in the process. For mothers, we seek to hold space for them so they can tell their sacred birth stories. For midwives, we seek to provide new opportunities for them to talk to, for, and on behalf of these mothers.
On the HBC blog, you’ll read HBC birth stories, view clips from interviews with midwives, lactation consultants, doctors and others involved in the care of HBC mamas and their babies, and read sample chapters. If you are a HBC mom or birth worker, and you use Facebook, consider joining the “Homebirth Cesarean” Facebook group to share stories and receive support during your own journey.