Photos © Erja Lempinen www.lempinen.se
The mother's story:
“Normally, I am a cautious person, afraid of pain and accidents and extremely uncomfortable with hospitals and doctors.
Before I would give birth to my first child, I had been involved in two home births with good old friends and experienced as well pain and drama (in the form of a prolonged birth struggle with happy end) as stunning presence and love. Both birthing processes touched me so much that I felt sure I also wanted to give birth at home.
This despite the fact that midwives and doctors at maternity care warned me that I was both too old (35 years), pregnant for the first time and lived too far from the hospital. It was irresponsible of me, they said. Still, I felt it was the most responsible thing I could do for my child. Also, I had my homebirth-friends and a midwife/friend, and all of them wanted to be there to support me.
It was a sunny afternoon when they came in a car full of good food and babies and in the middle of my labor – I was already open then – we had a party in the garden. At some moments, it felt important that it was just my husband and I, but at the end I felt that it was wonderful and important that everyone was there, both as physical support to hang on and as encouraging cheerleaders. Fearful as I’m for pain, I don’t think I would have made it in the hospital without anesthesia.
At last I was lying on a mattress on the floor with my newborn daughter in my arms, her father close, fire burning in the tile stove and celebrating with champagne together with close friends. They arranged everything beautifully, prepared nice food and took care of us in every way. They were there even the next morning and I could just be with my little girl.
Therefore, I didn’t hesitate at all when I would give birth to my next child. This time we chose to be on our own with my midwife-friend. I was less afraid and could cooperate with my body in a new way. I really felt that it was me who did the job and I was able to influence the process. My second daughter was born in the bathtub while the apple trees were in full bloom in the garden.”