Photos © Erja Lempinen www.lempinen.se
The mother's story:
“When I got pregnant for the first time, I knew I did not want to give birth in a hospital. The few times I had been there, I felt unsure, lost and very small. I realized that when I would give birth to my child, I should feel strong and confident. But where would I give birth if not in a hospital? At that time I had no idea that there were other options. But during the pregnancy I came in contact with several women who gave birth at home, and that opened a new door for me.
What I remember clearly from my first birth is the fire crackling in the fireplace; my close friends by my side, also radiating warmth; love in my husband's eyes when he looked at me and our midwife who spread her calmness throughout the room. I remember that in the beginning I was completely focused on myself, my pain and the fear to feel more pain. But, suddenly, I realized that I was about to give birth to a new person! I was part of that wonder, the greatest of all: give life! That realization changed everything. I opened my heart and soon our son was born.
A few years later, I was expecting a child again. The certainty of being again the creator of a new life was now completely there for me from the beginning. I prepared our living room and adorned it. It was there that I decided that I would give birth to my child. With each contraction, I thought that instead of contracting, I opened myself. I was surrounded by my husband, my son, my friends and the midwife. But mostly I felt in touch with my daughter in the womb. We worked together, she wanted to come out and I opened myself to receive her.
I prepared a hot bath for me to relax. And there I remained until she was born! I stuck my fingers in the vagina and felt her little head. There we were completely alone, she and I, and candles liting up the bathtub.
My births have been the most amazing experiences of my life. At those times I experienced what is to be completely present in the moment and at the same time in close contact with all the women in history who created and brought forth life. I myself have given birth to my children, I have felt myself strong and in touch with my animal part. And I've grown as a woman.”