whispering about shouting

As I waited for Clark (who did not yet have a name) I found myself struggling to prepare for such a wild unknown thing. I knew that no matter how tight my eyes were closed that I couldn't possibly imagine how it would feel to labor, give birth, or hold my own baby.  I supposed that it would be like getting drunk or entering zero gravity or something physiologically magical like that.  I supposed correctly.  Magical.

As I waited for Alice (who had had the name Alice since before she was conceived) I challenged and prepared myself to do what I had not done during my first birth -- labor without drugs of any kind.  I had had loads of Pitocin with Clark and also an epidural which caused low blood pressure and I couldn't stand up or feel my legs for two days and at one point Clark's heartrate was crashing from all the drugs, and the physical experience left me feeling like a trainwreck.  A happy trainwreck, but a trainwreck nonetheless.  I knew I didn't want to do the trainwreck part again.  I supposed that natural childbirth was going to feel like jumping from an airplane or running a marathon or something magical like that.  I supposed correctly.  Magical again.

I have spent the last 35 weeks waiting to meet this new baby (who only maybe has a name but we aren't entirely sure -- do you have any good boy name suggestions?) and I am preparing, again, to do something I've never done before.  I am preparing to have my baby at home.  I have researched and read, I've listened to my head and listened to my heart and compared the costs and factored in the distance to the hospital and hired a certified nurse midwife with thousands of births under her belt and rented a tub and made a space in my bedroom where we will be setting it up.  We are doing this thing.  I suppose it's going to be like a peaceful earthquake or a lucid dream or the best Thanksgiving dinner.  We'll see.  In five weeks, we will see.


I've been hesitating to share about my birth plans here, and I'm not totally sure why, but I know that at least part of it is that I do not want negative comments.  So pretty please, keep it positive.  At least to my face.  And if you are an experienced homebirth mom, I would love any advice or tips you have!



  1. I don't know what to say other than, this is absolutelyfantasticallywonderful.


    ask away. You know I'm here!

    PS I'll be in town the weekend of Aug 21.

    PPS boy names: I could see you with a Max, George, Ralph, Harry, Keaton, Quinn...

  2. This is awesome. Your are awesome. I bet your birth experience is going to be exactly as you described, but better...pure magic.

    Boy Names for you: Grant, Andrew, Jack, Harry, Oliver.

    P.S. We are considering a home birth for baby #3 too. :)


  3. Also, I am trying to think of resources for you regarding home birth. For me, I honestly just took in absolutely everything my midwife said and did. I really followed her directions and am so glad. I wish so hard she was still here so I could talk to her still.

    Have you seen The Business of Being Born? That was a helpful movie to show to family so that they would understand our wishes (it's not only about homebirth, but got the message across...) I have a copy if you'd like to borry.

    Also, the book Having A Baby, Naturally (and Mothering Magazine) was a good resource in my last two pregnancies and births.

    Definitely do the red raspberry leaf and liquid chlorophyll (and if your midwife doesn't already prescribe those, ask her about it!)

    I recommend waiting to cut the umbilical cord until it's done pulsating/time to birth your placenta.

    Oh, and think about what you want to do with the placenta. We still have Ivy's because I wanted to plant it maybe? I just didn't want to throw it away. It's in our garage freezer. :)


  4. Just wanted to send my love and support re homebirth. I live in the UK and my local hospital is one of the dirtiest in the country :( When I was in there last I wrote my name in the grime on my bedside table. I am terrified of my baby catching MRSA or the winter sickness virus yet people say I am putting my baby at risk by having a home birth?

    I think having a home birth will be the most magical and empowering experience, I will be following your journey. :)

  5. I'm planning a home birth and I wish you the best. I look forward to reading about your experience, if you decide to post about it. I'm at about 20 weeks now and I too have done a lot of reading, but I know I'm ultimately not really going to know how it's going to go until I'm there. But, being that it's also my first baby, this is all new territory to me.
    Good luck to you!

  6. wow! that is an amazing birth plan! I know I couldn't do it, but I am eager to hear how yours goes! How exciting!

  7. That is sooo great! I am pregnant with my first and live in Illinois where it is illegal to have a home birth with a certified midwife, so I will be at the hospital trying to have the most natural birth possible.
    Good Luck to you!
    p.s. my mother-in-law gave birth to 5 at home, and I say if she can do it anybody can. :)

  8. Erin that is an amazing birth plan!!! Best of luck to you and your soon-to-be-baby :) I can't wait to hear all about it!

  9. This is wonderful, Erin!
    I had planned a homebirth with Otto but then Cory lost his job & we couldn't afford it. I did do a natural hospital birth with a midwife though. (such things do exist in some places.)
    It will be beautiful and peaceful! I just know it. <3
    No name suggestions here though. Unless you like old man names like Henry and Francis. (I'm an odd duck.)

  10. i'm so, so happy & excited for you! it will be wonderful. wonderfully magical...i'm sure of it!

    max, luke, andrew, mason

  11. Oh Erin how exciting, I can't wait to hear all about it. I'll be praying for you ;)
    So funny, our favorite boy names are similar to Stephanies. I lean toward old fashioned names!
    Oliver, Elliot, Grant, Henry & Jack ;)
    Here are some of the girls names my friends have chosen for their babies recently and they are so cute ;)
    Pearl, Ruby, Mable, Stella, Judea, Eve & Adeline, with the nickname "Addie" love it!

    Praying for a happy and healthy baby and Momma. Can't wait to see pics of your little bundle very soon ;)

  12. I think it's fabulous. But that doesn't matter because it's what makes you feel fabulous that matters most. Best of wishes to you and your family!

    Of old school names, I like Charlie, not Charles, just Charlie. Though others' suggestions of Grant and Oliver are nice too.

  13. I love the idea of home birth! Good luck to you, I'm sure you'll be happy you did it.

  14. My hat's off to all the homebirthing moms. Wishing you all the best when the time comes.

    Regarding names? Our Mr. Baby is still very much nameless. He might be named Popsicle, Strawberry, or Elmo if we let Beatrix do the job. If you want to use one of these names, you have my blessing.

    Some of the names the other commenters have suggested are on our list.

  15. I never gave birth at home, but I did give birth four times. It seems a perfectly natural thing to me.

    You know, I don't usually go for the name Max, but...

    Clark, Alice and Max has quite a ring to it!

  16. Having said that, sometimes you don't know who someone is until you meet them. You know?

    Maybe he will introduce himself.

  17. So excited for you, Erin. :)

    Here are two bits of advice:

    1. Have someone at the birth whose only job is to tend to Clark and Alice. Maybe even one adult for each of them. Even if it's the middle of the night, if the kids wake up they're going to need someone, and you can't be worrying about their needs while you're in labor. And you're not going to want your husband stepping away, I would think. If it's the day time, you could even have them get the kids out of the house, and then bring them in to meet their baby when the time is right.

    2. Since you won't be 'coming home from the hospital' and you'll be home from the start, you don't get that window where people know to keep their meet-the-baby visits short because you're still in the hospital. When people come and you're at home, sometimes you all fall into the habit of expecting you to be hostess. YOU ARE NOT A HOSTESS FOR NEW BABY VISITS. Be sure to set some clear boundaries (that you and hubby are clear on from the start!) to limit visitors and length of visits. One tip from my midwife that I loved -- stay in your robe for a few days(get a cute one) :) because it sends the message that you are not back at it -- you're resting and recovering and healing from birth. Just plop yourself down on the couch and let everyone take care of you just the way you'd be taken care of in the hospital. It can be too easy to jump back into life as usual if you're at home (especially when you have 2 other kids running around), but really just take it easy and allow yourself to be waited on at home.

    I'm sure there are more things to think of, but those are my two tips for now. :) Love love love homebirth. (Although I loved my birth center birth, too.)

    xoxo best to you!


  18. Oh yeah. What Steph said about the placenta. I had two placentas in my freezer FOREVER. And most of my homebirth friends did, too. (We finally buried them under our father's day rosebushes last year!) Definitely have your midwife show it to you before you wrap it up to freeze (or whatever you will do with it -- you can't legally throw it out though, because it would be considered 'medical waste' or something) because they are so incredibly cool to look at.

  19. i'm so stoked for you! and i don't know that your comparisons could be anymore fantastic- THANKSGIVING DINNER!? (amazing.)

    you can do it and you are going to feel like a superhero when you're done. not because it'll be super-humanly hard, but because most people get more relaxed with each consecutive birth. but YOU did the awesomer thing. (awesomer.)

    can't wait!

  20. wait, i didn't mean more relaxed. i meant more LAX. you'll be relaxed.


  21. Yay! I'm so glad, and I can't wait to find out how it all goes and to see pics of that beautiful baby's face!
    Love your comparisons. Somehow a peaceful earthquake seems perfect. :) Stephan sticks to the jumping out of an airplane comparison....something he's actually done about a kajillion times. I like the peaceful earthquake notion much better.
    And, boy names!!! Oh, my stars. We are still struggling to agree on those. I love the names Elisha, Isaac, and Isaiah. Do you sense a theme? Stephan hates them though. Sadness. I never thought naming a baby could be so difficult. Good luck to you!

  22. Boy names... Thatcher, Archer, August, Harrison, Dashiell, Rowan, Beckham.

    Home birth=awesome. I'm so excited to hear about it!

    Do you read Mothering Mag├ązine, or visit their website? I highly recommend it :)

  23. it IS going to be magically awesome. i am so so excited for you!! i cannot WAIT to hear the story. the advice you've received so far has been amazing.

  24. After going into transition in the car, I am jealous of this homebirth idea. So excited for you!

  25. It's all thrilling!

    Bob suggests: Luke, Darth, or Yoda

  26. hmmm..and for boy names that fit with Clark and Alice....how about Jasper? Emmet? I also vote Grant. Had an old boyfriend named Grant. Super charming.

    Gabe? Royal? My friend's FIL is King.

    I'll keep thinking. :)

    p.s. My Owen's middle name is Ralph, which I saw on Steph's list. :) Love it.

  27. Whatever name you choose for this boy will be so perfect, I just know it.

    My advice? Have a shower curtain ready to lay down, just in case it goes really, really fast.;)

  28. Congratulations - so exciting!
    I wanted to have a homebirth with #2 but my husband was just not onboard - so had another unmedicated birth center birth instead. But I'm cheering from over here, even though I'm a stranger.
    What fabulous boy names everybody has mentioned!

  29. YOu brillant, brave, thoughtful woman. May you have a fantastic birth that is all that you want it to be AND more. Have you picked up a copy of hypno birthing? Fast read and some really nice ways to think about labor.

    Since you have an "A" and a "C", maybe you need a "B" name. What about Boysen or Bradley.

  30. Well, I think you are awesome. I love Steph's home birth story and just read another very cool one the other day...and I hope it's an absolutely amazing experience for you.
    I thought you had decided on a name? I love Calvin, Jude, Quintin, but I know you will think of something really wonderful. Thanks for sharing Erin :)

  31. i can't believe you are already 35 weeks! ahhh! your beautiful baby boy will be here soon and i can't wait to hear about his entrance. i totally look up to you for having him at home. what a magical experience you will have!

    and names? i see max has been suggested a couple of times, i really like that for you or him or whatever. you know. :) of course, with our family so big, it is hard to find a name that hasn't already been used. our boy pick was going to be nolan. :)

  32. Oh I'm so excited for you! My last two sons were home water births, and Mabel was born at home. Just so magical. Your descriptions are perfection.

    You've gotten such great advice, and you've likely already purchased all your supplies. After my first homebirth I remember thinking it was just the most amazing thing to me that a few minutes after my baby was born, I was in my own bed, sitting around with the midwife and my hubby and we were eating bagels and cream cheese. It was almost too good to be true.

    I really am so thrilled for you because yes, you will feel like a superhero. You will feel like you can do ANYTHING after this. And you'll be right.


  33. I am incredibly impressed. I personally don't think I could ever be so brave as to have a baby outside a hospital with all the lovely painkillers - which is kind of weird considering my epidurals only worked 1 out of 3 times, but whatever. I'm proud of you and can't wait to hear about your experience and see that gorgeous baby!

  34. Good for you, for following your heart. I'm sure it'll be magical and wonderful and all you hope it'll be.

    Good luck with the name choosing! We had a hard time with number three because everything I liked, he didn't and vise versa.


  35. Have you seen this great resource for home birth? http://womantowomancbe.wordpress.com/

  36. So happy for you. I think the best pieces of homebirth advice I have are:
    *Relax. If you find your labor slowing down (when it's in full swing), kick everyone else out except those you feel completely comfortable with. You can stop labor by simply chatting with a midwife, worrying about your child, or worrying about the birth.
    *Visualization worked really really well for me this time. I'd intended on meditating...but didn't prepare for that in advance. Who has time to meditate with two toddlers?
    *Trust yourself. I was going to add your provider too...but when it comes down to it, really trust your intuition. Your body and heart will guide you.
    Good luck to you!

  37. Awesome! Home birth shouldn't be something to hide. I have many, many friends who have all loved it. In fact, I have never heard a negative thing firsthand.

    Choosing your providers very carefully is the most important thing (for birthing anywhere really). You need someone 'in tune' with your plans, and someone who makes you relax. I had three 100% natural hospital births in three different countries. We always brought our birth ball - love that thing!

    You can do it!!

  38. exciting! i labored with midwives, but at the hospital. home should be nice, tho:)

    no real tips, but i love earth mama angel baby's new mama bottom spray for tears/stitches. it is amazing.

    i love me some biblical names: asa, ephraim, noah, ezra, isaiah, luke, judah, james, and i'm not even kidding, ebenezer (eben) cuz i love the meaning:)

    grace and peace and lots of rest:)

  39. Just wanted to say I am jealous! Our state's new midwifery laws just went into effect July 1. I am due July 24. Not enough time to do a homebirth.

    Names we liked (but didn't pick)-Seren, Isaac, Ari,

  40. So, it probably looks like I ignored this post because I wrote about your homebirth in the card I was going to give you last weekend...then couldn't make it to see you :( Anyway, I think your homebirth plans sound very exciting and brave and responsible :) I can't wait to hear all about it and meet baby boy. For the record, I like the name Edison. So much that Michael and I had a very serious conversation about changing Evan's name last weekend.
    But we aren't going to.

  41. *big grin*

    Absolutely thrilled for you! You've gotten tons of great advice and WONDERFUL name suggestions (loving Oliver). I so look forward already to your home birth story!

    (And yes, do you subscribe to Mothering? I think you would like it.)

  42. That is awesome! I'm getting ready to have my first baby (any day now!!!!!), and I'm planning on a natural childbirth. I understand the fear of talking about it because I've had tons of negative comments just about that! I've been reading and watching videos, and my husband and I have been discussing the possibility of having a home birth for our future children. I can't wait to hear about how it goes, and I'm sure it will be absolutely wonderful! Best of luck!

  43. homebirth rocks.
    nuff said.

    my favorite suggested is Grant, and I think that goes so well with Clark & Alice...


  44. Hello my dear. I agree with Steph (of adventures in babywearing). I'm very happy for you. Everybody has to choose for themselves what is best for their family. My first labor was very much like you described with your little man - the labor was not awesome, but the magical part for me had to do with actually seeing and kissing and loving on my baby for the first time. My second was in a birthing center where by chance on an Easter Sunday morning I was blessed with the loving hands of three amazing midwives who spoiled me and made that birth so special and memorable and wonderful. My third was with one of those midwives but done at a hospital and was still wonderful and magical and calm and peaceful (it was done at a hospital because the birthing center could no longer afford the insurance costs - though in the end I think this was the best for us because my husband was a nervous wreck about having a baby not in a hospital - he was raised by an NICU nurse who thinks the only things that should be delivered outside of a hospital are food services and so on, but he's growing in his confidence after two successful and wonderful births).

    We've since moved away from those midwives (sniff... sniff... sniffle... wipe away tears...) and are expecting baby number four in a matter of eleven weeks or so... Eeek! I was happy to find another midwives who deliver at a hospital (though it is on a completely different floor from maternity and is very much like the birthing center from our second's birth) out here in San Diego. I am hopeful that all will be well. I can tell you, that while having our second at the birthing center was wonderful, going straight home was not really in the cards for me. It takes me (physically - due to blood issues) a good two days or so of complete rest (outside of nursing really) to really be able to function/breathe/walk around like a normal person again after labor. I don't lose a lot of blood during labor, but afterward I'm a mess. So being at the hospital and receiving care from nurses seems wisest to me for our family.

    You will be in my prayers. One of my best friends who I admire and love very much has had SIX children at home and has always loved it and lived to have another ;) I am confident that you will love it, too.

    My suggestions for names involves a bit of info from you... Which superhero powers are you hoping your next boy will have??? Hee hee.

  45. How wonderful! I just found your blog from a tweet that Lovelyn sent on Twitter.
    Anyway, you're having (or planning for at least) a home birth!
    That is amazing, wonderful, exciting, fantastic!
    I had 2 home births and I myself was born at home (as were my sister and one of my brothers).
    Both my experiences were so amazingly positive but so very different.
    I was blessed with relatively easy births and am so happy I stuck with my decision to have my babies at home.
    My friend has also had 2 home births but hers were not so easy. In fact, they were very difficult but she regrets NOTHING. She is so happy with her choice to labour at home in the comfort of her own space.
    So be encouraged! You CAN do this.
    I will be following your story and stories to come! :D
    (Oh my 2nd home birth story is here: http://judesjournals.blogspot.com/2009/08/birth-story.html)