Often it's fear that separates those who want birth at home or in the hospital. The fear that hospitals and some doctors seem to perpetuate. There are other factors, of course. For some birthing at home just isn't an option. But for others, it's an option they didn't even realize possible. That's what happened to Erica Bovino. She was home with her 3-year-old son Jack asleep in his bedroom and she was having contractions. Her husband, Paul Sulzicki, was on his way home from work. Erica called him after her water broke and she realized there wasn't time for her to get to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
The baby was ready to be born. She was going to have to do this alone -- she was going to have an unassisted, unexpected home birth in her bathroom.
There was no time for fear. Instinct took over. Bovino said:
I was quiet and went inside myself. If I let fear overtake me, things could have turned out worse. If I freaked out for one second, I couldn’t have done that, I think.
She credits some meditation-like calming exercises for getting her through it. She caught her baby daughter Stella as she was born and held her up. Baby Stella opened her eyes at her mama and Erica knew she was okay. Moments later Paul -- super proud dad and husband -- walked in hearing his wife saying, "Okay, baby."
The paramedics arrived shortly after to take mama and baby to hospital to make sure all was fine and it was.
Home birth stories like Erica's are inspiring. We have to quiet the fear, the naysayers, the alarmists. We need to trust ourselves to birth our babies because it's what our bodies are uniquely qualified to do. Erica shared:
I always wanted to do a home birth. I thought I’d have women around me, or my husband. Everyone’s so fearful of it. The woman’s body is meant to do it. Women have gotten so far from trusting their bodies. Women are talked out of trusting themselves. Hopefully, it’s an inspiration to other women to trust themselves. I just wanted to be that voice for women.
You certainly are, Erica.
Does hearing this story make you fear birth less?
Image via Francesco/Flickr