Home Birth: The Greatest Show on Earth
For 3 weeks my wife, Lea-Ann, and I were on high alert for the home birth of our third child. I tiptoed on eggshells the entire time. Every time my phone buzzed, I thought the baby was coming!
On November 7, our home birth finally happened!
My weightlifting, pregnant wife, who was featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN and The London Daily Mail for being a super-fit mom, messaged, “It’s time.”
“Oh shit! I’ll be there in 4 minutes,” I text back from the TPC bunker.
Time to meet my daughter…For 9 months, I insisted it was a girl, “intuitively.” I was right about Lily and Blair, so I knew I was gonna be right again…
I was home in 3 minutes flat. One look at Lea-Ann bearing through another contraction, I knew it was go time for the home birth.
“The midwives are on the way right!?” I asked in a near panic…
“SHHHHSHHH…Yes. Get the tub ready,” she blurted out.
“Kids are about to have a sister!” I affirmed.
I yanked out the hose and adapter, air pump, tub, and slip cover. I left a sloppy trail of water down the hall – from my test run a few weeks earlier…Pregnancy gets me nervous.
I’m only a chemist – not a midwife, not a doctor, not a doula, not an anything associated with making a child.
As a student of measurable and predictable outcomes, I examine all things relentlessly and intently. I leave nothing to my imagination and follow everything down to its simplest form. I probe until I can define the mystery, with simplicity, that baffles others. But only with chemical reactions and medicine.
Pregnancy keeps me in a constant state of bewilderment. The entire process is like an algebraic equation that you can only follow for so long before you get lost in its complexity. Therefore, my philosophy is to not interfere.
The tub was ready in seconds. I hung towels neatly over the edge. Organic, Egyptian cotton sheets awaited mom post-birth.
Midwives knocked on the door.
At the same time, I got confirmation that my plan for getting the kids from school was in effect! Thank you, Cristabel.
Seeds, nuts and Zevia Natural Soda were set out in the kitchen waiting to appease their hunger…
By 3:00pm, the entire family and midwives were circled around the pool like it was a campfire. Lea-Ann was sitting warmly in my 99.9 degree F tub.
Contractions were 3 minutes apart.
I gave Lily and Blair a nod of confidence to let them know mom was gonna rock the home birth. The midwife gave us all a few simple instructions. They carried the same underlying message: Don’t freak out.
Then time stopped.
One minute I was soothing the kids, the next I was ready to jump in the tub to hold baby’s head as it transitioned into our world. Then in another frame, our baby was stuck to Lea-Ann’s chest like flung paint.
I froze, waiting to hear a victory cry…
At first glance, I was sure we had already met, on an emotional level. I felt like I was home. It was like a memory that’s felt, not remembered. Our newborn was all of us, in one.
A cough came, then a cry followed.
I don’t know what a newborn can or can’t see. But, I do know that once the crying started, our new baby looked up at mom and calmed instantly – mom was instinctively safe and familiar.
It was 3:44pm.
At 3:46pm I learned that I was wrong about having a girl.
The kids had a new brother!
Skyler Kyle Ellison was 7 lbs 3 oz.
Blair, my 8 year old son, said the tub looked like a shark attack.
Pregnancy is unmerited sacrifice.
Only the strongest women can do it with grace and I’ve had the privilege of seeing my wife do it three times.
For 9 months, they break their heart, their brain, and their backs to get to the final moment, where they still have to yield a Herculean effort to give life, the way nature intended.
Their body is simple yet behaves in complex ways we have yet to understand. It’s made only from 6 elements of the periodic table…Together, they make our DNA, which conveys instructions for chemical reactions that create skin, lungs, a cage of ribs for protection, a placenta, umbilical cord and everything else that makes up a human being in only 9 months. Every fiber of moms muscle is directed to this one single moment of delivering the baby, safely.
During birth, Mom’s body becomes the baby’s. And if nature has to choose who survives, it usually picks baby. So too if mom had her choice. Most take this for granted…
On a whole, we’ve been severed from the birthing process by Western medicine. Cold sterile hallways and dictator-like doctors have made a business out of yanking babies out of wombs, while families are left in waiting rooms. Like having a monopoly on life, we’ve been removed from the greatest show on Earth. Meanwhile, home births are as old as air and remain the safest practice for mom and baby.
My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.