When I was pregnant with Harper and we were trying to decide where he was going to be born, we asked ourselves, “Why not home?”
It wasn’t because I had something to prove. Or because I hate hospitals or drugs… in fact I spent so much of my childhood longing to go to the hospital.
Instead it was because I am a private person and I liked the idea of having a small intimate team of people who I knew and trusted. I believed going to the hospital meant crossing your fingers and hoping you got a good team, or many good teams, as often women labor through hospital shift changes.
I figured Why Not Home because I was healthy, he was healthy, we live close to a hospital, should we need it… so why not try.
After all, I helped sheep give birth when we were living at the farm. And I watched “The Business of Being Born” and I figured if Ricki Lake could do it, so could I.
And I did.
It was long, hard, messy and terribly painful, thanks to back labor and an 8.15oz baby. But it made me feel strong and proud to be a woman… and the double chocolate milkshake in my own bed was pretty wonderful too.
After having a home birth, I know it is not the best option for everyone. But I was glad that it was an option for me.
And then Number Two came along.
When people asked if I was going to have another home birth, I told them I was going to have a scheduled C-section. I was mostly joking but kind of serious.
My back labor was so bad with Harper, deciding where to have our second child was a very hard decision to make. I talked to lots of people and cried lots of tears over that decision.
It was a hard decision because I had to choose one or the other. It was a hard decision because I live in a community that encourages natural child birth and to admit you want drugs is frowned upon. It was a hard decision because if I chose a home birth, but couldn’t do it then I knew I would have to pay twice… for the midwife and for the hospital.
But ultimately I figured I had done it once, so I could do it again. And so for a second time we said, Why Not Home.
And for a second time, I gave it my best shot at home. But this baby was turned the wrong way and things were not progressing. After 7 hours of very intense back labor pain, I knew I didn’t have what it took to have that baby at home… so I made the decision to go to the hospital.
I do not regret that decision for one second.
We live in a town with a small lovely hospital and the team on duty that day could not have been better. We had two hospital midwives who completely understood our position and supported our vision. But they also gave me the pain relief I needed to make it through labor with a directionally challenged 10.2lbs baby.
Having had two different babies in two different ways… I support the documentary project “Why Not Home.”
“Why not Home” tells the stories of doctors, nurses, and midwives who have attended hundreds of hospital births, yet chose to have their children at home.
They are encouraging an honest dialog about childbirth. They want women to have all the information necessary to decide where to have their baby based on what is best for them and not based on the pressures of their community or based on what is best for their insurance company (Harper’s birth cost $4,500. Alistair’s birth cost over $35,000… we had to pay $10,000.)
I am supporting this documentary because having a baby is hard enough, deciding where to have your baby should not be a hard decision. I want hospitals to support home birth midwives and home birth midwives to support hospitals. For the health of women, babies and our community we all need to work together.
Please visit “Why Not Home” to learn more about the documentary and to find out how you can support the documentary too.
Animal Music at Windrush Farm is back…
And these three talented music teachers would like to sing…
With you and your kids at Windrush Farm this September…
Click here to sign-up.
or copy the link in your address bar: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/761440
Marietta Cellars, born and raised in Healdsburg, California since 1978.
The food, provided by Shed in Healdsburg, and the Front Porch wine were delicious.
To find out more about the talented Choos and their workshops click here: http://www.studiochoo.com/
A couple of months ago I received an email from photographer Freda Banks saying she needed causal, natural portraits for her website that show she is artistic in a friendly and approachable manner.
I had never met Freda, I had only seen her beautiful work online, so when she answered the door looking like this…I was immediately very excited and extremely intimidated.
Very excited… because she wanted me to photograph with film, which is my most favorite way to photograph.
Extremely intimidated… because I always assume every photographer is more talented and knowledgeable than I am. So photographing other photographers means having to wrestle my brain into silent submission, at least enough so I can do the job I was hired to do.
Also extremely intimidated… because Freda is stunningly beautiful with an incredible sense of style, which meant I felt this overwhelming pressure to take the most amazing photos of my life, in order to live up to this fun opportunity to play with film and with beauty.
But because Freda really is artistic in a friendly and approachable manner, it didn’t take us long to feel comfortable with each other, allowing me to silence my overactive brain and focus instead on finding good light. We talked and played and talked and played, and before I knew it, three hours had passed, which is a long time to make one person model, so I reluctantly put away my cameras and we said good-bye.
(All of the above photos were taken with medium format film.)
While I do love film, it was a long painful wait for the film scans to return… luckily I had a few digital files to tide me over until the film scans finally returned.
Digital photography is a wonderful tool and I am so grateful to have it, but when given the opportunity to shoot with film… it is really hard for me to put down the film cameras and pick up the digital ones again.
I just love the sensory experience of photographing with film cameras. I love the sound of the shutter and the crisp, yet ethereal way the world looks through film lenses.
But film is slow, it is expensive and it can be unpredictable. You don’t always know what the results will be like and you have to wait a long time to find out… which for me translates to: exciting and risky (like the hard-to-get, tall cute guy, with big glasses and mismatched socks, who I married.)
Digital is fast, it is inexpensive (if you don’t factor in your editing time and you don’t upgrade your equipment every 9 months) and you know immediately if you got the photo or not… which for me translates to: boring and predictable.
But the advantage of shooting both digital and film is that I get to show a direct comparison between the two and you can decide for yourself which you prefer.
Below are examples of similar photos taken in both digital and film, with no retouching and very minimal color alterations on the digital files…
I admit, it’s a really close call… but film still wins my heart. What do you think?
…but we should have been looking for shoes and a jacket, before we impulsively went looking for love…
Because it wasn’t until we were halfway to the coast that we realized we didn’t have either of those necessary clothing items for Harper on that rainy Northern California Sunday in March.
Luckily his daddy has strong shoulders and his mommy had extra layers to improvise with…
But in the end, our lack of preparedness didn’t matter one bit because, as usual, it all came off anyway…
And I swear, that boy has never run so fast or laughed so hard as he did while scampering half naked through the forest on that muddy trail…
…so I don’t think he suffered one bit… and our mission was accomplished.