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Au Naturale

October 16, 2012

Do you know who this woman is? This sweet-appearing lady was the bone of contention in our house recently. You see, Ina May Gaskin is the number one midwife in the country. And part of me (a really big part) wanted her (or one of the midwives on her farm—yes, farm) to deliver our daughter next month (or whenever she decides to make her appearance).

But, the second you mention the thought has crossed your mind to deliver a baby on a farm in the middle of Tennessee with the closest hospital an hour away folks start to freak out. Or just get real quiet, secretly thinking you’ve gone mad from hormones. I’ve been interested in Ms. Gaskin’s story since I saw her profiled here back in May. Realistically, I cannot see myself holed up in a cabin in the middle-of-nowhere Tennessee while I twiddle my thumbs and wait for the main event, but bringing a baby into this world in such an amazingly spiritual and pure way sounds absolutely magical to me. A stark contrast to the Pitocin, epidural, and episiotomy nightmares I’ve plugged my ears to as countless friends recount their own baby’s birth stories. The second the conversation turns to water breaking (and way worse descriptions), I’m usually out the door with my tires squealing.

I don’t expect birthing a child to be a jolly good time over pints of beer while watching a puppy play with a piece of string until it passes out from sheer excitement, but I do believe that through the pain (that our bodies are made to go through) there is a beautiful part to all this beyond the prize at the end. For me, it’d be wonderful to experience this next phase of my life the most natural and holistic way possible.

My husband and I are a good team when it comes to compromise. We’ve met in the middle between his IV-drip hospital scenario with every heartbeat closely monitored and my vision of a sacred birth with stars twinkling in the night sky only enhanced by spirited chants of kumbaya, a birthing playlist that would make Joan Baez proud, and ridiculously over-priced sage and lavender candles that’ll burn for days.

But, there was a good while we thought each other bat-shite crazy and wished good luck to our unborn child for having to get stuck with the other one. Ultimately, the best fit for us was having the baby at a hospital with a doctor and doula we both completely trust helping guide the way. Though, that’s not saying things won’t still get a bit primal in there. Here’s to the best laid plans.

Image: Courtesy of