Actress (and Susan Sarandon's daughter) Eva Amurri Martino recently documented her choice to undergo a home birth with her newborn son, Major James.
Posting many intimate pictures and describing her emotions throughout the process on her blog Happily Eva After, she called it the best day of her life, despite the obvious pain she was feeling throughout labor.
“Major James was born. I still can’t believe it’s been a week since the (other) best day of my life,” Eva wrote. “I’ve been waiting for a quiet moment to write his Birth Story, but wanted to do it as quickly as possible, since I learned from my postpartum with Marlowe that the further it gets from you the hazier your memory becomes. And I can honestly say that I want to remember this experience forever– every single intense, life-affirming moment. I’m sharing the story of his birth and some photographs (WARNING: I know birth photos aren’t everyone’s cup of tea) because it was such a loving, joyful, challenging, and life-changing experience and I think that normalizing birth and the staggering beauty of it can only be a good thing.”
She goes on to say that she had been feeling disconnected from her husband Kyle and that she was feeling exhausted right before her contractions started.
“The night before Major was born, the atmosphere in the house was emotionally dissonant. Kyle and I were kind of snapping at each other, both exhausted, and things were just feeling very tense between us and in the air in general. As we got ready for bed I felt like I wanted to cry. There were so many emotions coursing through me (and SO many hormones) and the truth of the matter was that I just wasn’t feeling close to my husband. I felt like we were two ships passing in the night, and as anybody who has gone through labor will tell you– that is NOT the type of feeling you want to have as you prepare to welcome a baby with someone. In bed, we finally hashed things out. It turned out that we both had stresses and feelings about everything that was about to happen, and we really hadn’t talked about them. We were both feeling anxious and we needed to get on the same page. After talking through it all for a while, and some tears (mine, as per usual), things felt so much better. We were finally understanding each other. I hugged my husband and felt truly connected with him for the first time in probably weeks.”
“After hearing that my labor was progressing so quickly, I got a burst of energy. It’s as if my fears got totally swept away, and I realized for the first time that this was a different birth, a different experience, and a different baby. I looked out at the gorgeous, sunny day. Kyle had opened a window next to the bed to let some fresh air in, and a breeze blew through on my face. I was ready to do this. For the next hour, the most intense contractions I’ve ever felt rocked my body. Kyle, my Doula, and the Midwives all took turns holding me and encouraging me. Every time the waves would come, I would lift up on to my hands and knees and let out deep guttural moans, rocking back and forth. My Midwife kept reminding me to keep the sounds low and grounded. Kyle kept telling me to think the word ‘Yes’ as I rode the waves of my body opening and releasing, to accept this openness and to call Major down. ‘Come On, Major!’ I cried as I pushed my head in to the pillow.”
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