Unassisted Childbirth (UC) is a birth that takes place outside of the presence of a medical professional. In one form, the mother is not assisted at all by any person during her labor and birth. She may prefer to labor alone (perhaps there are others in the room with her, but they only sit nearby totally hands-off, offering verbal suggestions or moral support if needed). She then births the baby into her own hands. Another form of UC is where the mother is comforted or “assisted” by her husband or another friend who is not a trained professional. They may help her move to a new position, offer helpful suggestions, massage,
etc… much as a doula would do. They may also be in a position to catch the baby if the mother wishes.
We like having daddy catch his baby. For one thing, he DID participate in the making of the baby. I got to spend the prior nine-plus months carrying it, so its only fair to share some of the joy, right!? For another thing, I get so involved during transition and pushing that even
in the births where we had every intention of having ME catch the baby, I ended up assuming a position too comfortable to move from, so he got to catch again anyway.
I had my first two babies in a hospital. We didn’t video them nor our first two UCs (I did get some nice photographs, though!). In this video, you will see three births, plus the activity and clean-up after a birth that was so fast, we didn’t get a chance to catch it on video. As a bonus, we’ve included a segment of us making a belly cast of my ninth pregnant belly.
The first birth is our fifth baby, Nathan (10 lbs 8 oz.). He was our third UC. The next birth is Abigail (8 lbs. 13 oz), our sixth baby. She was a water labor and birth. Then we have the aftercare of our seventh baby, Kenny’s (8 lbs. 12 oz) quick arrival. We did not video our eighth birth (Charles – 10 lbs. 14 oz.) at all for some reason. It just didn’t occur to me to arrange for that. It was a family birth, no outside people were there. Then we have our ninth baby, Reuben (10 lbs 1 oz .), tacked on the end. He arrived in April 6, 2002, which was after we had started putting this video together, so he was not even mentioned in the beginning narration.
Review by Laura Kaplan Shanley, author of Unassisted Childbirth –
“I’ve often told people, if you want to make my day, send me a UC video. Perhaps I love watching them because at 45, it might be the closest I come to experiencing another birth first hand. Or maybe it’s because I’ve watched too many episodes of “A Baby Story” and need to know there truly are people out there who ‘get it.’ Or maybe it’s simply because watching a baby enter the world unhindered touches my soul in an almost indescribable way. Whatever it is, UC videos are a joy to behold, and unfortunately, they are few and far between.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to watch not one, but three UC’s, plus after-the-birth footage of a fourth baby who arrived too quickly to capture the birth on tape. Charity and Scott Gregson have just released “Shared Intimacy: Birth at Home – The Husband/Wife Way,” an hour-and-a-half long video that also includes footage of a baby dedication at the Gregson’s church, and a segment on making a belly cast. Charity provides the narration for the video and gives interesting insights into each of the births, as beautiful music plays in the background. While Scott is a bit more hands-on than most husbands I’ve seen in UC videos (he occasionally checks dilation, and uses a hand-held Doppler several times during labor) he generally stays out of the way and only provides support when asked. The babies – who are all quite large (at least compared to mine) – are born into his hands. Two of the babies are over ten pounds, yet Charity does not tear with any of them, and there are no complications. One of the babies is born in water.
I’ve watched the video twice now and cried both times. As I told Charity, it almost made me want to have another baby! I’m thankful to the Gregsons for sharing this intimate part of their life and know it will help many couples to make their own dreams of a husband/wife birth come true.”
|“It was amazing. You are obviously the best home birth mom! The music added such serenity and peace to an already obviously relaxed way of birthing. I think if I planned a UC or knew someone that was planning their first, I would tell them this video is a must see!” ~Kendra of Dalai Mama – Your Birth Guru|
|“I LOVED the video!! It was so neat to see you “in action” and to see how different all your births have been. And it was comforting to me to see someone I respect so much in the area of birthing do some hollering too, LOL! You were so glowing from getting that baby girl! It was so neat how you could not stop kissing her…I got all choked up, too. I really enjoyed it and thanks so much for your generosity in sharing it.” ~Kathleen- mother of 6|