Home/Birth: A Poemic was not a book I thought I would enjoy. This was handed to me by my oldest friend over a plate of pancakes in an IHOP. She is a poet. I use the left side of my brain way too much. She proved me wrong, again! This book scratched so many different itches; my doula itch, my homebirth itch, my childbirth educator itch, my mama itch. Are you itching to read it yet? Don't take my word for it here is what my friend has to say.
The writers weave together reflections on their own birthing experiences and those of their mothers with other women's birth stories, as well as facts about birthing in America today, quotes from classic natural childbirth texts, the history of childbirth in the US and much more. It's a truly insightful look at how women birth and how it impacts our whole lives, our relationships with our children and beyond. The most striking thing about it is how they manage to be both passionate in their belief that most women would do better to birth at home and yet not off-putting to someone who would make a different decision. Both women also suffered from lost pregnancies/stillbirth and they also write about how much death and loss are a part of pregnancy and childbirth.
And it's lovely, too, very poetic even with all it includes. There are questions and phrases that they come back to again and again throughout the book, such as, Who are the villains here? ("Is the epidural the villain here?... Is pitocin the villain here?... Is the culture that fears birth the villain here?") and the idea of needing to talk ("We need to talk about it: sometimes babies die... We have hardly begun to talk about our mothers... We haven't even begun talking about how it is in the rest of the world...").
I definitely cried a lot reading this book, but it was more helpful than any childbirth book I read during my first pregnancy--not just more information and more stories, though that was great, but I actually feel somehow almost cleansed of fear and anxiety as I head into the last trimester of my second pregnancy."
Who doesn't deserve a little cleansing right before a beautiful birth?