My 67-Hour Homebirth Was a Psychedelic Labor of Love

I thought I knew what to expect, but nothing could’ve prepared me for “natural birth.”

Psychadelic pink and purple picture looks blurrily human with light floating above the head
Psychadelic pink and purple picture looks blurrily human with light floating above the head
Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

Toward the end of the movie, there’s a birth scene. She screams for half a second, then the baby’s there. Birth is so easy!

Contractions were rushes, waves crashing, and I could either fight them and be pulled underwater, or I could let myself drift with the current.

Possibly all rite-of-passage rituals come from this one natural (and before modern science, unavoidable) altered state. Is childbirth the original ceremony?

“My cervix is melting away. My cervix is melting away.” Apparently, I’d been repeating “I’m dying I’m dying I’m dying,” so they gave me this new mantra.

People talk about birth being painful, and it is — oh, it really, really is — but the challenge isn’t just to cope with pain; it’s to use every ounce of strength and willpower, to think you have nothing left but to somehow find more, and more.

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Charles and I in the birth tub. Image credit: midwife Melanie Dickson
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Brand new. Image credit: Author
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Even our dog’s exhausted. Image credit: Author
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My favorite photo ever. Image credit: my husband Charles Reeder

I’d felt her moving in me for so many months, then felt her dancing her way out, felt her hairy little head for hours — she was present with me for so long that she didn’t feel new at all.

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Adventuring together. Image credit: my husband Charles Reeder

Written by

Empathy for the win! Published in Gen, Human Parts, Heated, Tenderly —Feminism, Sexuality, Veganism, Anti-Racism, Parenting. She/They darcyreeder.substack.com

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