EDITION: February - April 2010

HOMEBIRTH

Uta Horstmann
From the belly out into the world, from water to air, the first big journey...















A small human being is born. What could be more beautiful than seeing your baby for the first time, holding it in your arms and feeling it’s soft skin? As parents we can welcome this newly arrived, sensitive being entrusted to us.

Most babies in Europe are born in clinics. Often the first light they see is the neon of a hospital or birthing centre. More and more women are deciding to have homebirths. “There where you feel comfortable as a mother you can best give birth to your child”, said my midwife when we met.

My daughter was born in our Tipi (North American Indian tent). What joy! She was able to begin her life in a forest in Ibiza and find her way out of my belly without stress or rush. The experience of her birth is unbelievably intense and timeless in my memory: a night and a day in another dimension – grounded and in pain, being carried and the knowledge that I alone could give birth to this child.

For many women a birth is a big growing experience. If a child is born naturally our self-confidence and confidence in Mother Nature grows. An often painful experience that in retrospect is hard to grasp, it’s mainly the moments of joy with the newborn baby that we remember.

From the beginning it was clear to me that I wanted a homebirth. I kept imagining what it would be like to perceive the world as a newborn. I wanted a gentle arrival for my little girl. She should hear, smell and feel secure. The first thing she smelt, felt and heard was the crackling of the fire in our tipi and our soft voices singing her a welcome song. The small, naked and such pure being was lucky to be born natu-rally – without painkillers or anesthetic. The midwife immediately gave me my still slippery daughter. I put her on my belly, felt her warmth, saw her finely shaped face, her large looking hands and cried together with her father. A miracle…

The umbilical cord that kept the little one nourished for nine months and signified an important link to her mother was cut half an hour after the birth. Her little lungs filled with oxygen for the first time and had time to get used to all the vital function of breath-ing. Her father was allowed to cut the cord. I had the luxury of being supported by two midwives during the birth; one of them a very good friend who travelled especially from Germany to be at the birth. The midwives gave me confidence and security. I felt that they had not only intuitive but also enormous factual knowledge. They showed me various positions to enable my daughter to ‘slip out’ more easily. Her head was -lodged against my public bone and it was therefore a rather difficult birth. I remember the breathing and moaning together, the encouragement and the stroking hands, “Let her out!” “Trust. Open up.”

The birth is a while ago now. The little mite is lying next to me as I write this – she’s so beautiful! Every day she gets bigger and stronger. I am endlessly thankful. I’m happy for her being, that I can be her mother and that I had such good midwife support during and after the birth.

A midwife has an enormous amount of female knowledge. New parents can get a lot of precious help from their midwife; from the birth prep-aration with special herbs and homeopathy to the preparatory exercises and birthing help to the care of the newborn and the mother.

Around 20 women in Ibiza decide to have a homebirth each year. There are two freelance midwives working on the island: Britta (Tel. 971 33 69 66, mobile: 610 44 25 53) and Estella.
 
 
Text: Uta Horstmann