Freebirth is Not Illegal

Freebirth is not illegal. It’s also not illegal to practice self-care and to only utilize the medical community when there is a need. Last I checked, it’s also not mandatory to seek a medical perspective for matters regarding health (aka well child check ups).

That being said, please spread the word so people stop reporting families to CPS for having a freebirth, for taking responsibility for their own health and the health of their children, and for seeking the assistance of a medically schooled individual only as a need arises.

Furthermore, just because you disagree with someone’s personal health choices, still doesn’t provide reason to report a family to CPS. If you’re truly concerned, take a minute to get to know the family yourself and IF there is further concern (true neglect, abuse, an unsanitary living situation according to the appropriate standards of that is considered unsafe) – and they are uninterested in learning better, healthier, and safer ways of caring for their family, then take further action. CPS is not to be the first call you make. It’s the lazy call – and it is devastating for families that are not doing anything illegal or harmful with their precious little ones.

My family dealt with CPS in 2013 and the fear alone of the power they have made my husband and I a mess for months despite our case being closed almost immediately – one social worker has the authority to determine if children are to be removed immediately and further investigation to be had… and not all social workers take action based on the appropriate standards.

I know women afraid to not take the advice of her doctor out of FEAR that they will report her to CPS. This is WRONG. Doctors are not gods! We are our children’s parents and it’s legal and SMART to get second and third opinions to determine our best options to care for our families.

Please consider this before picking up that phone and calling CPS. I’ve heard of more cases of CPS involvement where they shouldn’t have been than in cases where they should have been. All too often, I hear stories from people about how they should have been removed and no one did anything or the opposite, they were removed and the entire family dealt with trauma as they fought to prove their innocence and get their children back.

CPS can be a great asset to families in need and to hurting children. Let’s utilize them where they are needed, please, and stop harassing families that do things differently than you. Thank you!

Not a Mark of Failure

The article below is probably triggering for some but what I have to say is only stirred by the article, so don’t read the article if you don’t feel you can.

What stirred me is the first sentence in the article, “Midwives have dropped their decade-long campaign for ‘normal birth’, saying that it made women feel like failures.”

I find it so important that we as women are encouraged, and that we encourage other women, to trust our intuition and be educated. Then, we are in pursuit of a healthy and empowering birth that we are in control of. When we are educated and confident, reaching out for assistance is only part of that and not a mark of failure. We are intelligent, strong, loving, and powerful creatures! 

Ladies, you are precious, beautiful, amazing, capable, and strong. Pregnancy and birth is an incredible journey that marks bringing forth our children from our womb, and an awesome responsibility and gift to do so. Having a birth you desire, where you are safe and cared for, where you’re left loving yourself and knowing you did all you could is priceless. Transferring in an emergency, and seeking medical assistance to provide the care that is needed in any given moment, is a part of your success. You did what you were empowered to do and sought a helping hand to ensure you continued to be safe and cared for.

That is ONLY success. ♥

<<To read the article I’m referring to, entitled “Midwives Are Backing Down On Natural Childbirth”, click here>>

A New Venture

Heyyyy everyone!  Admin here!  I wanted to get everyone involved in this new project that’s been floating around in my mind for the last couple of years.  I would like to compile information to put into a book about free pregnancy and freebirth, as well as share my own personal experiences with it.  While it’s not necessarily original, I do feel it will be the first of its kind.  I don’t believe it will just be another unassisted childbirth book, I hope to add a dynamic that’s slightly different than what I’ve seen and I’m really excited about it!  I hope you’ll all be actively involved in sharing your thoughts with me as well!

So tell me: if you were to read a book about freebirth, what would you expect?  What information would you want to see in it, what would you like to learn, what questions would you want answered, etc.  Also, I’d like to include a section in the book to share encouraging freebirth stories as well as those with supportive doctors and midwives.  This book will be in complete support of freebirth and talk about safety measures to take, truths regarding medical interventions, as well as our ability as women to birth our babies as God intended.  That being said, it will not be a book that is anti-medical intervention/assistance where needed and necessary. So if you have some ideas, email me at kristiwhitten@ymail.com. Please take note that birth stories will be slightly edited for readability and grammar/punctuation but will otherwise be untouched. Also, if you want anonymity, please let me know. If you don’t specify, I will not remove names that are included.

If you’ve experienced birth trauma, I also want to hear from you!  What is a resource you wish you had access to that would have helped you cope?  What information do you wish you had that you feel would have helped prevent those experiences?  What do you wish doctors/midwives did differently and what information do you wish you were armed with in order to have a safe and successful birth that didn’t inflict the emotional (and perhaps physical) harm that you endured.  I believe these stories are just as helpful as the encouraging and successful freebirths because they help arm us with full disclosure and information we need to give us confidence, resolve, and determination in pursuing the birth we so personally desire.

It’s not going to be exhaustive, but I do want this book to be well-rounded and a great resource for those researching their options.  I want it to answer the questions of those interested in learning more as well as provide what many of us who have had one or more freebirths love so much from the support groups.  I want it to bring encouragement and empowerment and for it to be a useful and helpful tool in the shed of resources available out there for someone working toward building a healthy lifestyle and taking responsibility for the birth of their beloved babies.

Will you help me on this venture?  I hope you will! Please email me! Spam me with your ideas.  If you do not want me to quote you, please say so because if you share something great, I’m gonna quote you! hahaha!  If you’d rather help in some other way, sharing links or resources you have found along the way is also a huge help as I dive into further research to provide.  You could also help monetarily through donations towards the book or blog.  I pay a small annual fee to keep this blog running and clean/free of ads, as well as spend time moderating and researching, however I’ve done so out of passion and feel every penny and minute I’ve spent has been worth it to provide easy access to helpful information.  However, if you feel led to donate, you can do so through paypal.me/KristiWhitten.

Be sure to check back or sign up for notifications so you can order your own copy once it’s completed!  Thank you all for continued your support!  I’m really excited to get more resources out there and normalize freebirth as a safe and educated birthing option for those who desire to do so.

The Average Length of Pregnancy

We have three stacks of pancakes: stack one with eight pancakes, stack two with three, and stack four with four pancakes. There are 15 pancakes in all. If we rearrange the pancakes to have an equal number in each stack, we get five in each stack. Upon doing so, five is thus the average number of pancakes in each stack.
 
With this logic in pregnancy, we take three women: one who goes 38wks into her pregnancy before giving birth, one who goes 40wks into her pregnancy, and one who goes 43wks into her pregnancy before giving birth. There are 121wks total among the three women. If we arrange the weeks to have an equal number in each pregnancy, we get 41wks for each woman. Upon doing so, 41wks is the average number of weeks a woman would go into her pregnancy before giving birth to her baby…
 
Except pregnancy doesn’t work like that because 41wks might be the average length of a pregnancy until one reaches full term, but it doesn’t mean it’s for every woman. Due dates are calculated around this illogical idea of the average length of pregnancy and thus creates an already difficult journey to feeling like one is expired when truly, their baby is exactly where they should be (except for exceptional cases, of course) and their pregnancy is not yet to the end. As such, there is no such thing as going “late” or “too long” in a pregnancy. One can only reach their own very unique and personal full term with each individual pregnancy and each individual woman. 
Women and pregnancies aren’t pancakes. We’re a lot more amazing than that. 😉

A Word From the Admin

The main goal here at Free Pregnancy and Freebirth is to arm men and women with information to make educated choices about health, pregnancy, and birth. Pregnancy and birth is not predictable, and as such, it’s important to understand the body, how to care for it, and the dynamics of birth to encourage a safe and empowering experience. Keeping the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states of the mother, father, and baby in mind all factor into this experience.

We support the desire of men and women who feel more comfortable with assistance that includes chiropractic, midwifery, naturopathic, or obstetric care. It is not our goal to ostracize the medical community. There are scenarios when the need for urgent care arises, and that should be the only time interventions take place. For this, we are thankful for those in the medical community who seek to serve, educate, and empower families in their pregnancy and birthing journey, and take on the life-saving tasks when it’s a true need.

Freebirth is not a desire to risk or endanger the lives of babies or women. It’s a calculated and educated choice with the desire to be free to birth as it was designed and to be free to seek help if and/or when it’s needed. Emergency cesarean sections are a gift, only when they are necessary. The decision to move onto a cesarean section should not be taken lightly if a woman would rather give birth vaginally. In order for that to happen, interventions should only take place if there is a need. Routine practices and liability concerns are not needs.

There is a known truth in our culture and it’s not that ‘labor is hard’ or that ‘women are strong’. It’s that men and women are intelligent and capable of making choices for themselves that is in the best interest of their families; it’s that they are the protector, provider, and parent and will seek help when they need it for their babies. It is never okay to ignore that truth, no matter whether one deems themselves in a position of authority. Even if anyone had authority over the woman and what she feels led to do in birth, good leadership comes when you consider the benefits that everyone brings to the team. This includes the woman’s knowledge of her own body, her compassion for her baby, and the wisdom she has in how to address any situation involving her family.

Here at Free Pregnancy and Freebirth, we believe women are designed to bear, nurture, and bring forth life. We believe that both men and women should be cared for while during this transition of welcoming their new baby into their arms. We believe that birth is not a medical event. We believe that birth is beautiful.

Free Pregnancy and Freebirth (2)

Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6

Fourth UP/UC, Second Son (Sixth Child) born on 12/25/2015!

We were so thrilled to learn that we were expecting our sixth child on April 4th 2015! I had no clue I was pregnant but took the test just for fun. We shared the news with our friends and family after surprising the kids with the news. It was a lot of fun to see the expressions on my kids’ faces and to hear everyone we told be excited with us. Here is the video of us telling the kids:

I determined by what information I had that I was due around December 5th. The pregnancy was full of emotional healing and growth from other  events in my life as we enjoyed doing my own care ourselves. The pregnancy went very fast for the most part and I enjoyed watching my belly grow.

6wks2

Once I reached 38wks pregnant, I began to get a bit antsy but was determined to continue trusting in the Lord and allowing my body and my baby to do what was needed to prepare us for the day our newest blessing would be in our arms.

The following weeks leading up to the birth were a mix of high spirits and meltdowns. I did my best to stay positive and had an amazing support system surrounding me who were compassionate and understanding, yet helped me focus on the benefits of being patient and laying my life down for my child(ren). I can’t say I didn’t have bouts of fear, but I can say that knowledge and wisdom, and most of all God’s peace, overcame each of those bouts.

At 42 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I woke up to a very strong and sharp pain and an intense contraction followed. In hindsight, I realize that the baby flipped from posterior to anterior. From there, active labor began.

The night before that however, I had a mini freak out. I told my husband that maybe we should head to the ER and get an ultrasound just to be safe that baby can in fact be born. He had not engaged in my pelvis, I wasn’t dilating nor effacing, and he kept floating in my uterus. He was still moving, so we knew all was well, and the Lord constantly spoke to me through those last few weeks, reminding me that He is near and that all was well. It was a walk of trust and faith that pushed me to my ultimate limit. My husband reminded me of all these things about the Lord and he encouraged me to rest and prayed over me and the baby, for our protection and for the Lord to lead our steps in wisdom and prompting.

As I slept through the night, I dreamt of a rural community that was united and loving and each person came to me and encouraged me and helped me to push the baby. I woke up with contractions that were more intense than they had been but still not engaging the babe. I practiced bearing down and moving my hips around with each contraction and I heard the Lord tell me that the people in the dream were all the people who were praying for us. I asked the Lord what I should do and I felt led to rest. I prayed hard that He would continue to lead me…

When I awoke the next morning to that strong pain, at 7:45am, it was sudden and I startled my husband awake. Contractions were 3-5mins apart and really strong. We began to prepare that this was it. From 8-9am, I sat on the ball and rotated my hips and felt lots of pressure with each contraction. I got very hopeful that baby was finally able to engage and was coming down. At 9am I got into the tub and the contractions got even stronger but I got a bit of relief from floating… but then it got to be too much.

When I got out of the tub, I was a bit discouraged because I checked to see if any dilation had occurred. Baby was still high, no dilation or effacement had occurred but thankfully there was a bit of bloody show to indicate that the baby was coming within the day or two. I got back in bed around 9:30 or 10 and continued working through the contractions that were now 1-3mins apart and lasting over a minute long. My husband was amazing, we watched the show American Pickers on his phone in between contractions (or I rested) and when each contraction came, he tracked each one and told me how much longer I had to go… I listened to his voice as he said, “20 more seconds babe, you’re doing great. These are doing great work. 10 more seconds… and 5 and then it’s going to start coming down. You’re doing great. Great job babe. 2 more seconds…”

11:15 came and I felt the need to pee so I went to the bathroom. I couldn’t go at first and was overwhelmed at the intensity of the contraction that came next. My husband could tell the time was coming because I began bearing down with the contraction and he encouraged me to come to bed, but I couldn’t… I was staying in the bathroom. haha I checked my dilation and while my cervix was low, I was completely closed and not effaced. I became concerned about the fact that my body was pushing. I told my husband that I can’t push because I could tear through. He reassured me to listen to my body and relax, that God was in this and I can do this. I listened and focused on doing what felt right and didn’t rush or fight it. I couldn’t stop the sensation to bear down. I pushed hard but tried to go slowly and I felt my cervix opening as the baby’s head pushed through it. I told him the head is coming…

I never fully dilated nor did I fully efface. The baby came out in the anterior position and flew out with just one swift push, so fast I nearly dropped him on the floor. At the same moment, because I was standing and the cord was short, the cord snapped and blood went ev.er.y.where. LOL On the walls, all over the toilet and floor, all over the baby and I. We were in shock as all the kids swarmed the doorway. I looked and saw he was a boy… we were all so elated and crying. He was HERE!

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11:30am, December 25th, 2015, approximately 7lbs, dark brown hair, and the most content and peaceful baby I’ve ever seen. He didn’t have any vernix on his body so I wiped him down and I sat back on the toilet. Within minutes I felt my placenta coming and it accidentally plopped in the toilet. haha We marveled at the newest member of our family as the kids cried and laughed and expressed how cute and little he was and that they had a new brother. About a half hour later, I got into bed and I nursed him. After he was settled in and cozy, we tied the cord that was now cold, white, and limp, and trimmed it down. From the moment I woke up to the moment he was born was a little over 3½ hours.

We are so in love… and as I’ve said to him, many times now, it really was worth it… all that waiting and difficulty surprisingly was all worth it… to be holding him and knowing him… I can now say I have sons along with our daughters. When I had my second daughter and could say daughters instead of just daughter… sisters… it was such a sweet moment! And now I can say boys, sons, and BROTHERS! ❤ We are so blessed…. 6 children! Unbelievable. I would never have known that this would be our life, 12 years ago when we made our vows to share our lives together in the will of the Lord…. but it’s full and blessed and enriching. I’ll take all the difficult and challenging for this beauty I get to live with these beautiful little people to share it with. ❤

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3: Christopher Thomas>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4: Kathryn Martha>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5: Kimberlyn Mariann>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6: Craeghar Timothy>>