A slowly but surely increasing number of women are opting to give birth in the home instead of a hospital delivery room. We recently took a closer look at home birth—the history and popularity of the practice and the benefits and risks.
To get an intimate perspective on home birth, we spoke to Tracy-Ann Frazier. Tracy-Ann is a blogger, Instagram star (find her @knowingtracy), dancer, and new mama. She chose to give birth to her first child, a beautiful son named Kai, at home. Tracy-Ann was kind enough to fill us in on the experience.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I met my wonderful husband on Instagram, and moved to California after two years of being in a long-distance relationship. Farmland covers the town that I moved to. The small town lifestyle was completely different than the New York City fast pace that I left behind. I started sharing daily outfits and blogging as a way to deal with the transition. This form of expression helped me to feel connected with myself and meet new people.
Share with us your journey to motherhood and what led you to choose home birth.
I’ve always envisioned having multiple children. I am one of four children, and it’s a joy to have siblings to share special moments with. It’s our hope to have multiple children.
My husband and I decided to have a home birth because we cherish interpersonal connections. My midwife, Andrea Ferroni, is like a family member—she is readily available 24/7 and I appreciate her. She also made my birthing process unique to our desires.
I studied dance/movement therapy in grad school and have always admired alternative approaches to medicine. The option to have a home birth felt most natural. I wanted to be in a familiar space: where I can adjust the setting to feel intimate. I also hoped to bond with my family in the comfort of our bedroom after our son was born.
How did you prepare your home for the birth of that gorgeous baby of yours?
Aw, thanks. : )
We purchased a birthing kit, which included the setup for a birthing pool. Kai arrived two weeks before my due date. I pulled out caramel-scented candles once my water broke. I knew that the candles would create a calming atmosphere. My husband had the hose on hand to fill the pool with warm water.
Would you share any of your birth story with us?
My water broke seven a.m., and contractions were pretty close during pre-labor. I was able to make soup in between the pain, but once the contractions grew stronger I found myself humming the song “Jesus Loves Me” and counting the number of Christmas lights that hung over the dining table. It’s interesting what ends up being a coping mechanism.
My husband was by my side through it all. He carried me to the restroom, changed my depends filled with amniotic fluid, and applied pressure to my lower back because it felt like my back was about to explode. The pain was very intense.
After 20 hours of labor, Kai was born.
Would you have done anything differently?
I went with the flow of this new experience. Of course I was nervous, but I’m glad that I was home with my family. I would have a non-medicated birth all over again.
What would you say to others who are interested in having a home birth?
It’s okay to be nervous about the unknown, however, if you are interested give it a try. It’s a precious experience that you will forever cherish. You will feel strong, like a new person afterward, and the journey leading up to the home birth is individualized.
How has having a little one changed your home?
Our home has more joy. Kai brightens our life. He is always smiling and seeing his smile melts our hearts.
What does home mean to you?