Yes, it's possible! As my midwife would say, "birth is not black and white." In fact, it was she who had the unthinkable freebirth in a hospital. Maryn Green's story of how Rumi Sol came earth-side is an empowering birth story, to say the least. The empowerment of her story lies in its transcendence of all expectations we have revolved around what a birth should look like - in the hospital or at home. Curious how a freebirth is even possible in an often fear-driven environment? Read her story here. It may even be the antidote after having experienced the social pressures of how and where we're told to birth.
Listen to your body, listen to your baby. Life is not dogmatic when you’re in it, for real. Intervention is only negative if you fear it; the true medicine can appear in any form, even though it can be humbling to our egos to admit. -Maryn Green
After the experiences of birthing my own two children at home and hearing numerous unique birth stories from friends and strangers, I've come to the conclusion that birth shouldn't have to look any one way; that our only concern should be that the birthing mother feels safe. That her birthing team is fully supportive of her intuition and desires; and if she doesn't have a birthing team, her choice to go without one is honored, for her decision was made from a place of security. Bottom line is: our ideas of what "safe" looks like is different for everyone, and wherever one feels safest is the place to be - at home, in the hospital, in the river, in the jungle giving birth on a banana leaf, wherever.
As a community of mothers, we are not striving for women to have more home births just as crucially as we are not scaring them into having their baby in the hospital. An empowered birth doesn't mean that she has the courage to give birth at home or without a team; although, that can be part of one's sense of empowerment. An empowered birth only means that the birthing mother is in charge of her own experience. Another great read (and very short) is Indie Birth's post called "Beware the Birth-lebrities!" about the rise of judgmental home birth advocates and their negative effect of disempowering pregnant women via social media.
I've learned a great deal from Maryn and Margo of Indie Birth. While it may be easy to peg them as radical birth workers, their wealth of knowledge comes from a very grounded place of direct experience . Their traditional Western education is there, too, but it's been gone over with a fine-tooth comb resulting in a version of midwifery that looks radical to the naked eye but is, in fact, a simple truth that we've been taught to avoid. They're not afraid to question and they're certainly very happy to receive questions. That said, I am extremely honored that Maryn was my midwife.
Follow Indie Birth @indiebirth and see what they're doing to turn around our birthing worldview at www.indiebirth.org.