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Defining Freebirth and the Paradox of Freedom

Freebirth - it is hard to define. I think that's because as a concept and a practise, it is about autonomy. Autonomy from a system, and agents of that system, who seek to control, co-erce, manipulate and ultimately enforce conformity to a self-appointing institutional disciplining authority. I guess for me a freebirther is someone who autonomously births without having allowed themselves to be disempowered or subjected by said authority.

 

This discussion has spun off from a thread on a homebirth forum today, regarding a lady who wanted to know if she can claim her birth as a freebirth when the midwife was in the room next door. This kind of mentality, I believe, stems from any kind of alternative movement gathering a hip status, cos it's just so “out there man”. Anti-authoritarian political action gains a fashionable following, with all sorts of conformist folk wishing they were that brave/cool/radical etc. You see it in all walks of life, those who aspire to a...

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Born on a Barge - Holly's Birth Story

Holly Elfin was born at 6.55am on Saturday the 11th of August.

 

If you follow the astrological significance of birth, this means she is a Leo, born in the Chinese year of the Water Dragon. She was due at the Full Moon, on her father’s birthday, but was a week and two days late, and so was born on her grandfather’s birthday instead on a waning moon in Pisces.

 

She was delivered by me into the waiting hands of her father, Dan, on our boat, with the support and loving presence of our friends Lisa and Sara. We were moored up in a small wooded copse, in a beautiful wilderness valley in Yorkshire, where the foxes howl, the owls screech and a panther prowls it’s realm.

 

On the bank, within the Aspen trees was a firepit, and an alter to the beauty and power of woman, motherhood and birth. My firekeeper and guardian of the outside birth space was Lee, Sara’s husband, who lit and tended the fire each night for us, for the three nights that I laboured...

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Birth Journey- Blessingway Magic (Poem)

Birth Journey – Blessingway Magic

 

Let me take you on a journey, sisters, travel with me now.

A journey for my birthing, of where and who and how.

Imagine if you will now, a lovely valley not far from here,

A little way upstream on this canal, do you want to lock or steer?

For we shall take our boat this way, a week or two from now

And I shall take the tiller, and you can stand upon the bow

For bridges are too much for me and winding locks is out

As at nearly 9 months pregnant, I am really far too stout.

So in summer sun, I hope at least, we'll wind our merry way

To the place where I shall birth my babe on his or her birthday.

 

And so the place that I have picked to bring you to my breast

Is a place of power and nature, a place to stop and rest.

On one side of the valley, the river winds it's course

Twisting like a serpent, an untamed waterforce.

And when I first feel labour start, to you I'll make my way,

To swim and meet the Goddess of this flowing waterway,

To...

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