Homebirth Cesarean (HBC) began as a conversation between us: a homebirth midwife, and a mom who went from the dream of having a homebirth to the reality of a cesarean. Eight months after the birth experience we shared, we reconnected to process the birth and postpartum care. Although our experiences of the same birth were different, we felt immense relief in realizing that we still maintained a powerful connection as midwife and mother that hadn’t been broken through the HBC. We also realized that mothers require more support and resources following these births, and midwives and birth professionals were open to learning more about how they can best serve these families.
While the percentage of women who go from having a homebirth to a cesarean is small, their stories are nonetheless powerful, meaningful and important. Until now, however, no one has gathered and shared these stories, leaving many HBC moms to feel as their birth experiences don’t matter, and creating a vacuum their stories would otherwise fill. Just as HBC mothers often find themselves estranged from the homebirth community, many midwives and birth workers are at a loss as to how best support these women and their families.
Stories are power and knowledge
Since 2011, we have interviewed more than 100 HBC moms, midwives, partners, birth educators, counselors and experts in an effort to bring HBC births into the light. Our goal is to give voice to HBC mothers, and to support the midwives, partners and advocates who accompany them on their journeys.
Some mothers speak of loss. Others speak of how the joy of having a new baby mixes with the sorrow of what they feel was an incomplete, broken, or failed birth experience. Many of our interviews with birth and medical professionals such as Penny Simkin, Sarah Buckley, Pam England, Elizabeth Davis, Michel Odent and others delve into the physical, emotional and psychological trauma associated with HBC births. Together, these far ranging conversations are the foundation of our book in progress.
Now we need you to help us complete our work
While the majority of our story gathering is complete, our next phase involves the heavy lifting of synthesizing our interviews, and moving forward with the writing process. Our hope is to find a publisher who is excited to partner with us and bring this book to print. We are also exploring self-publishing options should that be the best route. We have broken our costs up as follows:
- Book editing: $2500
- Illustrations & photography: $2900
- Book design and layout: $3000
- Childcare expenses (childcare for the four children we have between our families): $6400
- Marketing & promotion: $3000
- Printing, copying, shipping of perks and postage: $500
- Web hosting, hardware and software upgrades: $1100
- Self-publishing costs: $5000
- Indiegogo and Paypal fees: $3000
- Additional office and miscellaneous expenses: $2800
Total fundraising goal: $25,000*
*Our goal is less than the actual budget listed above, as we have covered some of these costs out-of-pocket, and/or through in-kind donations by friends, family members and project supporters. If we exceed our total goal, we plan to bring more artwork and illustration to our book, as well as paying a small stipend to us.
Even the smallest donation will help us move closer to our goal of completing this book. For those of you who wish to donate more but simply cannot, please help us get the word out. We also encourage you to pool your money with friends, coworkers, or even a larger organization in order to support the project and receive higher level perks.
Perks for your support
In supporting the HBC book project, your initial gift is the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping this one-of-a-kind book come to fruition. From there, we have drawn from many of our creative and brilliant HBC mothers, as well as other supporters, to build a list of unique gifts that range from HBC pins and birth poetry, to professional web design and executive business coaching. Check out our perk levels on the sidebar to learn more.
Help spread the word
You can visit the HBC website, follow us on Twitter, and watch our videos, which will be released throughout the campaign, on our You Tube channel. Also, the HBC Facebook group is going strong with over 600 active members. (It’s a closed group, but please ask us to join and we’d love to include you.)
Even before our book reaches print, our goal is to continue to educate people about HBC. We’re happy to facilitate classes at birth centers, hospitals, postpartum support groups, conferences and more. Let us know how we can connect in your area.
Laurie Perron Mednick, B.A., CPM, LDM, ICCE
The inspiration for this project came after a few profound experiences serving HBC moms. As a homebirth midwife, one of my goals is to foster trust in the innate wisdom of pregnancy and birth. Yet, when attending births that culminated in cesareans, it became clear to me that many women were simply blindsided by what had happened. For me, this project is a journey to look more closely at what unfolds in the hearts, souls and minds of HBC mamas, and to inspire other midwives to better serve them. When not attending births, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband and three young boys.
Courtney Jarecki, HBC mother, Childbirth educator
I became a HBC mama on the morning of April 1, 2011, after laboring at home for three days. Long before I ever thought about having my own baby, I was helping women have theirs. My years of experience and training as an apprentice homebirth midwife and a labor doula allowed me to attend many home, hospital and birth center births. No matter how often I told women that birth is not about getting what we want, I was still unprepared when I didn’t have my own homebirth. For me, this project has been a journey through my own healing, as well as the healing of the many mothers who were devastated by their HBC experience.
Courtney Jarecki & Laurie Mednick