About the pain you can't escape at home birth
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
Maybe you’ve always thought of yourself as having a low pain tolerance, so the idea of giving birth in a place where you don’t have access to pharmaceutical or medical pain relief is really hard to stomach. You feel sure you’d pass out or be in such agony that you’d end up transferring to the hospital.  There are many women who don’t think they can have a home birth because they’re "a total baby" when they have a headache or they were so miserable that one time when they had an injury. Therefore, they reason, they’d flunk the “test” of enduring labor without an epidural.  And the th ..read more
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The mess of home birth
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
I hear some parents express concern about having a home birth because of how messy they anticipate it will be and how hard to clean up. Friends, birth is a little messy no matter where it happens, but it's really not THAT messy. And the cleanup is quite simple if there's careful use of disposable chux pads and old towels. If you use a midwife, she will be on top of switching out spill-catching pads/towels from beneath the laboring mama so subtly and quickly that you'll hardly notice. And I've yet to meet a midwife who doesn't clean up FOR you. You won't even be able to tell anything happened ..read more
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My birth stories (film) :: agatha wren sue
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
One year ago today, Agatha Wren Sue was born. I have shared her story and many photos on this blog previously, but today I’m sharing her birth FILM by my friend and doula-tographer, Annica. Watching this today has brought up so many feelings. I’m mostly just so filled with gratitude. The Birth of Agatha Wren Sue from Annica Quakenbush on Vimeo ..read more
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Children at birth :: how to prepare them
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
pictured here: me and my just-born daughter with two of her older siblings standing by. Photo credit: Annica of Sprout and Blossom “What do I do with my kids during my home birth?” It’s a question I hear a lot of. And there isn’t one right answer, but here are some thoughts. It’s important to remember that children are uniquely primed to be good birth attendants. Why? Mostly because they haven't yet witnessed decades of badly portrayed birth scenes on the media, nor have they hopefully had to listen to all the birth horror stories that you have endured hearing, either. They come into it neutr ..read more
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The anatomy of a supported free birth :: part 2
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
Part 2: Midwives and Non-Medical Birth Attendants Midwives Prenatally and during postpartum even professionally trained midwives can play a role in free birth, if they choose to. Some will find it aligns with their values to offer varying degrees of support to women who choose NOT to have them physically present at their births. There is risk in this, given the licensure and certification they may have to carry and the potential fall-out and personal liability. A midwife who is willing to do a la carte prenatal check-ins, consults, education, or postpartum visits to check over the baby or com ..read more
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The anatomy of a supported free birth :: part 1
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
In this three-part series, I want to take a closer look at free birth and what it means to have one while still being supported. I’ll do this through the medium of exploring my own recent experience. Part 1: The Woman, God, and the Husband The Woman (me) There was some instinct that initially drew me to the idea of unassisted childbirth. But following that happy impulse, was a reckoning: a conscious choice to take responsibility and ownership for every aspect of my well-being and my baby’s well-being throughout my pregnancy and birth. I accepted that I was the sole decision-maker, the primary ..read more
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Birth photography :: yorke elara
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
I’m going to let the mama — Iona — tell this story in her own words. My images follow. The moment I found out I was pregnant with Laelia, I knew I was not done having children. Chris however had different plans, but we let fate/the universe/god decide, and on sept 5 2019 (one day before our 11th wedding anniversary) I took a test that confirmed I was pregnant with my 3rd child. The pregnancy went great, I felt mentally healthy etc, that was until the “pandemic” hit. Although I tried to pretend I was living my normal life, nothing would ever be the same, and the stress due to the unknown in my ..read more
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Should Christians expect a pain-free birth?
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
3y ago
Jesus’s death on the cross redeems us from the curse of sin and redeems us once and for all to be adopted into God’s family without condemnation. That much is clear. Where Christians more specifically seem to end up with more disagreement is over whether or not Jesus’ work on the cross redeems us from physical pain, disease and suffering in this lifetime or every time. And this is a THICK topic with myriad more Bible-literate theologians debating their positions on the matter. I don’t venture to place myself in their ranks and form a watertight argument on the matter, but because it tips into ..read more
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My birth stories :: agatha wren sue
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
4y ago
There is so much wrapped up in this birth for me, sisters. I wrote it all down just a week after she was born, all the details and all the facts, even as I was still unsure how to make meaning of or peace with aspects of it. But I’ve been very nervous to share this one more widely, hence the delay. Agatha is 3.5 months old at the time that I’m sitting down to write this “public” version of her birth story. I ask that if you venture to read/see this precious (and lengthy) story, that you hold it gently, with compassion, withholding judgment and suspending fear. (Photos and video are intersperse ..read more
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Birth in the time of coronavirus
Sister Birth | Support Story Sister Birth Doula and Photography
by Brooke Collier
4y ago
Every day, multiple times a day, I’m seeing the posts on Facebook and Instagram. The ones I anticipated seeing. They all go something like this: “I’m 35 weeks pregnant and our hospital isn’t allowing me more than one support person. My older kids can’t come to meet the baby there. And people with serious cases of coronavirus are being treated at the same hospital. I think I might need to switch plans and have a home birth (with a local midwife or by myself) but I’m scared to death. I’ve never thought about doing such a thing before now. I don’t even know where to start.” I’m 6 months pregnant ..read more
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