about the author summary exerpts comments purchasing contact me

An OUTLINE of Birthing the Easy Way (by someone who learned the hard way) by Sheila Stubbs

First Base (Lip Service)

Chapter 1. GETTING "LUCKY"
Childbirth is not as dangerous as we are led to believe. According to obstetrical protocol, the author had too many risk factors to attempt a home birth. After she did so, she was told repeatedly that she was just "lucky." People expect the worst to happen during birth! This introductory chapter gives several examples of others who were "lucky" too: Babies born in taxicabs and other places without technology available; The Dionne Quintuplets; a mother of 69 children recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, many others.

This chapter gets to the basics of good childbirth education, firstly with a look at WHY we are so afraid of giving birth. What are the real underlying issues? Giving birth is compared to making a swim across a great river: it is hard work, tiring, yet exhilarating, and easier if the swimmer is accompanied, but not "assisted" to the point of interference. A woman giving birth under the guidance of a male obstetrician is likened to trying to swim across a river coached by a lifeguard who has never been in the water.

Different types of health care practices are discussed - doctors, midwives, and obstetricians - and what each has to offer. Basic hints and tips for an easier hospital birth are described; tips like staying on your feet and wearing your own clothes so you don’t feel like a "patient," i.e., a "sick" person.

Chapter 3. THE HARD WAY
The author's first birth was a typical example of how a woman enters a hospital as a normal, healthy pregnant woman and leaves as a recovering surgical patient due to too much medical intervention. Difficult post-partum recovery – both emotional and physical – is considered normal. It’s common, but it is not normal. This chapter shows the reader that the author has "been there" and knows what it’s like to have a difficult birth and think that her own body was at fault.

Second Base (Getting a "feel" for normal, unadulterated birth)

Breastfeeding is often considered to be merely an alternative to bottle-feeding – as if the feeding method were only a matter of which type of container is used to provide nutrition. But breastfeeding has a profound effect upon a woman because it is so very personal, relating to her own feminine accomplishments. As bottle-feeding gained popularity, breastfeeding was almost seen as a deviation of "normal." Why does this matter? Because it appears that natural childbirth has also become very difficult to attain in light of the modern substitutes.

Through La Leche League, the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding, we learn that the majority of breastfeeding difficulties are not usually physical problems at all, but management problems. Misinformation, old wives tales, needless worry, and negative attitudes undermine a woman's attempts to feed her child. Likewise, it appears that difficulty with childbirth is not usually a physical problem either, but a management problem. Misunderstanding of the true nature of this feminine act, needless worry, and an attitude that causes unnecessary stress instead of support through
the difficult times, seems to be the problem with both areas.

Describes the difficulties encountered in trying to have a vbac. Physicians, family, and friends often want the expectant mother to have another cesarean section, or at least an obstetrician-managed delivery because it would be less stressful - for them any way. The VBAC woman may carry a lot of emotional baggage into the delivery room, and be overshadowed by fears and doubts planted during the cesarean birth. A midwife can make all the difference in the
outcome. Read how even a very long, slow, and painful VBAC can be exhilarating!

This chapter offers insight into the painful emotions following cesarean. The cesarean mother will see she is not alone in her feelings. Victimization during the birth is compared to that of a rape victim. Counsel for the VBAC mother.

Third Base (Hitting below the belt. This section goes a little further than most mainstream childbirth books)

This chapter builds on the previous chapter about breastfeeding. Currently all female functions can be - and usually are - suppressed and controlled by drugs, as if being female is a disease! Helps empower women to enjoy their gender!

Just like Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, there really is no place like home. One of the main reasons for giving birth at home birth is that people simply FEEL better and more at ease at home in their own territory. This chapter describes what it was like for the author to witness and help out at a home birth, and finally experience the joy of home birth herself. The issues and emotions of giving birth outside of a hospital, and other’s perceptions - both positive and negative - are discussed.

By this point the reader is confident that she can give birth at home, but doesn’t know if she should. Even though homebirth may be "nicer," shouldn't we do what's safest for the baby? The shocking truth is that hospital birth has never been proven to be safer than home birth! This chapter takes revealing look at the history of childbirth, the political factors affecting the move to the hospital and the surprising statistics that prove the safety of home birth. An in-depth discussion of fear, especially the most dread fear of all, "What if something goes wrong?" Also, how to recognize a true emergency and what to do about it.

Preparation for the home birth is not a matter of setting up the home like an operating room and natural childbirth is not a matter of suffering pain without drugs. Home birth can be an exciting event where families and close friends celebrate a happy occasion. This chapter contains some great ideas for making the Birth Day a truly fun family celebration as well as practical plans for preparation and lists of required supplies. Ends with an amusing list of stupid questions people ask about home birth. Read The Modern McBirth excerpt.

Home (This section deals with going all the way - the ultimate act of reproduction)

Marilyn Moran, author of "Birth and the Dialogue of Love" believes childbirth is in fact the complete marital fulfillment of sexual intercourse, the final act of a cycle in which the husband reaps the harvest from the seed he had planted in his wife at conception.

If this is true, then childbirth should be as private an act between a husband and wife as is the conception.

But our medical model of birthing lets the obstetrician accept the "gift" from the woman's body and sometimes even the outpouring of love and respect that the woman should be showering upon her husband at this time. Results of a study done on couples who had birthed in privacy indicated greater feelings of attachment in these couples. It appears the missing ingredient for an easier, even enjoyable childbirth, is privacy.

Chapter 12. THE "X"(-RATED) FILES
There appears to be a conspiracy of silence regarding the sexuality of childbirth. Either nobody recognizes it, or they are ashamed of it, or it is being hidden. The act of childbirth has been likened to lovemaking and orgasm in its buildup, release, and the euphoria that follows.

By releasing endorphins into the bloodstream, sexual foreplay can actually make childbirth faster and easier. Add privacy to this scenario and some women have actually described childbirth as orgasmic. Anecdotal tales from women who have had this experience are included.

Very sexy. Take a cold shower after you read it.

Chapter 13. ODE TO "THE TOAD"
"The Toad" was the nickname given to the baby named Todd who was the inspiration for this book. Even though he was a month premature, there was still no reason for us to go to the hospital. This chapter describes his "Marilyn Moran Method" home birth – in rhyme! read it online here

Chapter 14. AFTERGLOW
A final chapter to record the author's final birth reinforces what was said earlier about the need for privacy. Amusing and bittersweet.

As one who has thought and written a lot about birth, I appreciated "Getting Lucky" because it has helped me cite excellent arguments when talking with friends and acquaintances who insist that medicalized birth is the only sensible option." - Lynn Griesemer, author of Unassisted Childbirth - An Act of Love

"I must say this it is some terrific work!...I have never had a cesarian, but after reading your booklet I felt as though I could almost truly empathize with the struggles that women that have had cesarian sections. You are truly an expert in this field." - Toni B., NM

| about the author | summary | exerpts | comments | purchasing | contact me
home birth | home birth after cesarean | my book | sexy birth | birth tips | Christian musings | statistics | links