UNASSISTED HOME BIRTH in rhode island
unassisted birth is often called a 'free birth'. it means that one decides to give birth in the comfort of their own home without the help of any healthcare professionals, such as, doctors, midwives, nurses, etc. i know how much of a taboo it is talking about having an unassisted home birth. We all know that birth comes with risk, but that is no matter where or how you plan to do it. it is most essential that you pick what is best for you and what you are most comfortable with.
I never knew what a 'free birth' was until I met Ebony. I've never seen anyone have an unassisted birth, except for Ebony's first and second ones. Let me tell you; this was the most fantastic thing I've ever witnessed. Birth, on its own, is truly remarkable and empowering but seeing Ebony and her husband, Justin, work as a team to bring their son into this world left me speechless for a second time. I am in a total awe of what women's bodies can do on their own.
On Tuesday, January 7th, I arrived at Ebony's house at 7:45 pm. Ebony had the most beautiful space set up for her home birth. The room was calm, with dim lights, soft music playing in the background, and positive affirmations hanging on the wall. Ebony listened to her body and moved gracefully through her contractions in whatever felt best for her.
Her husband and two friends were supportive, and Justin would give counterpressure as needed or requested. I just witnessed and documented these moments as they unfolded.
There were moments of sharing birth stories, smiles, laughter, and tears. There were moments when the room grew silent as we witnessed Ebony transition throughout her labor. There were times that Ebony would express doubt, but her husband and friends would immediately wash that away. I would hold space when appropriate and give positive affirmations in-between contractions.
Throughout this time, you can see that Ebony's contractions are growing closer together and getting more intense. At this point, it felt as if time was flying by, and I could tell I should get ready because, at any moment, they would be welcoming their beautiful baby. On Wednesday, January 8th, Ebony and Justin welcomed their son, Forest, to earth side.
My heart is whole, and I am grateful to experience my second free birth. Being a birth photographer is a privilege I do not take lightly, and indeed such a priceless gift a photographer could have. I look forward to capturing more home births, whether unassisted or with your midwife. What is most important is doing what you feel comfortable with and what you know is right for you and your baby. I believe in you. I believe in your body. I believe in your intuition.
I watched you be born into a mother not just once but twice. I cannot begin to say how privileged I feel that I was allowed into your birth space to witness the free birth of your two beautiful children: Violet and Forest. I won’t lie when we met two years ago at Panera bread, I thought a free birth was the riskiest and scariest thing a woman could do. But man, I was wrong—and you have opened my eyes to a new perspective. You have taught me that all births come with risks, whether you do it in a hospital or at home. I understand why you chose to keep your pregnancy and birth plan private. You wanted nothing more than to feel at peace.You have allowed me to capture some of the best moments of your life—you and Justin were born into parents. We captured authentic love, raw emotions, and intimate moments throughout your galleries. From the first birth to your second home birth, you were phenomenal. You have shown me that delivery doesn’t have to be scary or traumatic. It’s beautiful. It’s empowering. It’s transformative. You showed me what every woman needs to believe in when giving birth—herself and her body. So, believe me when I say this, even on days you may feel drained or defeated. You are radiant. You are strong. You are intuitive. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are competent. You are inspirational. Your free births blew my mind; the comfort of birthing at home with nothing but your direction and instinct is so beautifully unique. You, indeed, are a powerful example for women—inspirational even! I am so thankful that you trusted me to be in your birth space and to be the one to capture these heirlooms.