During the summer of 2016, my husband Seamus and I bought ten acres of land in the hills of Ohio. The property was nestled between two hillsides, and natural springs ran into a field of wildflowers; some nights, the rich purple and golden tones seemed to be a mirror image of the setting sun. It was a raw, untouched place: there were no man-made structures, no well or septic system, no real driveway, and no electricity.
My husband Seamus and I had always dreamed of taming the land and turning it into a simple homestead. This place was our first real home together, where we dreamed of growing our family. Often, we drifted off to sleep while picturing little children playing in the pond during the summer heat, or imagining family dinners gathered around the wood stove.
I also had an unyielding yearning to give birth on the land that held so much promise for us as a new family. Simply enough, it just felt right. Our dreams and desires for our family seemed to be almost physically imprinted on the property, inscribed in the bark of sugar maples or sung aloud by the wrens and mockingbirds.
Three days after we signed our names on the dotted line, I learned I was pregnant. I knew very early on that I wanted a home birth, but things didn’t quite work out that way. That’s why I ended up giving birth on a school bus in the middle of the woods.
Before I got pregnant, I’d spent hours researching and talking to women who had home births. I loved the idea of getting the personal attention and care of a midwife (especially during the postpartum time), but the main reason why I chose an unmedicated home birth was simply because I believed my body was capable of it, and I wanted to experience the entire process while being alert and in control.
I also had an unyielding yearning to give birth on the land that held so much promise for us as a new family. Our dreams and desires for our family seemed to be almost physically imprinted on…