This mom loved giving birth in her own backyard
After a difficult and upsetting first birth at a hospital, a Texas couple decided to go a whole different way with their next birthing experience — and the photos are incredible.
Gini Rothenberger is a mom of three and her first birth, at a hospital, was a terrible experience. She tells Scary Mommy, “I was at the mercy of all these strangers and the relationship I thought I had built with my doctor was all in vain.” Rothenberger’s doctor was out of town when she went into labor, and a new set of nurses started their shift and gave her Pitocin to speed along her labor. “When my son’s heart rate went crazy they rushed in to put a shot in my arm and said, ‘This will slow down the effects of the Pitocin, and it will wear off in about 45 minutes,” she says.
After 90 minutes, “we still had no sign of progress, so they started Pitocin again,” Rothenberger explained. “By the time he arrived I was so exhausted physically, and emotionally I didn’t even care that I had a baby.” The process was very traumatic for the new mom and her husband Charlie. “I was so foggy from all the drugs I didn’t know what to think,” she says.
Unsettled by the experienced, they couple went with a peaceful water birth in their own backyard for their next child.
It was when the couple learned about home births that they reconsidered having more kids after their first experience left such an awful impression of giving birth. “We watched ‘The Business of Being Born’ the next week, and my husband decided if we ever have another baby, it would be born at home,” she said.
About a year later the Rothenbergers were pregnant again, and Gini started looking for a midwife. “We thoroughly enjoyed every meeting we had … and best of all, someone I knew would be by my side when the birthing time came,” she said.
“I felt so very connected to my midwife and all of her colleagues by my birthing time. I knew I would be surrounded by people who would respect my needs and wishes!”
“My guess date was September, so I asked my midwife what she thought of putting the birth pool outside,” Rothenberger shared. “I thought she would give me a firm ‘no!’ but instead, she was excited!” The expectant mom was surprised when someone asked if she’d have a photographer there for the birth. “All I could think was, ‘Why in the world would anyone want pictures of that?'” she said.
“I didn’t know how peaceful and beautiful birth was intended to be!” Enter Callynth Finney, of Callynth Photography, who took all of the amazing photos from the special day in the Rothenberger’s backyard.
“I watched the sunset, and the deer graze in the field between waves, and I had a conversation with our Heavenly Father,” Gini said. “It was the most intimate, peaceful moment when I realized this birth was going to be different.” The birth itself wasn’t without a struggle, but Gini said the entire experience was much, much better than her first time. “Things got intense, but my birth team was right there and did exactly what I needed them to do,” she explained. Baby girl Charlie Grace was so quiet at first that the midwife, Melena Sandefer, was worried about her breathing. “She was so calm and relaxed from being born in such a peaceful environment, to a mother who was so relaxed and unmedicated that she didn’t cry or seem rigid,” Rothenberger shared.
“Our midwife knew exactly what to do … she stimulated her gently and realized she was breathing just fine,” the mom explained. “She not only picked her head up but pushed herself up on her elbows to take a good look at me and her daddy.” The couple loved the experience so much that they had another birth at home. “We realized this is how birth is meant to be for our family,” she shared. “The memories are unforgettable and the photos we have of these moments are priceless.”
“Birth is a normal and natural process, not a medical emergency that needs to be coerced into a downward spiral of fear based interventions,” she says. “Evidence-based care along with an understanding of the natural birth process can make a world of difference in the birth experience. A little outdoor exposure is a bonus.”