Ani DiFranco’s Home Birth

As a queer person, I can’t pass this one up. Ani DiFranco (can’t you just hear the angsty lesbian music cue in the background) has an interview out about her home birth. Aww.

Your music is the soundtrack of my life — I’ve been listening to you since I was 16, and I just turned 30. What is the soundtrack of your life? And, can you tell us why you chose to have a home birth? Would you do it again?
— Mindy Kufahl of Topeka, Kansas

I would definitely choose a homebirth again despite the fear mongering of this patriarchal society, which convinces women that they are incapable of having babies without the intervention of men and their machines. I look at societies where women are marginalized and oppressed their whole lives (even covered head to toe in tarps!) but are still in control of birthing practice, in a whole new way now. I mean, who is really more advanced? To take birthing out of women’s hands and deny us the continuum of eons of wisdom and experience is to eject us from the very seat of our power. I believe that women in hospitals are prevented from being able to have normal, healthy birthing experiences because of the intimidation of being on the clock, being pressured to take drugs to make it quicker, being inhibited in their movement and activities, and alienated by a sterile, fluorescent lit, feet-in-the-air type environment. You know the classic “performance anxiety” of not being able to pee or poo because somebody’s watching you? Multiply that by a million! A cervix is a sphincter after all! Then to add tragic insult to injury women are numbed through their great moment of revelation. I believe the act of giving birth to be the single most miraculous thing a human being can do and it is surely the moment when a lot of women finally understand the depth of their power and connection to all of nature. You think it can’t possibly be done, you think you can’t possibly take the pain, and then you do — and afterward you look at yourself in a whole new way. If you can do that, you can do anything. Check out the books on this subject by Ina May Gaskin. She’s one of my great heroes. P.S. I was in labor for 43 hours. Pushed for five hours. It was brutal and scary and prolonged, and if I was in a hospital, they would have definitely cut the baby out of me. I thank the goddesses that I was at home with patient midwives who knew how to go the distance. The memory of pain always recedes. The memory of triumph does not.

Full interview here. Via The True Face of Birth.


7 thoughts on “Ani DiFranco’s Home Birth

  1. CableGirl April 17, 2008 / 8:16 pm

    WOw. I mean, I’ve always like Ani, but now I just love her.

  2. Corey April 19, 2008 / 5:20 pm

    Wow. The more I learn about home births and the history of the pathologizing and medicalizing (a word?) of childbirth the more I realize is that the tragedy isn’t just what so many women who don’t have a clue about it are missing, but that they have NO IDEA what they’re missing. (FWIW-Spoken as someone who has never , nor will ever, birth a baby.)

  3. Andrea Trotter July 15, 2008 / 6:37 pm

    YAY! May Ani set an example for women everywhere!

    I just home birthed my daughter last Sunday, outside, in water. It was the most fantastic, wonderful, empowering experience ever…
    My hands were the first to hold her. It was perfect.

  4. Maggie April 11, 2011 / 12:34 am

    Love this! Just one comment, however, which is that birth doesn’t actually have to hurt. New concept to so many of us, especially when birth is portrayed like agony in the movies. There are lots of teachers talking about this and I encourage anyone/everyone to check it out. For example, Hypnobirthing (The Mongan Method), as well as Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Shanley, Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize, and Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick Read. Lots more! I just like that we’re having this conversation!

  5. Tatiana Efremova (@bellytrail) October 27, 2011 / 2:00 pm

    “Tarps”? I’m taken aback.. is Ani DeFranco referring to hijab’s in a disparaging and insulting way? I wasn’t expecting racism to be mixed into this little home birth commentary from the likes of her. If it was anyone else I’d be jumping all over calling her out, but in this case I want to do a double take.. am I misunderstanding? Or is that really the position she takes on Muslim women covering their bodies with cloth?

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