You won't meet a more enthusiastic supporter of home birth than Deb O'Connell. A Certified Nurse Midwife who has worked in just about every kind of birth setting, she says her love for birth in the home originated with her work in Pennsylvania Dutch Country attending births in the Amish community when she was in Midwifery school at SUNY Stonybrook. For many years, with three children of her own, she didn't have the time and flexibility required to run a home birth practice. When her youngest turned ten last year, though, she was able to realize the dream that formed over ten years ago by opening the doors of Carrboro Midwifery, a home-birth and well-woman gynecological care midwifery practice.
Now I don't know you or your politics around birth, or even whether you HAVE politics around birth, but for those who've paid attention, it's a pretty hot topic for debate. There are those who think that a woman who chooses to birth at home is staking her child's life on some hippy-dippy, idealistic notion of what nature intended, and those who believe that birthing in a hospital is tantamount to barbarism. Me? I fall somewhere in-between. I've known enough women to make both decisions - women with lots of good, sound information - to feel that the question of where to birth, like so many other decisions in life, is highly personal. Mostly, I believe that we are fortunate to live in a time and place where there are options, and believe that the arrival of Carrboro Midwifery in the Triangle area serves to give the home birth option to more women, and that that is absolutely a good thing.
Recently, due to high demand, the practice has expanded to include three additional CNMs - Jane Gledhill, Ashley Marshall, and Samara Robertson - and Marin Holmes, a birth assistant. I got to spend some time getting to know the group and hanging out in the office when Deb called me to do some headshots for their website, and it was such a lovely experience... the office itself is so comfortable, and these five could not be a more supportive, encouraging, positive group of women.
Thanks, Deb, both for opening your doors to those women looking for a safe way to deliver their babies at home, as well as for asking me to help you document the process. And any of you hoping to deliver with Deb should know... I looooooove documenting this incredible time of life and would love to work with you for maternity, newborn, or homebirth photographs! :D