This book carries special appeal for me not only because I am passionate about the subject of home birth but also because I have a special connection to the author; Cara was my midwife and facilitated the delivery of the Kiddo in June 2007! You might already recognize her, as she was also featured in the Ricki Lake-Abby Eptein documentary, The Business of Being Born.
For me, having a home birth meant that everything happened on my terms. For example, while I was pregnant all the prenatal visits occurred in the comfort and convenience of our home. Because of Cara's dedication to a truly patient-centered standard of care, I never had to haul my pregnant belly across town to a doctor's office, sit in a cold, impersonal waiting room, or deal with the breakneck speed of an overbooked-doctor's exam. Cara's house calls were always in-depth, personal, and (because she was coming to us) I always felt that they had an almost luxurious quality! At every prenatal Cara had plenty of time to answer our questions and concerns or just chat. As a result, in the process leading up to giving birth not only did we develop a strong rapport, but I also always felt valued and respected as a human being. That feeling helped me to go into labor feeling calm, confident and strong, with the additional assurance that I had a great support system to help me birth my baby.
In addition to being a powerful look into Cara's fascinating personal journey, "Labor of Love" offers important perspectives on the sorry (and scary!) state of maternity care in our country and argues compellingly that home birth is an absolutely necessary alternative that should be available to all women.
As Cara states in the book's press release, "between the reaction of some in the medical field and the glamorization of elective c-sections in Hollywood, it's important that we make mothers-to-be aware of the realities of different birthing options."
From the standpoint of someone who has benefited greatly from having an experienced midwife and a home birth, I can personally attest to the greatness of this mode of care. It is an experience that I wish all women could have.
"Labor of Love" will be released in January, 2009 by Kaplan Publishing. Here is a video clip in which Cara talks about the book and her experiences as a certified nurse-midwife: