Home births seem like a peaceful and beautiful idea but the reality can be a whole lot gorier, as singer Alanis Morrissette found out when she delivered her daughter Onyx Solace at home last year with only her husband on board to help.
A speedy entrance
The 43-year-old Jagged Little Pill singer had planned a home birth with a doula and midwife for the arrival of her second child with rapper Souleye (real name Mario Treadway), however things didn’t quite go to plan when her daughter (now 14 months), decided to make a super speedy entrance into the world forcing hubby to step up for birthing duties.
“I thought it would take a few hours and it took literally 59 minutes. And she flew out,” said Alanis in a recent interview with People magazine.
“Souleye caught Onyx. He was coaching me and I was coaching him. [The midwife] came and we were, all three of us, just kind of stunned.”
“It was terrifying”
The cute couple also have a six-year-old son named Ever Imre who we don’t believe was present at the birth, which is probably a good thing considering how messy it ended up being.
“It was terrifying, but then once we heard her, and once she cried [and] I pulled her up and she started breastfeeding, I was just like, ‘Ah,’” the mum shared. “It gets gnarlier and gnarlier. I think the words Texas Chainsaw Massacre were used when [my midwife and doula] walked in.”
A messy, painful affair
The two birthing experts arrived around half an hour after the birth. Too late to help with the delivery but they were on much-needed clean up duties instead.
According to Alanis, birth really is quite gruesome (especially when you’re not in a clean hospital full of lots of staff helping out), but that’s nature for you.
“It’s pretty gnarly, but it’s not meant to be all clean and perfect. We are animals,” she said.
A bloody mess and surprising quick arrival weren’t the only memorable things Alanis experienced with her home birth too, the agony she went through being almost indescribable.
“It’s like an 18-wheeler careening through your whole body,” she explained. “It’s beyond pain. I have a high tolerance for pain … this trumped all.”
“Love corrects everything”
In the same People interview, Alanis also opened up about her thoughts on attachment parenting (she believes in things such as skin-on-skin and direct eye contact) and post-natal depression, which she herself suffered from with both of her children.
“…whether you can breastfeed or not, how they were born or not, love corrects everything,” she says, also believing that love is the most helpful thing for those struggling after birth.
“It scares me that narcissism is [such an] epidemic right now in the west, because one of the biggest healing factors in postpartum depression is a profound amount of empathy,” she explains.
“Even if you can’t understand what is happening, in this case, in my body, or your loved one’s body. I didn’t choose to have [PPD]. If I could avoid, I would’ve at all costs.”
Any way is the right way
The singer also admitted she’s learned a lot from being a parent, particularly when it comes to not judging others.
“Before I was a mom, I had a lot of opinions,” she says. “I was one of those horrifying younger women who had a lot of opinions for a woman who didn’t have a baby. And then, as soon as I had a child, I just shut my mouth and just celebrated any way a child comes into the world, any way a mom wants to do it: ‘How can I help?’ ”
We love Alanis’s refreshing honesty about motherhood and birth, even with all the gory details!
Was your birth a messy affair?