Two Ice Floes Welcomes Our Newest Member


Congratulations to TIF Member and guest author Joe Withrow and wife Rachel for bringing their beautiful daughter into the world the old fashioned way.

An excerpt from Joe's blog post with details is below. The full post can be found on his website at on  The Majesty of Childbirth.

Mrs. Cog


The Majesty of Childbirth

Madison made her entrance last week!

She was born on October 20 at 9:59 pm right here in Hot Springs, VA.

In our dining room.

Oh don’t worry, we put the dining room table out in the garage and replaced it with an Aqua Doula pool and a queen-size mattress.

The result: a healthy 7 lbs 11 oz baby girl born completely naturally with no invasive interventions or pharmaceutical drugs necessary. Just like childbirth has been done for thousands of years!

Wife Rachel said the homebirth experience has far exceeded her expectations in every aspect.

Instead of laboring on her back underneath fluorescent lights hooked up to an I.V., monitors, pain-killers, and labor-enhancing drugs, Rachel paced back and forth from our Great Room to our kitchen while verbally telling Madison she couldn’t wait to meet her. No one was around to bother her save her husband who valiantly tried to be a breathing exercise leader while also laboring himself to fill up the 170 gallon Aqua Doula pool. Needless to say, Madison did not wait around to test her sea legs and she was born very peacefully on dry land… into her father’s waiting hands.

Upon her birth, there was no one waiting to rush her off to be weighed, measured, poked, prodded, or checked so Madison had to settle for laying in her loving mother’s arms instead. While mother and baby bonded in those first few minutes of life, our midwife and doula worked gently to make sure both parties were in good health as the birthing process neared completion. Once confident in the health of mother and baby, our health care team worked diligently to clean and sanitize the area, provide food and water, do laundry, provide advice, tips, and reassurance, and countless other things that a star-struck father couldn’t possibly pick up on in the most defining moment of his life.

Our midwife and doula monitored the situation and provided sound counsel for roughly four hours post-birth as well. “This is what real health care looks like”, I thought. Our midwife came back out to our house for a 36 hour appointment and then again for a five-day appointment. She also answered several phone calls and text messages at weird hours during the stretch in-between appointments as well.

The result of such wonderful health care service is that both mother and baby are in terrific health despite not having left the comfort of their own home. It will be more than two weeks from birth before mother and baby will need to leave their home for another appointment.

The entire experience has confirmed what we knew all along – that natural childbirth at home is a much healthier and happier alternative to hospital birth for both mother and baby.

Of course few others understood this. Some just shrugged at the eccentricity of such an endeavor. Some turned their nose up in disgust. Some thought us to be ignorant, selfish, and cheap.

What they didn’t see were the countless hours dedicated to learning, study, and research over the course of nine months. They didn’t see the pages turning in the books that were read. They didn’t see the computer screen scrolling as medical studies and articles were mentally consumed. They didn’t drive an hour and a half to natural childbirth classes every Thursday evening for six weeks after a full work-day to increase their knowledge and understanding before driving an hour and a half back home to get ready for the following work-day. They didn’t watch the videos and the documentaries or practice the comfort techniques or study the possible complications and their signs. They didn’t sit up at night discussing emergency plans and precautions. They didn’t give up coffee, tea, and soda (caffeine) or dramatically reduce their intake of processed foods for nine full months. They didn’t eliminate glucose from their diet for a full week in the final week of their pregnancy.

But someone did do all of these things.

Someone put the time, effort, and work in to make sure they were making the best decisions possible and to make sure they were fully prepared for what was to come. Someone decided that she would be responsible for educating herself first rather than being wholly dependent upon the status-quo.

Someone decided she would be Super-Mom.

To her I pledge my eternal love, respect, and service.

More to come,

Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

3 thoughts on “Two Ice Floes Welcomes Our Newest Member”

  1. Dear Joe, Rachel – and Madison:

    What a beautiful and inspiring way to invite LIFE into your hearts!

    My warmest regards to baby, Mother, and Father in this grand new adventure. May Madison thrive, grow and revel in the genuine love and respect evidenced by Joe and Rachel, who have created the most optimal ‘Welcome!’ party possible.

    Sincere congratulations! – and kudos for choosing a beautiful way to bring Madison to our world.

    Blessings to Each of You,

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words! Madison’s entrance was an amazing experience. I am extremely excited for the start of her adventure but simultaneously saddened by all of the negative forces that she will have to contend with in this place. I guess it is all part of the journey.

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