premiere screening of “at home in winthrop, me” at the frontier next wednesday, july 27th in brunswick!!

BRUNSWICK, MAINE.  It is the eve of solstice, June 2010.  Jenn and James Currier stand on a quite neighborhood street engaged in what appears to be a slow, swaying dance.  In fact, Jenn is having a contraction; labor is the rhythm she moves to. Later that evening, in the dining room of her home, she will give birth to her son Robbie in a birth tub supported by her husband, her mother, her doula and her professional midwives, Sarah Ackerly ND, CPM and Josie Skavdahl ND, CPM of Northern Sun Family Healthcare and Birth Center.

This story is presented in a new documentary film, “At Home in Winthrop, Maine” by Belfast, Maine–based filmmaker Nicolle Littrell and will have it’s premiere screening at the Frontier Café on Wednesday, July 27th from 6:30-8pm.

A discussion with Littrell, the Curriers, Ackerly and Skavdahl will follow the screening.  Admission is by suggested donation:  $5 for individuals and $10 for families.

The film is part of “At Home in Maine”, a documentary film series and educational resource about the choice to have a homebirth and receive professional midwifery care in Maine.  To learn more about At Home in Maine visit: www.mainehomebirth.wordpress.com 

The premiere of “At Home in Winthrop” is part of a weeklong celebration of events centered on the opening of a new birth center at Northern Sun Family Healthcare, one of two freestanding birth centers in Maine and staffed by CPMs.  For info about Northern Family Sun Healthcare visit:  www.northernsunfamilyhealthcare.com

For more information about the screening and to see a trailer for “At Home in Maine” visit: www.explorefrontier.com

Click here to go to the event page on Facebook!

 

homebirth in the bangor daily news (again)

Click here to read a great article about a machias woman’s choice to have a homebirth–and to be a single parent.

kudos to the bangor daily news for covering both!  the underlying issue of support for women’s choices in each of these areas are completely interrelated.

it is so wonderful that homebirth is getting so much positive press these days.  women are learning about their choices, getting educated and empowered to have the kind of birth they want for themselves and their babies–and to parent in the way they choose.  as more women do this, they will be less subject to the obvious posturing of some medical groups who do not support homebirth–and therefore do not support women’s choices.

as more women exercise their rights around birth and receive more support for their choices, it is my hope that outcomes for mama, baby and families will improve.

congrats anna!  welcome eamon!

new moon, two new films for at home in maine

july 1, 2011.  belfast, maine.  new moon and solar eclipse in cancer.  woman in the moon films proudly announces the release of two new films for the “at home in maine” series.  click each image to go the film page:

At Home in Waldo, Maine Screens Tonight at Belfast Free Library

At Home in Waldo, Maine will have it’s Waldo County premiere tonight at the Belfast Free Library, 6:30-8pm. Discussion with the filmmaker, film participants (including Morningstar Midwifery) and snacks will follow the screening.  DVDs of the film, Odlaw CDs and books about homebirth will be available for purchase.

The film is one of the latest releases from, “At Home in Maine”, a documentary film series and web resource about the choice to have a homebirth and receive midwifery care in Maine.  This film series is for anyone who interested in learning more about this choice.  But this film is not just for people exploring their Choices in Childbirth.  It’s for anyone who would like a picture of  normal, natural family-centered childbirth–unfortunately, an experience that most people in the US do not have.  For many women, birthing at home is where this is most possible.

Hope to see you tonight!

 

Happy Birthday Gideon!!

Waldo Boy to Celebrate First Birthday
Friday April 8, 2011

 

WALDO — Gideon Jay Weaver will celebrate his first birthday on Friday, April 8. He was born April 8, 2010, at home to Melinda, Jerry and big brother Ravi.

His birth was attended by Morningstar Midwifery of Belfast.

A documentary on Gideon’s home-birth,“At Home in Waldo,” by Nicolle Littrell, will be screened at Belfast Free Library Abbott Room on April 12, at 6:30 p.m.

At Home in Maine in Today’s Bangor Daily News!

Friday, April 8, 2011

BELFAST, Maine — When mom and filmmaker Nicolle Littrell was pregnant with her first child, a friend asked if she and her partner were considering having the baby at home.

Their reply was instantaneous — and negative, Littrell said Thursday.

“We said, ‘No!” she recalled, adding that part of the reason was their insurance did not cover home births.

But as she thought about it, she realized it wasn’t the whole story.

“My first reaction was financial, and then it was definitely more than that,” she said. “It was the not knowing, and the fear, that gets embedded in each of us at an early age.”

Littrell began researching midwifery and home births, ultimately deciding that delivering Leo, now 6, at home was the right choice.

He was born in a tub, in an experience that was empowering and comfortable, with the help of midwives who were respectful and knowledgeable. It was very unlike the standard Hollywood depictions of births, Littrell said.

And afterward, she found she still had more to learn, and teach, about the growing group of people choosing to have their babies at home.

“I feel like there’s a relationship between how we give birth and how we live,” she said.

Littrell has spent the past few years using her camera, her heart and her filmmaker’s eye to document and help educate about home birthing in Maine.

“It’s a gift. I’m definitely the luckiest person in the world, to be at these births,” the filmmaker said. “It’s absolutely sacred, to see women so powerful and beautiful. And there’s magic, too, when the baby is coming out. When that baby is born, I cry every time.”

Originally, she had envisioned making a conventional documentary film about the subject, but as she dug deeper, she realized that one film wouldn’t be enough. So far, Littrell has produced several short films about home birth as part of her “At Home in Maine” series and started a website as an educational and community-building resource.

The latest documentary, titled “At Home in Waldo,” will have its first Waldo County screening at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at the Belfast Free Library.

During the filming, Littrell spent 20 hours with Melinda and Jerry Weaver of Waldo as their son, Gideon, was born a year ago.

After the documentary is shown, the participants — including the Weavers and their midwives from Morningstar Midwifery in Belfast — will join Littrell for a discussion.

Melinda Weaver, who was 42 when Gideon was born, said she and her husband were glad to take part in the documentary project.

“When Nicolle stated her purpose, I said ‘Yeah, of course,’” Weaver said Thursday. “Anything to have more people be comfortable with the decision to have a home birth.”

Littrell met and interviewed the family often before her labor began, Weaver said, so that everyone was comfortable with having her present for the birth.

“The day of the birth, other than noticing that you had a friend there, you didn’t notice the camera,” Weaver said. “You watch the birth.”

More and more families like the Weavers have chosen to take births out of the hospital over the past few decades, beginning with the back-to-the-land movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, according to the filmmaker. “American homebirth midwifery was pretty much stamped out in the early 1900s,” Littrell said. “Home birth and midwives re-emerged in a grassroots, teach-each-other, positive way.”

That journey has been at times political and controversial. Over the decades, midwives nationally developed the certified professional midwife credential. But in 2008, a Maine proposal to license “lay” midwives was derailed by lawmakers, who instead voted to authorize them to purchase, possess and administer a short list of prescription drugs often needed during a home birth.

“To me, midwives are the most incredible heroines, and it’s a tremendous amount of responsibility,” Littrell said.

She said she hopes a lot of people will use her website as a resource, including — but not limited to — people who are exploring birth options.

“This is about birth. It’s not just for people who want to have babies,” Littrell said. “How we are born is important. Birth matters.”

“At Home in Waldo” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at the Belfast Free Library.

For more information, visit www.mainehomebirth.wordpress.com

At Home in Waldo, Maine Screening at Belfast Free Library Tuesday, April 12

BELFAST, MAINE  “At Home in Waldo, Maine” will screen on filmmaker Nicolle Littrell’s home turf, at the Belfast Free Library, Tuesday, April 12th, 6:30-8pm.  The film is one of the recent releases from the “At Home in Maine” film series, which focuses on homebirth and professional midwifery care in Maine.

“At Home in Waldo, Maine” features the Weavers, a family from Waldo who are semi-homesteaders, homeschoolers, entrepreneurs and rock’n’rollers!  Integrating footage from the Weaver’s day-to-day life with their home birth, “At Home in Waldo, Maine” explores the relationship between how we live and how we birth.  The film includes a single performed by Jerry Weaver’s band, Odlaw.

The film also features Morningstar Midwifery (morningstarmidwifery.com/) a professional midwifery practice located in Belfast. Discussion with the filmmaker, film participants and refreshments will follow the screening.

For more information about “At Home in Maine” visit: www.mainehomebirth.wordpress.com.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information call 338-3884 ext 10.

At Home in Maine on Facebook

At Home in Maine now has it’s own Facebook Page!
It is my intention for the FB page to function in the following ways:

  • As another info/education source for all things Maine homebirthy–this would include events, classes, media, articles, political activity, etc.
  • A community space where folks can share their own homebirth stories–sharing a link to a video, writing your story, sharing birth art, photos, etc.
  • A shameless promotional tool for the At Home in Maine film project, given that FB is taking over the world.

Feel free to post liberally on the Facebook page!  And share the page!  More “likes” means more people will see this info–thanks!

    new film #2: at home in orland (#2)

    January 28, 2011.  Belfast, Maine. Woman in the Moon Films is releasing a second new film to add to the At Home in Maine film series, “At Home in Orland (#2).”  This film features the second homebirth of the Bates/Cotier family–Valerie, Todd, Austin, Cooper and Penelope.  Valerie and Todd had a homebirth with their second child, Cooper, in November of 2008.  I was lucky enough to film that one, too!  That birth is featured in two other films in this series, “At Home in Orland” and “At Home in Maine Part III.”

    Andrea Mietkiewicz and Evelyn Conrad of Clear Light Holistic Midwifery of Old Town, Maine assisted this family in both homebirths.

    This birth provides an interesting counterpart to “At Home in Waldo”; Valerie had a VERY fast labor with her third child, Penelope, who made her quick entrance outside of the womb into the water, in the birth tub.  Though Penelope’s birth was normal, Valerie experienced some heavy postpartum bleeding–this film addresses how midwives are trained to deal with this complication.  I continue to be amazed at the depth and breadth of women’s wisdom–both mothers and midwives.

    I feel really blessed to have had the opportunity to film both of Valerie’s homebirths.  Both she and Andrea have become good friends of mine throughout the past few years and I am grateful for their trust in me and support of this project.  Thank you!

    The film runs 20 minutes long; please take some time to check it out and offer your input.  You will also see supplementary commentary, provided by Andrea, regarding how midwives address postpartum bleeding.  Enjoy and share!

    Full Moon/New Film: At Home in Waldo, Maine

    January 19, 2011. To celebrate today’s full moon, Woman in the Moon films is releasing a brand new homebirth film:  At Home in Waldo (click link to view film), as part of the At Home in Maine film series and web project.

    At Home in Waldo presents the homebirth experience of the Weavers–Melinda, Jerry, Ravi and Gideon–a family living in midcoast Maine.  The film observes Melinda’s approaching delivery in context of the Weaver’s daily activities and documents the pre-natal planning and support the family receives from their professional midwives.

    The Weavers are (semi) homesteaders, home/internet-based entrepreneurs, homeschoolers–and rock and rollers!  This 46-minute film is both an intimate document of their experience and an exploration into the relationship between how we live and how we birth.

    The Weavers were assisted by Morningstar Midwifery, located in Belfast, Maine.  This film is signficant in that it features a long (but gorgeous) labor and birth with an “older” mama; Melinda was 42 at the time she gave birth to Gideon.  The film shows how professional midwives address such labors. 

    I mentioned that the Weavers were rock and rollers–they have a band called Odlaw.  One of their songs, “Learn to Love”–from their new album “Odlaw 1”–is featured in this film. To hear more of Odlaw’s music visit:  www.odlaw.org

    You can also visit the Weavers online store, which features art, antiques and collectibles at: www.rubylane.com/shop/kingsburyfarm

    Please take some time to check out this new film–and offer feedback!  It runs about 46 minutes long.

    Many thanks to the Weavers, Morningstar Midwifery and Teri Gallo for their ongoing participation in and support of this project.