miracles

this past saturday, i witnessed another miracle:  i filmed the birth of a baby born at home to two loving parents, assisted by a team of midwives and friends.  two of his brothers met him moments after he emerged from his mother’s womb (the third, a toddler, slept on).  it was an intense and challenging labor, but with loving and professional support and care–and a lot of hard work–this mother brought her baby into the world outside the womb.

this summer i had the honor of stepping into this family’s world and filming other facets of their life.  our first endeavor:  a family excursion where we went on a whale watch.  other intimate and joyful events and moments were documented.  i did this entirely with out-of-pocket resources.  i hope to be able to transform this story into a film.  a film that will be a part of the “at home in maine” series.  a new film that will help educate women and their families about the choice to have a homebirth and receive midwifery care.

to do that, i need additional resources.  funds that will support the time and materials it takes to transform footage into a film.  i intend for this one to be the first of four more films that will be produced over this next year.

i’ve got two weeks to go with this kickstarter campaign–and a long way to reach my funding goal.  i will not receive any funds unless the entire funding goal is reached.  i need some angels here!  won’t you please be a part of my miracle and pledge to this project today?  miracles do happen.  i filmed one early saturday morning…

thanks to all who supported this project in week 4!

nicolle

Please Support At Home in Maine on Kickstarter Today!

I’m entering Week 4 of this campaign and have a long way to go to meet my September 15 fund-raising goal!  I remain hopeful!

If you have been thinking of supporting this project and can swing it NOW is the time to go for it!  Whether it’s $5, $25, $250 (or more if you’re feeling generous) it all counts towards reaching this goal!

And if you know someone that would be interested in supporting this project, please PLEASE spread the word in your own circles!

Meeting this funding goal is critical to sustaining work on this project!  “At Home in Maine” is a part of a vibrant online movement to educate women and their families about their choices in childbirth!  Every woman deserves that information!

Click here to go to At Home in Maine on Kickstarter!  Many thanks to all who have supported this project so far! 

Another way to support this project is to rent/buy films in the At Home in Maine series.  Four films are available through Video on Demand (with more to come) via this website:  At Home in Waldo, Maine, At Home in Winthrop, At Home in Orland #2 and At Home in Morrill.

Looking forward to filming more births and creating more films for this series!

Peace,

Nicolle

 

 

 

 

New Changes with At Home in Maine!!

August 8, 2011.  As some of you may have noticed, “At Home in Maine” is undergoing some changes.  I’ve spruced up the look of the website a bit (got to love that paisley!) but more significantly, I am in the process of transitioning the “At Home in Maine” series to Video on Demand (VOD).  Soon, all the films will be available to watch via rental or purchase (as a digital download).  So far, “At Home in Winthrop”, “At Home in Waldo” and “At Home in Orland (#2)” are all viewable through VOD. In the coming weeks, more films in the “At Home in Maine” series will be available via VOD.

It is a big change and one that I took a lot of time to research and consider.  I found a great new online distribution service, “filmDIY” that is making this possible.  Education, information and inspiration are important goals of this project–and accessibility is a key value.  However, I have to make a living, too!  I’m graduating from my Master’s Program at U Maine in a few weeks!  So, far I have created 11 films for this series–mostly with out-of-pocket resources.  I want to keep doing the work I’m so passionate about and sustain the “At Home in Maine” project.  Revenue from VOD will generate resources to keep adding to this body of work–presenting more diverse representation of families choosing homebirths, midwives, locations in Maine and a variety of homebirth experiences.  The prime goal of “At Home in Maine” is to help educate women and their partners about the choice to have a homebirth–with the intention of increasing access to information about this choice.   The recent CDC report about the 20% increase in homebirth credits the “subculture of white women” as responsible for this increase.  I’d say much of this has to do with the Internet–and the vibrant online Natural Birth Movement, which is making it easier for women to share their stories and learn about their choices in childbirth.  “At Home in Maine” is part of that Movement, which aims to transform the way birth is seen and done (especially in the US).  To help “normalize” the choice to have a homebirth.

The “At Home in Maine” films make a great gift for expectant parents and an excellent educational tool for childbirth educators and doulas to present what homebirth looks like–and just as important, what normal, natural, vaginal birth looks like.  The films make an excellent addition midwives’ lending libraries.  And to midwifery and nursing schools and women/gender/cultural studies program collections, as well!  At $4/4 days for rentals and $14 per film (be in touch if you want to purchase the whole series, I offer “bundle” discounts), I’m working at maintaining a balance between accessibility and affordability.  Digital downloads can be burned to disc–or even uploaded to your own secure servers and/or video-sharing platforms (for academic/educational use only–meaning not available to the general public).

Please spread the word about this series!  I also have launched a Kickstarter campaign, as well, to generate more resources to sustain the work I’m so very passionate about!  Over the next few months, I will also be screening films from the series in various communities.  The screenings in Belfast in April and Brunswick in July were sold-out shows!  Won’t you consider please supporting my work with “At Home in Maine”–via renting/purchasing films, donating to the Kickstarter campaign, scheduling a screening–or just spreading the word about this work?

A sincere “thank you” to those that have done so already–in ways large and small!

Hope you’re having a great August!

Peas and carrots,

Nicolle

Today’s the Big Day!!

“At Home in Winthrop, Maine” premieres at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick tonight at 6:30 pm!  Discussion with me, the family in the film and the midwives to follow!  Lots of great food at the Frontier!  Suggested donation:  $5 individuals/$10 familys.

For directions, etc. go to:  explorefrontier.com

Hope to see you there!

 

 

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!

 

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