Monday, October 31, 2011

my wife: the hero

meet perrin jon hershberger:

october 25, 2011 at 8:45pm, my son was born into this world at 10lbs 12oz. he came after 30 hours of labor (including 6 hours of pushing). i know that were we to have gone to a hospital instead of having our birth at home, my wife would have had to succumb to major surgery via Cesarian despite our desire to have a natural birth, but my wife never even let that option enter her mind, even after pushing for hours and having seemingly no progress she continued on. after all of her energy was spent and then some, she pushed again...

perrin's birthing story was a beautiful thing to a part of. think about that, he has his own story. and we were a part of it. we can tell him everything because we were an active part of everything. we played a 4 hour birthing mix that i had previously put together full of music by jesus culture, hillsong, bon iver, active child, the national, sigur ros, etc. and the holy spirit was so very present in that place. we prayed, cried, laughed, shared stories, and brought perrin into a world of peace rather than one of chaos which tends to pervade hospital births. we birthed him at home where he's used to the bacteria that we are used to as opposed to the unsanitary facilities of a hospital filled with sick people. we were able to have whoever we wanted to have there at the birth and directly after the birth. perrin was placed directly into the arms of jani and immediately his crying ceased. he began becoming aware of his peaceful surroundings and these people who loved him with all their hearts. his crossed-eyes eventually became uncrossed as he stared up at me with full awareness and health.

throughout our planning of this home birth i came across people who thought we were doing the wrong thing though we knew we heard from the Lord pertaining to our chosen course of action. i encountered Christians who claimed that God put doctors there for a reason and it was essentially ignorance to pursue a birth at home. honestly people, when are we going to start responding to situations from a foundation of faith rather than out of fear? though i believe there is a need for doctors in our society, i also believe that birthing has been happening since the beginning without doctors, and most the rest of the world still use midwives as the main facilitators of birth. most doctors have never even seen a full natural birth and i believe that most of the complications that arise in births are due to the protocol doctors are expected to follow to make money for the hospital as well as to minimize liability. they are trained to react rather than to let nature take its natural course. if the birth is not going as fast as the doctor thinks it should, he'll speed it up causing the intense pain that would be gradually experienced over an extended period of time to be experienced all at once. once the woman feels that overwhelming pain its easier for her to agree to the use of drugs, no matter what the plan had been ahead of time.

the medical establishment is a money driven industry. it revolves around the convenience of the doctors rather than what the parents would like in a birthing experience. the father is oftentimes pushed away rather than allowed to be an active part of the labor process. its said that 85% of births can be done at home, 95% in a birthing center, but only 5% really need doctoral care in a hospital. the rest of the world maintains this belief, how is it that we have allowed ourselves to be so manipulated and indoctrinated by the medical establishment here in america? we tend to close ourselves off to truth by believing what has always been popular belief. we research everything before we purchase them except for birthing options. we have allowed fear to rule us rather than having faith that God created a woman's body to naturally adjust to the birthing process.

i do believe that home births should not be planned without a midwife and that a backup plan should be established in those rare cases where medical care is needed. though the pushing process was long and hard, vitals were checked for both jani and perrin throughout the birth and were continually found strong.

in convincing women that they are incapable of birthing without drugs or surgery, i believe society has greatly diminished the strength and capability of women. though it was the hardest thing jani had ever done, she would not have had perrin any other way. the experience was spiritual and personal. brenda, our midwife, hand wrote perrin a 4 page letter all about his birthing story with advice and encouragement for his life. try to find that in a hospital birth!

my hope is that our birthing story could inspire other women to feel capable of natural birth and that there really are options. i admire and appreciate the strength of my wife so much more after experiencing and sharing in the birth of our son. if my small wife can naturally birth our 10lb 12oz baby after pushing for 6 hours without tearing more than a little nick, so can yours.

for more pictures of Perrin Jon and his introduction to the world check out:
for more information on natural and homebirths watch "the business of being born" (can be streamed on netflix) or read "gentle birth options" by barbara harper, r.n.


  1. Beautiful story Eric. Thanks for sharing and congratulations! Chelsea and I spent much time thinking and praying through birthing options for our son as well before deciding to go with a midwife in Auburn (very hard to find a midwife in the Ft Wayne area) We experienced some of the similar objections from friends and family who were fearful for our safety bc w didn't have a "real doctor" with us. Praise God for your son, your wife, and your family and congrats again!

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. Praise God for His perfect design and hooray for Eric & Jani for walking in faith. The only reason we didn't birth Gwyn at home was because I thought our insurance covered the hospital birth and we couldn't possibly afford a midwife. It was rather foolish...but in spite, we did have a relatively natural birth. Our future children will all be born at home, no doubt. I expect wonderful things from your beautiful family!

  3. This is absolutely beautiful... I can read this post with perspective as I was born and raised in a 3rd world country where most people do not have any other option than give birth at home or hospitals which do not have enough doctoers to participate into the birth. Some people who can afford obstetricians to direct the birthing process are thought of as "privileged". As a nurse (I went to nursing school at Malone, with your wife Jani *what a wonderful, genuine and gentle person*), it seems that that particular curriculum of our training is geared towards understand the medical technology and how to read measurements, data, numbers, rather than focused on the body. Maybe because listening to the body takes time, experience, gentleness, passion, vocation, and that we just dont want to invest all of the above and especially time (which in this society is translated into money).
    Most of my people, when it comes to birthing options are thinking that they would love have the opportunity to have birth in the controlled and monitored hospital setting, rather than the dirty, uncontrolled home environment. I wish we could just be more open, learn to slow down, and listen to nature, appreciate it, observe it, as a testimony of gratitude to our wonderful Creator. Whewww Sorry for the long comment!
    I speak blessing into the life of little Perrin and his parents. Extends my congrats to Jani!