Cindy's now speaking out about her experience giving birth to Presley (12) and Kaia (10) on Ricki Lake's docu-series, More Business of Being Born. Cindy took some time out of her hectic schedule to chat with SheKnows about her experience as well.
Crawford: Look, when I got pregnant, I was like, "Sign me up for the epidural." But then I started going to a prenatal yoga class that a friend of mine suggested. I started that when I was probably 24 weeks. That was the first place where I even heard inklings that there were other ways to do it.
Crawford: Well, first it was the yoga teacher -- her name is Gurmukh. She started to make you realize that most of all, you're not sick when you're pregnant, and that you're not at your weakest. If anything, by doing prenatal yoga, it helps empower you. You're strong.
She also talked about how our bodies are meant for birth. We all got here somehow! So I started thinking about natural childbirth. And my mom was a 16-year-old mother. She also had natural childbirth and didn't have any drugs. She had all four of her kids naturally. So I went to Roosevelt hospital because I knew that they had a birthing center. It seemed cool, but I felt like I still wasn't at home.
Crawford: I found a midwife through my yoga teacher. I spent way more time with her than I would have ever spent with an OB. She wanted to know what my mom's births were like. What our relationship was like. She wanted to know your frame of mind.
New York and Los Angeles are easy, but if you're not in those areas I would start on the internet. I would go to any kind of prenatal group. Even in my yoga class we talked about pediatricians, OBs and vaccinations. Being around other pregnant women who will actually listen to you talk obsessively about it.
Crawford: I went into labor... I think I woke up at 1 a.m. or something, not really sure what was going on. But then by, I don't know, 4 a.m., I kind of figured it out, but my midwife had said, "Don't call me unless you're this far along!" I finally called her and she was like, "Let me listen to you on the phone." She was like, "Oh no, you still have plenty of time. Try to get some sleep." I'm like, "Are you out of your mind?"
When she finally came, the hard part for me was that I wasn't good at pushing. So I was pushing for three hours. So, it was hard. It hurt. But the cool thing was... so many people, when you have your baby, they're like, "Who delivered your baby?" You're like, "Oh Dr. So and So." But I delivered my baby. It was so empowering for me. I could take that and frame that into being a new mom when you're sort of insecure. I felt like I just ran a marathon.
Crawford: It was. That's one thing that Ricki's movie illustrates: that while most people say, "Well, you got a healthy baby out of it," it is equally important that the mom feel empowered and healthy as well. Then she can blossom as a mother.
Crawford: That you are in your own environment. You're not hearing another person down the hall screaming or ambulances or people rushing about around you. You chose who to have with you. Within an hour, there was no one in my house. I was there with my baby and my husband. I sat and had dinner with my husband, on a doughnut.
Crawford: At first, he thought it was crazy! So I said, "Look, you come with me to talk to the midwife and you ask her all of your questions." And he came and fired away. Also, I think it made him feel comfortable that we were within 10 or 15 minutes of a hospital.
And you know what else was cool? There was no other man around. There was no doctor or orderly. I think my husband, probably like a lot of husbands standing at the hospital, they're kind of spectators. They don't know what to do. There's no job for them really. But here, my husband had to step up. He was the man. As much as he thought it was weird that I wanted to have a homebirth, shortly afterwards we went to visit a friend who had a baby in the hospital and he was like, "I'm so glad that we did it at home."
Crawford: Just be informed because it's different for everybody. For me, I always feel better and more empowered when I've done the homework and then make a decision. To me, it's all about the mom and the couple feeling like they have choices and being empowered by their choice.
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