My friend and frequent collaborator Rebecca Odes once referred to my birth classes as “punk rock childbirth ed.” This was a compliment coming from the former lead singer of one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite indie bands, Love Child, and current member of NYC’s Ma’am. I think what she means by “punk,” is that I’m real and candid and enthusiastic at the same time. (I don’t think she means that I tell students to “sod off” and slash my own skin while I teach, though that could be an interesting approach to the pain coping segment.)
I’ll never know exactly what it’s like to take one of my classes, but I do know that “My Home Birth,” a graphic novel about a home birth, would probably qualify as punk rock childbirth ed.
And I love it. It’s totally honest, hilarious and home made. It’s brutal and charming all at once. It’s the antidote to the “orgasmic birth” and yet somehow equally “empowering.”
Below is the opening frame, but you can look at the whole thing over at Smithmag.com. I really recommend it if you’re interested in the real deal (and a good laugh). It’s by Christen Clifford and David Heatley and was originally published in 2009.
My favorite bit of dialog is in the very last frame where the midwives are leaving and the couple is standing there with one toddler and one hours-old baby.
Parents: We’ll pay you a thousand dollars to sleep on our couch!
Midwives: Ha Ha. Good night.
Here’s the first frame:
And here is the full comic strip. I hope you enjoy the punk rock childbirth ed! I certainly did.