Interview with Arielle Greenberg Bywater, August 2, 2011
Project: Birth Narrative Oral History Project
Interview SummaryArielle Greenberg Bywater - Belfast, ME
Arielle begins her interview by talking about growing up in a Modern Orthodox Jewish family in Schenectady, NY. She describes her family as observant while open minded and secular. She shares insights about her family dynamics including her parents? tumultuous marriage and her role as the oldest daughter in helping care for her younger sisters.
Arielle talks about choosing to become pregnant the first time, getting off the pill and using the Fertility Awareness Method to understand her body?s natural cycles before getting pregnant. Arielle shares her experience of finding a home birth midwife in Illinois, where she was teaching at the time. She explains some of the complex legalities and politics of home birth midwifery at the time. She gave birth at home in the water to her daughter, Willa after several days of labor in a birth she says made her feel like she rocked the world.
She and her husband Rob were surprised to become pregnant the second time. At the end of the pregnancy they discovered that their son, Day had died in utero. She shares the story of that loss and the experience of giving birth while facing the grief of Day?s death. She talks about how her community, family and colleagues all responded differently to her loss and what it was like to labor, birth and parent while mourning.
Arielle explains how all three of her birth experiences have influenced her to become a birth activist, believing in the significance of informed care and the importance of being and feeling cared for by healthcare providers.
In 2011 she and her close friend, Rachel Zucker, coauthored a book called Home/Birth: A Poemic.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Bywater, Arielle Greenberg Interview by Nora Weatherby. 02 Aug. 2011. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Bywater, A.G. (2011, August 02). Interview by N.. Weatherby. Birth Narrative Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Bywater, Arielle Greenberg, interview by Nora Weatherby. August 02, 2011, Birth Narrative Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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