Giving Birth To Myself a Birthing & Harlem Midwife Story

November 13, 2007

Giving Birth To Myself

Giving Birth To Myself
a Harlem Midwife, My Story & Maija & Jana

geo geller
contact: geo (at)

In full disclosure i come to Giving Birth To Myself
because i too was involved in the birthing of my two kids
and in the process i am still giving birth to myself

“a woman gives physical/emotional birth to herself, as a mother, but at the same time a man also gives birth, but this time to himself, not only as a father to his child but also as a father to everybody and everything including the child in himself” by geo geller

“the system delivers while the mother births, two very different perspectives
that collide in a woman’s womb” by geo geller

Intro – 3 min 08 seconds
Giving Birth To Myself – intro – 3 min 08 seconds

Complete – 1 hour and 30 min
Giving Birth To Myself – complete – 1 hour and 30 min

if You are Pregnant or know somebody who is they might also Resonate with

The Truth Will Make You Mad! – 1/3 of Americans get C(aesarean)-sections routine in the US
‘A third of people get major surgery to be born’: why are C-sections routine in the US?


In this excerpt from Giving Birth To Myself, a Harlem Midwife Story
we eavesdrop on a telephone conversation in 2007 between
filmmaker, geo geller and Nonkululeko Tyehemba a Harlem midwife

Giving Birth To Myself looks at the intended and unintended consequences associated with the concept, perceptions and actions of delivering vs birthing and the relationship of mother and child before after and during the birthing process and c-section, among other things – this is excerpted audio from telephone conversation from a larger doc, work in progress documentary – more background below

i recently watched the Ricky Lake and Abby Epstein film “The Business of Being Born” and it got me all excited about giving birth to myself and my experience in the birthing process from the father and midwife perspective – and wow its pretty amazing the whole birthing process anyway as i know in my 3 mind boggling intense life defining experiences but the business of giving birth in hospital is full of insanity like i never imagined especially how heartless it is in America – fyi its even worse in Brasil where 95% of all births are c-sections too – Interesting the system delivers while the mother births, two very different perspectives that collide in a woman’s womb when on the delivery room table – i am so glad at the time of my 2 childrens births now only was i fearless and in many was i am glad others know about the film but glad i didn’t know about this film at the time too – its a beautiful film and yet really scary too – you can see the full film on my link

about the filmmaker – i am an independent NYC moving/still/audio imagemaker among other things and came to do Giving Birth To Myself in mid 1960’s before i had kids i did research on child birth as i was living on an island in the Caribbean and figured what am i going to do if i have a child and its just me and the pregnant mother and in august 13 1970 my first child was born – so i was coincidentally and intentionally prepared and involved in the birthing of my two kids who were born in 1970 and 1973 before midwifing and home birthing was a common phenomenon – fyi it was just their mother and myself born in the mountains of California – fast forward In 2005 i was first introduced to a Harlem Midwife Nonkululeko Tyehemba at a photo exhibitions of stills from George C Stoney film “All My Babies” shot 50 years before, and was featured at the Columbia University School of Nursing and the Mailman School of Public Health – more details below but first listen to the audio while reading below – their is a short 3 min audio version but it really doesn’t do it justice it only touches the surface the full conversation is insightful as we listen to Nonkululeko Tyehemba thinking about her life’s experience as a midwife in Harlem for many years>

“All My Babies” a 1950’s documentary by George Stoney that is still being used today as an instructional video – and at a 50 year photo exhibit celebrating the film i met a Harlem midwife who i am working on a documentary about called Giving Birth To Myself – a Harlem Midwife Story – insights in the birthing  vs the delivery process –  you can hear some of the unedited audio at – in addition i was involved in birthing my own two kids in the 1970’s and can tell you that was a life defining moment not only for me but my kids and their mother – in approaching the birthing of our kids i had to look at the trade-offs and risks and also that people have been giving birth since before forever – and also some what comforting statement – it is said that 98% of all births are uneventful 2% will have problems and 1% of those 2 percent a hospital might be helpful and the other 1% its nature at its not so best for the childs health and well being and doesn’t matter where one is –

food for thought –
be well
geo geller
P.S. – please if you resonate with what you hear here – we need help all kinds of in-kind support both financially and other ways too
some articles i stumbled on that might be thought provoking too
ny times article
Having Baby at Home

November 13, 2008
Baby, You’re Home

ny times article  

As Home Births Grow in U.S., a New Study Examines the Risks

NYTimes Jan 11, 2016
Researchers reported that a significant number of women are wrongly told that they are having large babies. The research showed that mothers who believed they were having large babies were nearly five times more likely to ask for a scheduled C-section,
even though the vast majority of their babies

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Geo,

    I gave birth to my first baby in hospital, although i wanted it to be at home, result 36 hours nearly lost both mother and child.

    !0 years later, refusing to listen to anyone, I gave birth to my son in the sanctuary of our home, beautiful in a few hours and this certainly was one of the most beautiful experiences I can remember, totally peaceful, fulfilling and uplifting. — even though the midwife only arrived as my son’s head was appearing…

    Comment by Thrinlewangmo — January 12, 2009 @ 1:00 am

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