About this project
We've been hearing incredible stories from supporters, but unless we reach the full $86,000 goal by Oct 11 at 6PM the story we want to tell will have to wait. Reaching this goal means we can move forward with post production and finish this film in a way that you can all be proud to support. Click the green button today and support at any level. We need you.
What would change for families in the US if they had the freedom to choose where to give birth? What if they could make this choice not based on cost or coverage limitations, fear or misinformation? What if instead, they could base their decision on the best evidence for their unique set of risks and their knowledge of the environment that would best support their transition to parenthood?
I grew up hearing the story of the doctor and the surgical procedure that saved my life and my mother's (I was breech, delivered by cesarean section). I never considered that I might give birth outside of a hospital--until I got pregnant.
LESS THAN 1% OF WOMEN IN THE U.S. GIVE BIRTH AT HOME EACH YEAR.
At that time I had been a nurse for five years and a nurse practitioner for three. I had worked in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, and had done my training in obstetrics with a hospital-based midwifery group. Home birth wasn't part of my culture and wasn't something my training had directly addressed. I had also just completed 2 years of infertility treatments, culminating in a very wanted IVF pregnancy. Prompted by a colleague's experience, I started researching, asking questions, and considering my options.
I looked at my risks in and out of the hospital and decided I felt that I had the best chance of a safe and uncomplicated natural birth in my own home surrounded by people I knew and trusted. My family and some of my colleagues disagreed.
ONE IN THREE WOMEN WHO DELIVER IN A U.S. HOSPITAL WILL DELIVER BY CESAREAN SECTION.
When the time came, the experience of birth was so much more than I imagined it would be. Since then, I have watched peers, friends, and family members have dramatically different birth experiences. Experiences that left them feeling powerless, scared, anxious, and defeated. I have also met more colleagues and hospital birth providers who chose to give birth at home. Often, they kept their decision quiet, hiding it from friends, family, and colleagues. Theirs was a story I wanted to tell. A story that has the potential to expand understanding of home birth beyond the fringe practice portrayed in the media.
When I first put out the call to colleagues and friends in the community a year ago, the response was overwhelming, there were over 50 doctors, nurses, and midwives just in my area who had given birth at home and were ready to talk to me about their experiences.
Since then, we've come a long way. We've filmed 2 families through their births, interviewed 7 doctors, nurses, midwives and their families, captured expert interview with Judith Pence Rooks, Saraswathi Vedam, Melissa Cheyney, and Eugene DeClercq.
We have shot some B roll, but still have more to do. Talking heads for 50 minutes wouldn't be very visually appealing. We have come this far on our own. Some of the funds raised will go to pay invoices incurred during production. The 30% of production left includes B roll and 2 additional interviews. During this campaign we had the opportunity to capture some of the Home Birth Summit.
The bulk of the funds raised through this campaign will go to support post-production. We could limp along trying to edit this a couple of hours a week after the kids are in bed or on the weekend, but this project is too important. It deserves more. We don't want to wait. There are women and families who need access to this information now. This film has the power to influence the course of maternity care in America.
In addition to editing, post-production includes sound design, original music, color grading, graphics, and animation. We want to make a beautiful film that does justice to this story.
We realize we're asking a lot. Eighty six thousand dollars is no small amount. Whenever it feels insurmountable I remember that the US spends 111 billion dollars a year on maternity and newborn care and a 30 second commercial routinely costs over half a million dollars. In comparison, $86,000 seems like small potatoes. We're taking a risk and trusting the community to get us to our goal. If we don't reach it, we get nothing and the footage we've already shot sits unseen, waiting for time and money to make it into the film it could be.
Too often polarization occurs on the topic of home birth. Your contribution to this project supports a more nuanced view of birth than the one often sensationalized in the media. Together, we can move toward real improvements in maternity care independent of where birth happens, improvements that benefit women, families, and society.
Thank you for becoming a backer today!
Jessicca and the "Why Not Home?" Team
What people are saying about "Why Not Home?"
"Thank you for bringing thoughtfulness, grace, excellence, and a critical mind to this important issue."
--Dr. Nurit Licht, Mother of 2 and family physician
"More exposure to the power of home birth is exactly what humans need. The birth of my son was the most powerful and magical experience I have had or ever will have."
--Marla Pedersen, Artist and home birth mom
"As a natural childbirth instructor empowering women and families in their birth choices is very important to me. I love what you're doing!"
--Julia Myers, Childbirth educator and home birth mom of 2
"We are so excited to see this help bring home birth to the masses! I gave birth at home 2 1/2 years ago. It was an amazing and beautiful process that I'd love to see more experience."
--Dr. Julie Restad, Family Chiropractor and home birth mom
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Jessicca Moore is a family nurse practitioner and filmmaker in Petaluma, CA. A graduate of the UCLA School of Nursing, she has always been drawn to people and their stories and is passionate about empowering women and families through information sharing. She became interested in filmmaking when the intersection of her personal and professional worlds gave her a story she had to tell.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Kelly Collins Geiser studied cinematography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She spent several years editing at Fast Forward in San Francisco before she had her children and changed careers. She has returned to filmmaking for this project which is very close to her heart.
Both of Kelly's children were born at home. Her birth experience was empowering and transformative, a feeling she wishes for all women regardless of where they choose to give birth. Kelly’s artistic vision and training in cinematography, experience in editing, as well as her personal knowledge of the subject matter, make her a valuable member of the creative team.
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Lindemuth studied cinematography at San Francisco State University and has been working in the film industry for the past 12 years. He has expanded from production assistant to camera assistant and is now filming more of his own work while continuing to shoot for larger commercial clients. He and his wife are expecting their first child in October 2014. Born at home himself, Michael and his wife are navigating the choices and challenges that are explored in this project.
DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER: An observer of life, death, birth, and growth, Erin Wrightsman brings her own exploration of the intimate and expansive spaces that exist in relationship into her work. Erin is a highly naturalistic, passionate photographer who specializes in creating warm, authentic portraits of people and families expressing themselves, their love, their connections with one another and their relationships to themselves and the world(s) they inhabit. Erin is especially passionate about birth and documenting a woman's transition from woman to mother. She describes her own birth experience as, "home birth at the hospital."
SOUND DESIGN AND COMPOSER: Chris Vibberts is passionate about music and sound. His unique compositions and sound design can be heard in a number of award winning short, animated, documentary, non-profit, and feature length films, as well as on TV. Playing instruments including the guitar, drums, keyboards, sitar, sax, banjo, accordion, and flutes from around the world, his music has been heard in projects spanning the globe from USA to Korea, Mexico to India.
He and his wife planned a home birth, but ultimately delivered a healthy baby girl in the hospital.
Risks and challenges
Finding an editor who shares the vision for this project and has the skill to see it to completion has been a challenge. This project is obviously very close to my heart, and I want to turn it over to the right person. We have budgeted what seems like a fair rate, but as with any project, there is the potential for overruns and delays. We are reviewing transcripts and continue to refine the storyline so we can present the editor with a clear vision for the film to ensure a good fit and an efficient edit.
It has been a steep learning curve as a first time filmmaker. Fortunately, I have the benefit of living in the Bay Area with access to a large filmmaking community. As the director/producer I carry the vision for this film, but I will never be as good at editing or motion graphics as someone who does it full time. I want to be able to partner with these people in mutually beneficial ways, which includes paying them for their work. It has been challenging over the past year at times to move forward without funding in place. With your help we can finish this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The trailer we edited is only a small sample of the material we have for the final film. These are the first women we interviewed, so we have had more time to review and edit their material. We are intentionally focusing on women who practice in a hospital setting and chose to deliver at home because it’s unexpected. The one home birth midwife we interviewed initially, Nancy, happens to be a CNM. We chose to interview her because she attended the births of 3 of the other women in the film. She is in practice with a CPM, who we also plan to interview. We recently interviewed Melissa Cheyney, a CPM and Medical Anthropologist who teaches at Oregon State.
Certified Professional Midwives attend a majority of home births in the United States, including one of the two births we filmed over the summer. They are not left out, but the angle of this film is a personal one highlighting women who attend birth in the hospital and chose to have their own children at home.
We plan to pursue a diversity of distribution options including a combination of theatrical, semi-theatrical, and television release. We also plan to make this film available through a web based platform such as Netflix or Amazon in order to engage and inform as many people as possible.
The audience for this film is primarily women of childbearing age, their families, healthcare professionals who attend birth in any setting, and those training in healthcare professions. One of the ways we plan to reach this audience is through partnerships with medical and nursing schools. In addition to Medical and Nursing schools, colleges and universities with strong women’s studies, public health, or health policy programs will also be key targets for marketing this film.
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