Meet The Mom: Emily Grace Whebbe : The Baby Project Emily Grace Whebbe is planning on having her first child at a birthing center with a midwife. She's participating in NPR's Baby Project, which will track nine expectant moms through birth.
NPR logo Meet The Mom: Emily Grace Whebbe

Meet The Mom: Emily Grace Whebbe

Courtesy of Emily Grace Whebbe
Emily Grace Whebbe.
Courtesy of Emily Grace Whebbe

During this pregnancy, I've spent countless hours researching everything my ravenous mind can think of. My partner, Kai, and I are being as environmentally friendly, nontoxic and sustainable in raising this baby as possible. Cloth diapers, breastfeeding, organic bedding, the vaccine debate and a multitude of other topics have filled my head for the past few months.

Even before conception, I have always imagined having the most natural birth possible. It didn't take me long to decide I didn't want to be in a hospital, and through my research, I found the most wonderful midwives and a local birth center that accommodate my wishes perfectly. I am planning on having a water birth with no pain medications or interventions. The midwives continually calm all of my fears and have made this pregnancy quite enjoyable.

Emily Grace Whebbe at 30 weeks pregnant after a sailboat race. Courtesy of Emily Grace Whebbe hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Emily Grace Whebbe

Emily Grace Whebbe at 30 weeks pregnant after a sailboat race.

Courtesy of Emily Grace Whebbe

My current area of work includes freelance website development; helping small businesses redesign, update and manage their websites. However, my real desire is to be in a drastically different realm, working more closely with the natural world and farther away from my computer.

I imagine growing organic produce and feeding my surrounding community with whatever is in season, either on my own land or on the land of another. In the past, I have felt the happiest while farming. Thankfully, web development does not completely fill my days and grants me a flexible schedule. I garden, bike, research, make books, sew, play the piano, guitar and violin, and prefer being on any body of water or being outside in any capacity during my free time.

Together, Kai and I have gone on countless bike and camping trips, owned a used bookstore together, and sailed Lake Superior among other adventures. It seems we've gone through many challenges together, but the baby is something we are finding to be completely different, especially since even after endless planning and research, babies contain countless uncertainties. We're trying our best to prepare in every way we can, but still we have moments where we question how exactly we will do this.

We currently live in St. Paul, Minn., although Kai lives on a houseboat on the Mississippi River, and I live blocks away in the home I grew up in. Neither place is ideal for us to raise a child or live together. As a result, we are constantly dreaming up ideas of where we would like to be: ideally a place that satisfies our hearts, bodies, baby and our families. Our ideas include the traditional route of buying a home, to trading the houseboat for a live-aboard sailboat that we could sail around the world, and every option in between.

We are close to our families both in proximity and emotionally, and we are very lucky to have a wealth of support from them. Thus, we would like to stay in the area, but being 27 years old, we each have the desire to travel and live in different worlds from our current one. Hopefully we can figure this out in due time, because the baby is due July 31!