Although it is technically a documentary, it feels a lot more like a fiction film because it tells a single story of a single mother birthing her child. This movie is not about statistics, evidence-based information or public policies.
Instead, watching These Are My Hours is a lot more like actually being at a birth. And not any birth, but one in which a woman takes matters into her own hands and fearlessly rocks her experience, even though at times it seems impossible to do.
I had the honor to chat with Emily Graham, the subject of this film, who shares with us how she got involved in this project, why it is important for her, and what she hopes for the film to do in our crazy world.
M: Tell us, how did you get involved in the birth world?
E: I had my first baby at home almost 10 years ago and I found that after I gave birth I still wanted to read all the books and talk about it and I realized that I was interested in learning about it and working in birth more than just as a mother. So I asked my midwife if I could work with her. Despite me having never trained in anything related to health or birth, she said yes.
“My birth work is all about women finding their truth and expressing their autonomy through their birth experience.”
When my baby was nine months old, I started attending prenatal appointments and births with her. I worked with her for a few years. I had another baby with her and then I moved to South Carolina, where I live now. I studied with Whapio for two years, doing her holistic midwifery program. My plan at the beginning was to become a licensed midwife. But as I got more experience and of course as I trained with Whapio and heard of her philosophy, I decided that I didn't want to be licensed by the state and I didn't want to practice midwifery the way it is in our culture.