Homer Birth and Wellness Center
The Story of the Birth Cottage
Our cottage, Sarah Robertson's vision, was born with the help of the whole community and was a real labor of love, as you can see from these pictures. Sarah has always been interested in natural construction techniques and enrolled the expertise of local community members, such as Lasse Holmes. Holmes attended a workshop in the construction of cob houses built with natural materials such as clay, straw and other fibrous organic materials. Our cottage grew from there, and then began the long building process involving almost entirely women introduced by Holmes and brought to Homer to share their talents. Brigit Doran built the rammed earth floor and "Birtha", the birthing tub, made of natural materials in the traditional Tadelakt and Maroccan lime plaster techniques and rubbed to a gloss with olive oil soap. Local carpenter, Taro Sasakura, added masterful hand-hewn wooden elements with exposed beams and tree trunks. Tile work was added with river rocks collected from Homer beaches, weaving through the floor and around the edges of the entire space, courtesy of Josh Nordstrom of Tierra Tile. The cottage is heated by the rocket stove, as well as radiant floor and wall heat. Local artist Nancy Wise created the beautiful stained glass, adding an artistic touch to the space, and the stones and pebbles waterfall trickles down the wall above the tub, providing a soothing and peaceful sound for women in labor. By the way, all the water at the Cottage is filtered and drinkable. The cottage is now the first engineered and permitted natural construction building in the state. It is beautiful but above all, it emanates a feeling of personal embrace, nurturing and safety, allowing women to tap into their primal instincts and labor to unfold as nature designed.