Kate Knopp gave birth to her son William four months ago in her Pasco home while in a tub of water. She and her husband, Jason, spent the first five hours of their son's life with him uninterrupted.
"It was important to me for the birth to be very private," Kate Knopp said, adding she didn't like the idea of giving birth in a hospital.
She said other mothers later told her they were envious of her water birthing experience but didn't know enough to do anything but go to the hospital when they went into labor themselves.
That led the Knopps and about 30 other Tri-City residents -- mothers, fathers, children -- to set up shop with placards and balloons Monday morning at John Dam Plaza in Richland to call for expectant mothers to know more about their options.
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Organizers said the rally wasn't a protest of the health care provided in the Tri-Cities, but rather a call for medical professionals to better inform expectant mothers of their choices and for those mothers to seek answers.
"It's about knowing the options," said co-organizer Lisa Campbell of Richland.
The rally is part of the National Rally for Change on Labor Day promoted by the organization Improving Birth. The Richland event is one of four in Washington and about 100 across the country.
Campbell said there is an inconsistency to maternity care across the country.
She said she herself had a pleasant birthing experience when she had her 16-month-old son Logan. However, she said she heard horror stories from other mothers. They ranged from doctors not fully explaining the benefits and risks of an epidural to ease labor to being quick to deliver a child by cesarean section.
"That's major surgery but we don't think of it like that because it's so common," Campbell said.
Co-organizer Kseniya Deryckx, also of Richland, said the delivery of her son Daniel Aldrich about a year ago went well but she and her husband, Josh Aldrich, had issues afterward.
"She was separated from him almost right after birth," Josh Aldrich said. The parents said they would have liked to have some time with the child before he was attended to by doctors.
Deryckx, Campbell and others said there are great doctors and health care in the Tri-Cities and epidurals, C-sections and other procedures are necessary to address the unpredictability of birth.
However, they said there needs to be a dialogue between doctors, midwives and mothers about all the options available so a mother can make the choice she's comfortable with.
And while the streets of central Richland were relatively quiet Monday because of the Labor Day holiday, a number of the cars passing by the men, women and children holding signs on Jadwin Avenue honked in support.
"We just think it's important for women to know what their options are," Kate Knopp said.