What are your birth stories? Were your needs met during pregnancy and birth? Did you feel empowered in your choices?
Over the years I have worked with numerous women preparing to conceive, during pregnancy as well as post natal. I’ve witnessed a surrender and clarity that comes from the inside. It has happened whether we were working together to support nutritionally, emotionally, energetically, together with their partners, after one or more miscarriages, with an adoption process, and/or after VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). It’s like nature’s way of preparation.
No matter what your personal birthing story is, there is a history enveloped and woven into the experience. There are challenges and trials along with pain and pleasure. When entering into parenthood, we may have different expectations if we have grown up on fairy tales where there can be “skirting over” the struggle to the “happily ever after.”
People who know me have described me as someone they thought would be “squatting outside in the woods” to have my babies. They know I am a woman who loves and appreciates her body (most of the time), the human form, the miracle of pregnancy, the gift of growing a being inside, the joy of being a mama, being close to our Earth Mama and alternative ways of living and being.
My journey as a woman and mother has provided me growth and healing that I needed and that has allowed me to share more with other women. Our 2 children were both born via Cesarean birth. This would not have been my choice and wasn’t still until late in my pregnancy with our first born. We called it a Birth By Special Opening; a friend had said that to me while I was still grieving this reality and it helped me reframe it into something more tangible and personal, a softer way. It somehow shrouded it in a positive way for me.
How can my experience help YOU? Over the years I have shared my story along with our Birth Plan with many families. I hope this post reaches you and/or someone you love who may have learned it is best for them to have a Cesarean birth or who are planning for a home birth but also want to be prepared should the unexpected occur. I’m so passionate about helping families and it starts as early as coupledom, even before considering having a baby. As my husband compassionately said amidst my grieving and learning potential options for us: “Honey, the birth is just one part of being a parent; we have many years to and experiences to share in parenthood.” Though it was still hard for this “want what she wants” kind of woman, it helped me open up to something much larger than me and that I could presume to know what was the best way for these 2 souls to come through to us. If Ina May Gaskin told me it was dangerous for me to birth naturally, that was the last piece for me to hear.
There are all different ways to be a mother:
We grieve lost babies we carried, if even for a little while
We stand alone with generations.
Our ancestors walked before us and are within us.
We can change and embrace new patterns well before considering starting a family.
Empowerment is a birth right!
When I finally surrendered to having a Birth by Special Opening, I chose to create a plan for our hospital birth. Creating this was a positive experience and helped me address my own fears of being a first-time mother. I met my beloved Dr. Edward Wolanski, OB-GYN when I was 8 months pregnant with our son. He read our Birth Plan and told me to contact the nurse manager at the hospital. He didn’t flinch at what I asked. Our pediatrician chose to be present for the birth. After the birth, staff thanked us and many said they wished others would do the same (if they had to have a Cesarean or hospital birth). Even if there is grief after a long labor and Cesarean is recommended, having a plan ahead of time is helpful in preparation for you as a family unit. It’s never what is wanted but it sometimes happens. From statistics, Cesarean births happen a lot.
Having a Birth Plan just makes sense. When I was little I used to be superstitious that if I took a stepped on a crack in the sidewalk, something “bad” would happen. We can never truly know what can or will happen but we can stay curious and open to any possibility. Everyone does this type of investigation in different ways. Some people may do the “what if” scenario and think of all of the things that could go wrong and answer with imagination ahead of time some solutions or potential actions to take. Others trust in the moment to moment experience and believe they will be guided and have just what they need when they need it. There are many ways and this post is more to offer ideas that you may want to add to your Birth Plan that resonate for you.
To read our Birth Plan, click here! Please comment below and let us know how it may have helped you. What kinds of things did you add to yours? Tell us your stories!