Birth is an extraordinary, ordinary occurrence. It happens every day, yet for the individuals involved each birth is unique and miraculous. It is both a basic biological process and a life-altering emotional and spiritual crossroads. Millions of women have given birth before us, yet each women experiences birth in her personal way. It is our challenge to learn what we can from those who have already experienced birth, and remain open to the lessons that our individual experiences hold for us.
I believe women are embraced by the divine in a unique way during pregnancy and birth. They are open to the truths of the Universe so they can grow into motherhood and teach those lessons to their children. Women remember their births for the rest of their lives. The experience colors everything that happens after it in life. It is said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Raising children into intelligent, productive, thoughtful, moral, compassionate human beings is challenging and important work. What happens to women and children affects the world. I believe living life takes a village. We work best when we learn from and connect with others for companionship and support.
The experience of birth is like a direct connection to Universal Truth. It is like taking an express train to your innermost soul, going on a vision-quest, or experiencing a religious epiphany. It is a time when the gateway between life and death is very thinly veiled, and our sensitivities are heightened because we can’t help but be aware of that. When we treat pregnancy and birth as though it is only a physical experience and we block out the spiritual and emotional aspects, those other parts still exist. When they are not honored though, they take on negativity through fear, sadness, overwhelm, depression, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is when women embrace the full experience, look through the gateway and face what they experience there, that they connect with their power as mothers and as women.
This is not about natural childbirth. Epidurals, cesareans, and technology are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. They are tools that should be used appropriately. Women can have very medicalized births that are still very empowering. This is about embracing an experience that only happens a few times in a woman’s life and experiencing it in the fullest way possible. It is about bringing healthy babies into the world, and keeping women healthy as well. And, as much as I love working with women, birth is about creating families and men need support and information too. I believe they should be a part of the process and have guidance to honor their role as fathers. Men are part of the village.
What happens after the birth is what drives me to work with women during this time of their lives. Seeing them stand tall in their strength as birth warriors, leaders, truth-tellers, nurturers, and sisters is the most amazing thing to me! I believe women can change the world into a better, more peaceful, more nurturing place. Helping women have the tools to birth and mother with strength is only part of the job. Helping women believe in their abilities, believe in their worth, and believe in themselves to live their lives in strength is the ultimate goal for me.
I love seeing women achieve their goals. I love seeing them stand in their true power. Working with women to help them achieve their dreams feeds my soul and gives me purpose. Joseph Campbell spoke about The Hero’s Journey. I see pregnancy and birth as The Heroine’s Journey. I wish to be a helper to women on their great adventure – the one who, when you meet her when you feel scared and vulnerable says, “I can help you. I believe in you. You can do it!” And you do.