When I look back into my experience of childbirth I can see how I was being during birth is often how I am being in my life now too.
Birth is an initiation into the feminine, into being.
That’s why all the study in the world doesn’t really help us in childbirth. Our baby doesn’t come out our head. Birth is a dance of wild waves meets wild sexuality, meets earthy passion, meets divine, meets soul. It’s sweaty, it’s wild and messy.
Birth is primal, it’s about surrender, allowing and letting go.
It’s deep, it’s fierce, it’s feminine.
We are all daughters of patriarchy, and the culture we live in has trained us well in achieving and doing. Birth is not a doing, it’s more like waves in the ocean, tides, waterfalls, floods and earthquakes.
Birth’s roots are in Mother Earth and the Laws of Nature.
Nature, she is powerful, so best to surrender to her. Nature always gets her way.
For birth, I was ‘prepared’ and ‘organized’. Things were ‘all good’ up until things got really fucking intense. I felt lost at sea. This is Nature’s plan. She wants us to grow. She wants us to expand beyond our wildest dreams. She wants both us and our baby to make it to shore too.
She wants us to open, stretch, let go and allow her to have her way with us.
In Birth (and life) we need to let go and be done! We need instinct, guts, perseverance, water, food, love, respect, kindness and safety.
Sometimes we have to find these things within ourselves because we are alone and there’s no one to guide us.
I was one of the lucky ones, I had a midwife, I was at home. Yet I was profoundly challenged by childbirth. For me, natural birth felt like an earthquake was doing my body. It was beyond strong. It was completely wild and I needed inner navigation, I needed spiritual guidance.
I needed to trust in myself and birth and in another human being like I have never trusted before. This challenged me.
Up until the descent of my baby through my body I’d been an independent woman who could take care of herself. In birth I needed to open up, to get vulnerable, to connect with the forces of nature within me. I was okay with getting wild and primal until I had enough. I needed a doula at my daughters birth! It’s why I went on to become one later.
This bond is set up with our earliest female carers, but to be really frank our capacity for receiving love and support is set up with our mother. If we don’t deeply and wholeheartedly trust our mother or other women, if we can’t receive from women, we may end up feeling ‘all alone’ during birth.
The bond between women has been broken by many things, maternity practices being one of them. I was born in a time when mothers went to postnatal wards and babies went to the nursery. This is not good for primal mother baby bonding! No!
During childbirth I needed to go deep within to a place of trust in life itself. For some time, around transition, I wasn’t trusting. I was absolutely bricking it. I was clenched in fear. Looking back at birth I can now clearly see the gifts that were so close yet so far.
To see these at the time wasn’t possible because I was overwhelmed and stuck in my head trying to work out how I was going to do it. I was stuck in fear. No, not fear, terror.
To receive my birth gems I needed to relax. It’s not easy to relax when you feel a watermelon coming out between your legs, when you feel you are going to die.
Yet in Nature’s terms I needed to die on some level, I needed to let go of who I thought I was and what I thought I was capable of like never before.
To go deeper, to birth naturally, I needed to trust. I needed to surrender. I needed to let support IN.
I trusted to a point, but when I thought I was going to die I clenched on, gripped with terror. The medicine I needed from within me at those moments was to TRUST BIRTH in an epic way.
I needed to trust myself, trust my body, trust in my midwife, trust in my baby, trust in Nature to bring this baby to the shore.
I needed to trust in something bigger, older and way wiser than me. Wild Woman is our ancient mother and we meet her during childbirth. So for me, trust is the first remedy for my birth healing.
Secondly I needed to surrender. I needed to stop trying to work it out in my head. Surrender means letting go and letting god. Floating in the ocean, not gripping onto the side of the pool for fear of sharks. I was afraid of sharks in the pool.
And finally, I needed a spiritual midwife, a doula to meet me at a soul level. I had offers from many natural birthing friends, divine birthing Goddesses and naively I turned them all away. I thought I could do it all myself. Neh.
I had no idea about birth, nor did I understand the natural and spiritual dimension of birth 16 years ago.
After nine years of being with birthing women I’ve learned something. There is a transmission that happens between the divine and women at birth if we are open to it, if we can surrender to it, if we can let it in.
We are the life givers, we are the gateway between heaven and earth. Life comes through us, strongly!
Women have been doing this birth dance for ever. Although much has been lost, one thing is for sure, it cannot be destroyed. It works just fine.
No matter what happened, your birth is holy and sacred and so are you.
For me, the three gems from my experience of childbirth are trust, surrender and to let support in. This is not only what I needed during birth, it’s what I need to LIVE my life. Birth has medicine for the whole of our life. Happy 16th birthing day to me!