Standing between Worlds
Where Spirit & Matter meet
Where your Soul & my Soul will greet
Together unfolding in this time & space
Birthing each other in this Sacred place
>>>: WolfMoon :<<<
‘Birth, is a like a seed, breaking out of its shell
Pushing & squeezing through the layers of dirt
Until finally, its release into the light’
=:= words on birth by Spirit =:=
The birth of Rowan was my first unassisted birth experience. In this case, unassisted meant just me and partner as well as our children in our own home. The only other person being there was my brother who looked after the 3 kids. It took me 3 births to accept the knowledge and power that already existed within me, that knew just how to birth this baby in the safest way possible.
That deep primal knowing within our bodies could emerge given the right preparation in body-mind & spirit as well as the immense trust that begets all reason alone; that deep connection our foremothers were in touch with, because when it comes down to it we cannot ‘think’ our babies out!
If anything thinking too much could lead to complications as fear may set in and the ‘thinking’ part of our brain refuses to step aside to let the ‘primal’ brain take over to access BODY WISDOM. Its all about flow of energy and flow of the right hormones. The flow of emotions – energy-in-motion.
This is what intrigues me so. How our emotions and thoughts affects our physiology and there is growing body of evidence just how inter-connected it all is.
I didn’t just ‘blindly’ trust without action. I found a middle path, a balance between trust & action. Seeking knowledge guided by intuition. I had spend a lot of time researching birth when I was pregnant with my third child, who was my first ‘homebirth’ but sadly wasn’t born in our own home. We do not have access here in my community to midwives & our local hospital has degraded so much there is no ‘delivery’ room anymore or emergency back-up. So for a licensed midwife that seems too much risk!
Creating all the more FEAR. All women here are sent to neighbouring communities. Sad eh!
Through his birth I learned so much though; about the physiology of birth and how perfectly our bodies were made for this. I mean I knew this, but I would learn more about how observation & intervention were posing to be the real risks! As well as Fear itself.
I’m grateful that at least my foundation surrounding natural birth was reshaped when I was 18 and came across the book ‘spiritual midwifery’ by Ina May Gaskin.
It gave me the opportunity to really address the imprinted and conditioned beliefs about birth I accepted from media, my only real education about birth, besides my own birth story that lived deep within me. Amazing all the time we spent in school and yet know hardly anything about life’s most important events! Then again, we would have been told the mainstream version of what birth is anyways.
I was 22 when I had my first baby. After 2 hospital births that left me feeling disempowered and feeling that maybe birth wasn’t my thing!? That my pelvis was ‘not right’, it made me have too look ‘deeper’ — dig deeper into myself. Although my pregnancies were very easy going and I trusted in the nature of birth itself, unexpected challenges will often find us, testing our own inner resources.
Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself.
We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem.
We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.
-:- Iyanla Vanzant -:-
This experience, this empty void it left in me was the beginning of a search. A search for understanding.
I watched the documentary ‘Birth into being’ by Elena Tonnetti and things began to click for me. That pregnancy and birth are great vehicles of transformation. A true initiation and crash course in a truly sacred and spiritual unfolding.
Sequoia’s birth propelled me to uncover where my deep seeded need to understand why I felt so disempowered came from! From this point of view, all complications are rooted in unresolved issues within ourselves. Birth, like life itself, is a great mirror showing us where we are still stuck, limited or hold fear.
I know it wasn’t ‘them’ I could blame. There was no one to blame. I learned so much about myself and where I still gave my own power away and where I lacked self-worth. How I listened to others despite what I felt or intuited. Everything happens for a reason and there is a lesson to learn. Some of us seem to get here much sooner. Some us need the challenges to allow us to see our patterns and where we sabotage our own being.
Why is birth so important to me?
“Birthing is the most profound initiation to spirituality a woman can have.”~ Robin Lim ~
But it is also our children’s first initiation into the world. They are imprinted during gestation and they are imprinted intensely at birth. What they feel & experience is their introduction to Earth. Is it a gentle safe place or is it a painful fearful place?
“The birth of a baby impacts seven generations: one child can carry the spirit of the lineage forward.” =:= Sacred Birthing by Sunni Karl =:=
If our children carry our lineage 7 years forward what will they be carrying? Fear or love. An unhindered, undisturbed, soft & gentle birth is my gift to give to my child.
Preparing for Rowan’s birth
That summer I gathered my medicines for this upcoming birth! One of my main concerns was haemorrhage. Why? Because in all three previous births I was given a shot of artificial oxytocin to stop the bleeding. Even my ‘homebirth experience’ the midwife I had was concerned about the bleeding and without my consent, gave me a shot! So I never experienced an all natural 3rd stage of labour.
So I prepared by gathering and tincturing Shepard’s purse known as an astringent and aid in stopping bleeding due to its high vit.K content. I also knew nature was so flawless in her perfection. So she gifted both the baby and the mother with an extraordinary organ – the placenta!
If haemorrhage were to occur I could take a bite out of the placenta, loaded with all the natural oxytocin to stop the bleeding.
I had a few dreams that re~assured me all would be well, that I didn’t even need the plant helpers (I never had them around in those dreams & panicked “I don’t have my medicines!” only to be just fine in the dream). Another dream revealed I already knew the power of the placenta as medicine when I dreamt of giving birth in water and then talking to this couple present of the placenta and its use as medicine.
I also gathered Crampbark & willow as medicines for the after birth experience. I was caught off guard the last time around when the incredible throws of after-birth contractions hit. I felt like I was still giving birth every time I would nurse as I my uterus worked tirelessly to return to its pre-pregnant state. Another blessing to nurse your babies. It’s not only for their health but also OURS! Nature needs us to be healthy and survive for our babies and children.
I had read that vitamin C was also really great at keeping the waters intact as long as possible, by creating a strong sac. This would help the baby get into a better position before the waters give-way. So I gathered rose hips and tinctured them. Funny enough Rowan would be born in the ~caul~!
Throughout my pregnancy I ate out of the garden and the wild whenever I could as well as ritualistically drinking my Raspberry leaf infusions. I’m more for getting my vitamins & minerals from plants and food. This plant is just loaded with all the right stuff for the childbearing year.
This pregnancy was certainly not stress free in any way! Our circumstances were less than ideal to have another child as my partner was having a hard time with work. But throughout the stress I experienced I talked to my baby regularly. Hopefully counteracting the intense emotions I felt by being mindful of them and speaking to him that although I was stressed I was also very happy, this is part of life.
I know every pregnancy book out there talks about the importance of taking care of yourself while pregnant and finding your support team; eating well and getting massages or chiropractic work or whatever other therapy, but I couldn’t afford this type of care. So it was in MY own hands to care for myself. My support team would have to come from within. It HAD to be simple. Self – care was essential.
Although I managed to finally sneak in a couple of massages near the end of our pregnancy journey we did it without needing anything fancy. It was a very simple approach of nourishment. Simple, nourishing food, walks outdoors, some yoga, meditation, self massage and acupressure goes along way. But I do that anytime really. I get tense and soar when I’m not pregnant too. But pregnancy seems to inspire me and motivate me to take better care of myself – more than any other time (working on that) & as my foundation I’m building for an uncomplicated birth.
Just letting love flow throughout my being and working through all the feelings coming up during this pregnancy and allowing the healing to come. Taking note of messages in dreams, daydreams and subtle whisperings of my spirit and my babies spirit.
I was creating a Birth field ~ an energetic web that collected all my feelings, fears, visions, dreams and thoughts about birth, my baby, myself, my life. Solidified through my daily actions & fed by my thoughts and feelings.
I read a few inspiring books and should add the idea of an unassisted birth was first presented itself as I researched preparing for my last birth. I believe I stumbled upon Laura Shanley’s website at that time and really was fascinated! But my confidence wasn’t there, yet.
I bought Laura’s book ‘Unassisted Childbirth’ as well as Zuki Abbott’s book ‘Transforming the world through birth’ and read them first. I devoured them. Ha ha. I also read ‘Gentle birth gentle mothering’ by Sarah Buckley, ‘Sacred Birthing’ by Suni Karl and ’10 Moon’s’ by Jane Hardwicke Collins. I wanted to nourish myself with the spiritual aspects of birth more than anything. I was hoping to add a few extra’s to my stash, like writings by Robin Lim and Jeanine Parvati Baker but was having a hard time finding their books.
‘Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason’.
>: Ralph Waldo Emerson :<<
Despite the chaos of the everyday world I assured myself I had everything I ‘needed’ for this pregnancy, for this birth & for this family. I held on to gratitude & reminded myself daily. Taking care of yourself when you already have other children and they are young, also looks very different then when you are pregnant with your first and you feel you have all the time in the world & the pregnancy seems to take forever!
But again, the power of the mind is strong & wherever you place your attention, energy flows, so tuning in to the baby, saying hello, sending love can be done instantaneously any time.
Over the last few years I’ve gathered quite a wealth of knowledge and a great supportive environment just by connecting with other women on this path through social media like Facebook. There is a kinship that can be just as strong & powerful in Spirit as it would be in a physical circle of like minded women.
There is support to be found in all sorts of places and Kindred’s everywhere! The circle and community and the spirit of the Moon Lodge is out there & its also within.
Throughout this pregnancy i sat in many sweat lodges (support team for my spirit).
Actually, I experienced a very powerful lodge ceremony just after I unknowingly conceived!
The lodge is such a simple and powerful way to cast intention. Returning to the symbolic womb, sitting in the darkness, like the void of spirit we all come from. All are equal in the sacred circle & it is time spent as spirit again. I asked for guidance in this space often & protection from my own doubts. I made offerings to the grandmothers who watched over my journey to take away my fears, my doubts, worries and anything that stood in the between me and my own power. I knew my greatest enemy (if I had one)
You are the caretaker of the generations, you are the birth giver,” the Sun told the Woman. “You will be the carrier of this universe.
=:= Brule Sioux Creation Story =:=
I experienced my first Blessingway ceremony as well. Of course there are many variations on how to do one, but I asked my Lodge mother if she would organize a ceremony for me and she agreed. I brought my offering, made a symbol of protection for the upcoming birth & we sat together, women uniting to create a sacred field of power honouring this very important right of passage & sacred act that is birth. We made bracelets of white rope to symbolize an umbilical cord, weaving us together until the baby made its way Earth~side. We sat in the sacred circle. My sisters. My daughter beside me and the wolf beneath me.
Of course, not everyone has this kind of circle and this was my first time I was honoured this way! We can always honour ourselves and bless our own births – first and foremost!
Continue reading about Rowan’s birth……………….