Have you ever struggled to bring your dreams into reality, wondering over and over again… “What is wrong with me?” or “Why can’t I just….?”
(Artwork by Katariina Agnes Fagering)
I know this feeling SO well. And I’ve also known the opposite.. the feeling that NOTHING can stop me, NOTHING can stand in my way of bringing my dream to reality.
Birth has been my biggest teacher, the gateway through which I have come to understand the source of my feminine power.
Oooooooo I can’t wait to share what I am about to share!!!
Four years ago I had a vision of lighting up the globe.
One light, passed to several others, passed to many others, passed to all…..
I woke up with a deep knowing in my body that while I can only support a handful of pregnant women at any given time, the key to transforming the landscape of birth lay with practitioners, fierce, visionary women who could hold the vision alongside me.
For any one of us working in this field and going counterculture, bringing pleasure into a realm known for pain, that can feel like lifting an elephant with your pinkie.
But together, side by side, leaning on each other, committed and holding the vision together… wow, we can begin to breathe again.
I am so proud of this moment in time,
the moment in which I get to share with you the fruits of my newest baby–
Childbirth can be deeply empowering, pleasurable, ecstatic and even orgasmic.
Yet most women experience the opposite.
There is a HUGE gap between the possibility and the reality.
The gap is not whether or not Ecstatic Births actually exist.
The gap is in how we are raised, our relationships to our bodies, the structures of training and support that exist (or not) for women, the healthcare system, the legal system and so much more.
I see so so many women judging themselves harshly or feeling down in the dumps for not “achieving” this ideal.
That is the heart of the matter right there–
Ecstatic Birth is an IDEAL and ideals are not a measure by which to judge ourselves, but a source of inspiration, elevation.
While bringing the image of the picture perfect birth you have in your mind into reality is incredibly difficult, (when does life ever conform perfectly to our ideals?) elevating your experience of birth is astoundingly simple.
Let me show you what I mean via this fool-proof 3 step strategy:
The day your baby is born is one of the most momentous days of your life. Childbirth can be one of the most transformative ecstatic experiences in a woman’s life.
Unfortunately, that is not the typical experience our society is serving up in labor and delivery. Most women emerge from childbirth in a haze, many of them unconscious victims of trauma (as I was). We accept this because that is what we are taught childbirth is meant to be, culturally, religiously, and societally. If we make the same choices as everyone around us, this is what we will usually get.
To have a different experience, a woman must be willing to make different choices, to prepare with her mind, body and soul in a different direction. Ecstatic Births are not the norm (yet) and so it requires a certain ferocity to forge a different path.
“Why do most people tend to birth in pain rather than in pleasure?”
This is the question I am asked most often when I share about Ecstatic Birth. There isn’t just one answer to this, but a whole host of answers.
I’ve compiled what I see as the top 10 major factors women birth in pain as opposed to pleasure.
Some of them may surprise you…
10. It is our religious inheritance. Remember when Eve took a bite of that apple in the Garden of Eden? Womankind’s punishment for her sin was to suffer through childbirth. To birth any other way would be blasphemous.
9. It is our cultural inheritance. Look at all the messages around us- How does the media depict birth? How do the moms around you talk about birth? Overwhelmingly our cultural messages reinforce the idea that birth hurts. Women who have had alternate experiences are often ashamed to speak up and if they do, risked being ostracized or outcast, especially if they speak of experiencing pleasure during birth.
8. We are stuck in our heads. In modern society, our bodies are primarily a means to get our heads from place to place. Mental, rational intelligence is valued above all others and yet you can’t think your way through birth. Birth is a primal full body experience. We must be able to let go of rational thought and get fully into our bodies, feeling each sensation, and be guided by its wisdom.
7. We don’t trust our bodies. In this age of cancer there is an underlying current of fear that our bodies will betray us despite our best intentions. Our bodies seem do things we can’t control and don’t understand yet this is all a symptom of our grand disconnect from ourselves. Our bodies are so wise. They hold primal wisdom, generational wisdom, experiential wisdom, all in addition to our mental rational wisdom. If we can learn to listen and honor that it would change everything.