For most of my younger years I was fiercely independent, adamant that I was strong enough, sharp enough, fill in the blank “x” enough, to navigate my path and create what I wanted in life.
Asking for help felt like a sign of weakness, an acknowledgment that I wasn’t capable enough to succeed on my own.
Motherhood knocked me waaaaay off that pedestal. I remember holding my baby boy, so small and tender and vulnerable and realizing how much I wanted for him in life. In that moment, I was his whole world, but I wanted so much more for him than I alone could give him. I realized that I would do anything to protect and nurture him towards his highest good, even ask for help.
Thus came my introduction to the wonderful world of motherhood where very little is possible through singular sheer determination and strength, but everything is possible within community.
Thirteen years in, here is the conclusion that I have come to-
Support is not a sign of your weakness, but a way to be stronger than you could ever be alone.
It is a lesson that doesn’t come naturally to me, nor for most of the women I work with. There is a glorification of the “hero’s journey” in our society, that vision of a single solitary person forging out into the world and succeeding against all odds.
But ladies, none of us are heroes.
There are as many different ways to prepare for an Ecstatic Birth as there are women on the planet. Each woman is unique and has her own unique desires, experiences, fears and circumstances.
Connecting women to their inner wisdom is a huge part of the work that I do with my private clients. However there is one element that is completely universal, that I touch upon with every woman I work with, right away, up front and center.
The single most important factor in preparing for your birth.. is surrounding yourself with people that believe in you, your body’s wisdom, and can hold your vision for you, unequivocally.
I remember interviewing my first OB… asking her if she could support my desire to birth naturally. She said, “Of course! I will do whatever you want, but keep an open mind. Wait till you feel that first contraction…” If only I had had the wisdom, the courage, and the conviction to walk away at the moment and find someone truly aligned with my desire for a natural birth, I would have saved my body from a whole lot of trauma.
Imagine if your practitioner spoke to you about using pleasure as a holistic birthing tool? About accessing the wisdom of your body, the bliss that is always available within? Imagine if she could fully hold your vision of an Ecstatic Birth for you mind, body, and soul- even when you were doubting yourself?
Consistently, the biggest piece of advice I give women interested in Ecstatic Birth is to connect more deeply to their bodies and their sensuality.. to learn to feeeeeeel more pleasure.. to learn how to tap into that sensual energy at will.
This not only makes your physical experience of birth better, but it makes life in and out of the bedroom way better too.
There was a time long ago when I felt really whiney about my orgasms and then I met Saida Désilets who encouraged me to disconnect from any expectations and focus instead on my connection with myself.
Thus began an eye opening, mind blowing journey into what is possible.
This year my son received sex ed in his 7th grade health class for the first time. Much to his mortification, I asked him many questions about what he was being taught about the female anatomy. Unfortunately, but not surprising, while boys were taught about ejaculation and how to put on condoms, among other things, the girls only received half the story about their bodies– they learned about ovulation, periods, and pregnancy.
While they did clarify proper usage of vulva vs. vagina, the class did not even begin to name the outer and inner anatomy of the vulva. The word clitoris was never mentioned, much less the vestibular bulbs (pound for pound as much erectile tissues as men) or any conversation about the pleasure centers of the female reproductive systems.
I mentioned this to a fellow mom and she said, “most people would be happy about that.” Ouch.
This blog post has been a long time coming. Perhaps when the intensity of a situation is so strong, some time has to pass before you can express your experience clearly in words.
I am a birthkeeper, meaning I hold the sacredness of this rite of passage near and dear to my heart and I do what I can to bring light to the world of childbirth. When the #1 word that comes to mind when women think of birth is “pain,” (way ahead of “baby” btw) there is plenty of light needed.
The past six months I have spent a lot of time in the presence of the opposite rite of passage, death. The experience of watching a beloved family member get sick, fade and pass before our eyes in a matter of months was heartbreaking on so many levels.
The birthkeeper in me also found it completely fascinating. Why? Because despite the intense sorrow there were many moments that were so profound, so full of love, so real and palpable that the sensation of grief in my body was tinged with something else.
It’s a feeling that I hesitate to call ecstasy because the context is so very different from how I usually talk about ecstasy.
Or is it?
Birth and death are the most pivotal rites of passages that we live as human beings here on this planet, both wrapped in the mysterious essence of our condition. Where do we come from and where do we go?