Given our cultural conditioning and legacy giving birth can feel pretty scary as it is.
Add in a pandemic.
Add in being a black woman in the US.
Add in being alone without your partner or birth support person as you navigate surgery and postpartum complications
I’d like to introduce you to an amazing woman and new mom, Casey Askey. While she did not have an Ecstatic Birth by any means, she is consciously using that contraction in her journey in her rebirth…
Vaginal Steaming is a time-old healing tradition, meandering its way into mainstream consciousness.
While it is contraindicated during pregnancy, there are tremendous benefits for preconception, clearing and preparing the body for pregnancy and childbirth.
It also provides wonderful postpartum support helping to gently heal and fortify our tissues.
The first time I was introduced to the technique, I could feel my whole body sing YES, but it took me YEARS to actually try it.
When I finally did, it felt deep, magical, wondrous, a holy portal into realms I sensed, but rarely accessed.
Is your body your ally? Or your nemesis?
So often, it feels like our body is betraying us.
One of the biggest lessons I learned on my journey is that even when it doesn’t feel like it, my body is my ally.
This plays out in birth ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately, it is very common for women to feel like their body failed them in birth.
During my daughter’s birth. I labored in a tub was rocking all my tools, presence and breath.
But then I transition hit and I was DONE.
Every fiber of my being felt like…”I just can’t do this anymore!”
I began to actively resist the contractions.
My doula brought her face close to mine and said, “Sheila, look into my eyes and breathe with me.”
I surrendered into her calm loving presence and with her breath, it felt like she carried me through to the other side where I was ready to push.
Could I have made it through anyway?
For sure.. but it would have been excruciating and exhausting.
With her gaze and presence, everything in me relaxed and the intensity washed over me.
15 years ago when I was fiercely preparing for my “reclamation” birth, reading everything I could, practicing, learning…
I came across Laura Shanley and wow was my world turned inside out and upside down.
Laura is one of the leaders in the unassisted childbirth movement.
While, unassisted birth is not something I am particularly drawn to, it struck me then–
How can a woman feel SO confident in her body and her ability to birth…
How is it possible to clear ALL (or enough) of your fears,
…to be able to confidently choose an unassisted birth??
How is it possible for birth to be a pleasurable experience when all we seem to hear about is the PAIN?
Emilia Flor Vogt birthed her baby 21 years ago and had never heard of women experiencing orgasms in birth.. nor was she particularly connected to her own sexuality at that time.
And yet her labor and delivery was not only multiorgasmic… it propelled her into transcendent realms of reality!
This Conversation to Transform Birth demonstrates so beautifully that when you honor the design of the body, when you prepare consciously, when you feel safe, and able to express… pleasure, ecstasy, orgasm.. flows.
“Sheila is helping women to redefine the birth experience and make birth into their own powerful evolution.” —Regena Thomashauer, mamagenas.com
“You have given me such a gift-a whole new image of what the journey of pregnancy and labor can be!” —Maya G, Future Mom
“I love, love, LOVE Ecstatic Birth and the permission it gives woman to be free, yummy, powerful, incredible, sexy, sexual, full of love, and birth how we are supposed to birth!!” —Andrea Abenoza-Filardi, DONA certified Doula
“My baby’s birth, due late June, will come in the most amazingly beautiful way (no matter how he chooses to come) thanks to what I now know from Ecstatic Birth. There are no words to express my gratitude for that.” —Cara J. Ottilio-Cooper