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.
How do you stand for yourself during pregnancy and birth?
How do you navigate a system that may not align with your desires?
How do you engage with your providers and support team to ensure you are seen and honored?
These are BIG questions when you are preparing for birth and absolutely ESSENTIAL if you want an Ecstatic Birth.
In this Conversation to Transform Birth with Women and Newborn Health Specialist, Tamara Hawkins we dive deep into empowerment and self-advocacy in pregnancy and birth.
As Tamara so beautifully articulates, our greatest power does not come from standing strong and fighting for what we want no matter who gets in our way… (though I personally do love that level of ferocity!) but from connecting to the humanity within ourselves and others.
Wow.. there is so much inspiration here for our expectant mothers!!
Fierce mom Natalia Rising shares her experiences birthing her 4 children, questioning and navigating the health care system as an immigrant to understand the options that optimized positive outcomes.
Each step of the way, she stood for herself, building confidence in her own body and desires, and experienced transcendent ecstatic and orgasmic pleasure along the way.
Her overarching message for all mothers-to-be:
If I can do this, so can you!
There is no “right” way to birth, only the right way for YOU.
This is a foundational principle of Ecstatic Birth.
So much of our upbringing and internalized “training” is about following a “right” path that actually does not exist.
This pandemic has made abundantly clear that even “the powers that be” have no idea what the “right” course of action is.
This time impels us to strengthen our connection with our own internal wisdom, always asking the question “What feels right to me??”
Childbirth is the only other place I have felt this compulsory press towards body wisdom.
If you didn’t have the birth you’d hoped for…
If you worry about how a “negative” birth experience has imprinted your child,
If you didn’t know about Ecstatic Birth when you were having kids, but now you do and feel any twinge of regret, you will want to watch this!