My first birth left me wounded. Unable to sit and stand properly for days. I was emotionally dazed for over a year, only to be awakened by loss- miscarriage, after miscarriage. I was so dazed that it took deep grief, a sledgehammer over my head, to wake me. Fast forward to me, pregnant, fully healed body AND SOUL from the trauma of that first birth, I knew this birth had to be different. I could not be passive (again) and hope for the best. This birth was an invitation for me to embody my power, to mother myself, and my baby with all of my feminine ferocity. I was so terrified. How could I begin?
Looking back on the last year, I realize my overarching theme emerged in full force with the Ecstatic Birth Body Series: “The more I melt into my body, the harder it is to deny my personal truths.”
And woah… we really saw how deep body connection can be an INTENSE journey. For some participants, the Body Series was a beautiful awakening into a conscious relationship with their bodies and inner wisdom. For others (and for me personally) – it was like looking the sun in the eye- blinding, terrifying, and always stunning.
It can be really tough to look that inner wisdom in the eye, especially when you’ve been using the full force of your rationality to passionately deny Deny DENY! Why would you ever want to deny a deep truth?
The Ecstatic Birth Body Series has officially lauched- and our first session was absolutely stunning. Sheri Winston blew the socks off the participants with her tour of a Woman’s anatomy and all the connections she drew between the sexual and birthing processes. I received so many acknowledgments from participants like this FB post: “First class of the Body Series and I’m already a whole new woman. The bliss door is open!!” I am so proud of this baby being born, of myself for the part I play in its creation and nurture and growth. And yet, when the session ended, I was trembling head to toe. Trembling with an overwhelming feeling of SHAME. Shame. Can you believe it?
Oh my, ladies. Birth, it cracks you wide open. It has the potential to be the deepest most profound healing experience of your life. It is a rite of passage, no doubt, to support your growth into becoming the mother you need to be for your child. And the shame? We live in a world that doesn’t understand sexuality as sacred…
Perhaps you imagine an Ecstatic Birth all serene and lovely… It definitely could be.
Perhaps it is a water birth with the woman smiling as the baby slips into her waiting hands…Yes, that is also possible.
Perhaps the woman is in a whole other universe, experiencing waves of bliss that she may later define as orgasmic.
Sounds good, right?
But what about being rocked by waves so strong, you lose control of bodily functions?
What about labor that persists past hours and into days?
What about a hospital birth– can that be ecstatic?
What about a c-section?
Absolutely. Yes. To all of the above and more.
You see, birth can be really GRITTY!
Just like life. Life can be really gritty.
You will never guess where I am-
I’m cringing as I write this…
That is right. I am on vacation. And right now, my whole being is fully resisting sharing this information with you. Why? Because I just announced the details of the upcoming Ecstatic Birth Body Series. There is much work to be done. Shouldn’t I be taking this a whole lot more seriously? I mean, last time, I barely left my computer’s side and ran myself totally ragged getting ready. Shouldn’t I be doing that again?
When was the last time you stopped to think about what was next on your to-do list? If you are like most of us, it was probably just a few seconds ago.
But when was the last time you stopped to consult with your body, to feel what you were going to do next. If you are like most of us, you are probably thinking, “Ummm… I don’t remember.” (or Ummm….never!)
There are no two ways about it. We live in our heads. Even those of us that know, in our heads, that our body contains a whole lot of wisdom, forget to go there looking for it. And even when we do, chances are we aren’t quite sure we understand it, or believe it. I know I personally struggle with this all the time.
Childbirth is a full throttle body trip. We can use our heads to prepare, fill it with all kinds of information to empower us, help us relax, but when it comes down to it we need to be able to surrender ourselves over to our bodies. Raw. Primal. Body trip.
That can be pretty scary if you aren’t used to handing over the reins and it isn’t the sort of thing you can just order your mind to do. It is the sort of thing that takes practice and as we know, practice takes time.
You know that super high super giddy feeling of crazy energy running through you when you are soooooo excited about something?!?!?
I’ve been running on that since I launched the Ecstatic Birth Foundation Series. I am SO high off that baby. Let me show you why–
10 INCREDIBLE pioneers in the field of birth and sensuality,
Over 80 passionate women, 13 different countries, representing all 5 continents,
Pregnant women, birth professionals, and women who plan on getting pregnant someday, all cracking open their beliefs about birth together, in community!
Can you see why I’ve been positively jittery with excitement?
But staying high like that, let me tell you, it starts to feel really uncomfortable. I mean, I’m not used to energy of that magnitude running through my body and I noticed myself starting to block it, ignore it, shut it down…
We have just birthed a new year and with it a sense of freshness, a clean slate. Each new page gives us the opportunity to create, to birth anew. What is it that you long to birth this year?
Birthing any creative project is not so different from birthing a child. We can labor in the current cultural paradigm of “no pain no gain,” or we can take a stand for something different. We can consciously choose to birth our babies, real or ethereal, in pleasure.
This past year was the year I birthed my business and the Foundation Series- a beautiful baby that was bigger than I had even imagined. This was the first time that I actively brought my birthing consciousness to something other than birthing my own three children. As I wrote about previously, this launch offered me the opportunity to walk my talk and truly explore all the parallels between a live birth and a metaphorical one.
On the day of the launch, I experienced an intensity of emotion and list of to-dos that would have completely frozen my rational mind. But I had prepared for pleasure.
Ecstatic Birth is my baby, my fourth child, and just last week as I was frantically juggling it amidst the chaos of my other three, I paused and recognized a thoroughly embarrassing fact– none of this was feeling all that ecstatic. With three small kids transitioning into a new school year, each with their own schedules for me to manage, a dog with a bladder infection, a nanny that unexpectedly moved back to her country, the endless march of planning for three meals a day, and now this, Ecstatic Birth, a whole new magnificent love child demanding my attention—- I had totally lost my center.
When I first made the decision to create Ecstatic Birth and help spread the word that childbirth is something that women can ENJOY, I realized that it was my chance to walk my walk. I contend that the way a woman gives birth is intimately intertwined with her approach to life and sensuality. In birthing this new path, I believed I could model that the principles of Ecstatic Birth apply as much to birthing a creative project, as they do to birthing a real live infant.
The purpose of Ecstatic Birth is to raise awareness that birth is not just something women have to “endure” or “survive.” For the first time ever, leaders in the fields of birth and female sensuality — including Dr. Christiane Northrup and Ina May Gaskin — are coming together to share everything they know about how a woman can ENJOY birth — mind, body, and soul!
The idea of an “Orgasmic Birth” is definitely becoming more prominent. Women are coming forward to share stories that they might have been embarrassed to tell years ago. Many expectant moms also want to know how they can create this sort of experience for themselves. An orgasmic birth is intriguing because it is the antithesis of what we have culturally understood childbirth to be — a potentially excruciating experience.
That said, it is interesting to note how much of a trigger “sensuality” or “orgasm” can still be for a lot of people. A recent thread on Dr. Northrup’s Facebook page included a woman declaring that the whole idea of pleasure during childbirth is “sick.” The more disconnected we are from our bodies, our sexuality, and our sensuality, the more perverse we might label the whole idea of pleasure in birth.