Last week I had the privilege of speaking with a group of women about my birth experiences, finding pleasure in birth and how birthing a baby is an incredible template for birthing anything in life- a creative project, a new job or relationship, a reinvention of ourselves.
This talk was deeply personal and probably one of the most powerful talks I have ever given. You could have heard a pin drop when I was done.
Here is the thing- I did great. I really did. But when I was preparing I had a much grander vision for how I would deliver my talk, with more vibrant expression and a strong (definitely not wobbly) voice. After I delivered my talk, it was so easy to focus on what I could have done better and where I fell short. I had to catch myself, repeatedly, so that I could really savor the pleasure of what I had birthed that night.
I think about having another baby every day. My body is so different now. I feel so much more pleasure than I did 6 years ago when I birthed my youngest daughter in ecstasy. I always wonder what it would be like to give birth with this body. I almost feel like I wouldn’t be able to help it. It would definitely be orgasmic.
Can you hear the quest for perfection here? That the talk I gave or the births I had somehow were not good enough (despite being f@#$ amazing) because they did not meet the ideal in my mind…
I meet so many women, heartbroken that they did not have the Ecstatic Birth they’d envisioned. Their grief is so great that sometimes I wonder- am I doing more harm than good in sharing about the possibilities of pleasure in birth?
If we live in a society that overwhelmingly does not support mother-friendly birth practices, am I bringing forth an ideal that is too difficult to live up to for the average woman?
My heart and soul propel me forward. Women need to know what is possible. They need to know their choices or they have none.
Each of these women, despite feeling like they had failed somehow, did f@#$# amazing. When they tell me about the details of their labor and their births, their voices are full of empowerment, body connection, and ecstasy. You can hear the fierce warrior mother in each of their voices. And when I press them, they can feel it too.
Each and every one of them had a more connected pleasurable labor and delivery than they would have had otherwise.
Let us please look to ecstatic births, orgasmic births, and all ideals as just that: ideals to inspire us to live better, be better, birth better.
And then lets celebrate with all our hearts every inch of how far we have come.