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January 27, 2018

When I hear the term “blissful birth” my jaw clenches.  As a doula and birth advocate, with 3 homebirths myself, I feel like I should shout “blissful birth!” from the mountaintops.  Instead, my stomach churns and my breath shortens.  I scan the room for exits.  To state birth as blissful denies the fullness of the experience.  

Pregnant with my first child, glowing, young and ripe, I was committed to a blissful birth.  I was adamant our birth would be unmedicated and at home, and I was convinced that a beautiful birth meant an easy birth.  I was wrong.  What I came to know through this birth was raw power, unnamable fear, a strength that only came from surrendering.  

As the sun rose for the second time in that labor journey, I knew it was only me that could birth this baby.  I stared into my doula’s wide eyes.  My partner pressed into...

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