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...

March 16, 2017

I like a midwife to catch my babies.  She knows just how to bring a new being into the world, while holding my world together just enough.  I like my husband to keep his hands on me, providing grounding support as pure new life emerges from the softest, strongest, hidden parts of my body.

But I caught my own placenta!  It fell into my hands.  I placed it in the silver bowl: blue, rich, intact.  Not a drop of blood was left behind on my hands.  

We, my midwife and I, had been waiting for the placenta to come.  Contractions relaxed in the afterbirth time, and I wasn't bleeding much so there was no rush or pressure to birth my placenta quickly.  But I was uncomfortable and ready to snuggle up with my fresh born babe and needed to release my placenta before I could move on.  It had been an hour and I'd moved around, coughed, and then tried to pee....

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