What Led Me to Birth Work

When I was young, I wanted to be a pet shop owner and a book author and illustrator. In my teenage years I desperately wished to be a film critic. I studied journalism at University, hoping to get my foot in the door at a newspaper or magazine to write articles. Then I became unexpectedly pregnant, and it felt like everything was suddenly up in the air — everything including my idea of what I wanted to “do” with my life.

I never imagined I’d grow up to work with pregnant people, newborn babies, breast milk and placentas. I never dreamed of devoting my time — and more importantly, my heart — to being there for women in the last moments of their pre-motherhood lives, and for babies in the first moments of their Earthside lives.

Yet, here I am. How did I get here? I’m still not quite sure myself! I didn’t arrive here in some foggy haze though. I put one foot in front of the other, deliberately and repeatedly, trusting the path below would lead me to where I needed to be. Along the way I saw a lot, learned a lot, and was awed time and time again by the power of women, by the depth of this well of wisdom from which we’ve sprung, and an increasing yearning to keep this cup of birth era goodness full so I can tip it into the cups of others.

My Personal Birth Experiences

My first pregnancy at age 23 led to a vaginal birth in a hospital with several interventions under obstetrician care and birth trauma. My first postpartum seemed to drag on for years due to Postpartum Depression/Postpartum Anxiety; even still, the nurturing aspects of motherhood came so naturally. Breastfeeding was a bit of an experiment: I had no exposure to it prior to latching on my own baby for the first time, but little did I know, he wouldn’t be weaned for six more years!

This whole era was a challenge, a call to action… leading to what, I had yet to discover. Later in my fledgling mothering days, a feeling came almost out of the blue but I was so at home with it: a passion to aid others in this same phase of life, those preparing to navigate the deep seas of child-birthing and child-raising wisdom. It was only after my second pregnancy when I realized that dreamy feeling was a real marker along my path.

My second pregnancy, at age 27, culminated in a midwife-assisted, ecstatic and painless home waterbirth. Postpartum was blissful, a priority on self-care rose to the forefront, I enjoyed an improved ability to build a support system, and I languished in bonding with both of my growing boys.

Each of my sons’ births transformed my life in positive and meaningful ways, though they were very different experiences. One proved I was capable of facing my fears and the other showed me what happens when I’ve released those fears.

Enamored By Birth

So let’s get back to that dreamy feeling I mentioned!

I think the story of birth is what hooked me, what anchored me into the birth community. The story of birth lingers with us long after our own day with it has passed. We hand the story down through generations and it’s the story that ignites a will, belief, and instinctual charge in birthers to respond to these summons into parenthood and grow infinitely more empowered from it.

I love words, knowledge, and all the neat connections we make between our clever brains and the instincts often buried in our guts. And I’ve seen that we use language, traditions, evidence, and emotional genetics to tell the story of birth again and again, always in unique expression, because it always involves brand new people.

There is so much to say about birth, so much to know, so much to feel about how it alters our lives. I hope you will feel as enamored as I am with the big bang that will be your birth story.

Why I’m a Birth Worker Today

I’m a bit of a rebel. I want to make change. I want to help birthing people learn to say “No.” I want to help create a safe space for them to say “Yes!” I want to be part of transformation on a small and large scale — the breakdown and evolution of these birth givers, and of the paradigm of birth itself.

I want to be part of the reclaiming of magic in the birth space and beyond.

I’m especially interested in and passionate about certain realms of birth work. The rate of birth trauma worldwide is preposterously high; I want to do what I can to mitigate this.

The number of pregnant people entering into this era weighed down by media (mis)representations is alarming; I want to flood our media with something better, something more honest.

The shaming of and disgust toward female bodily processes are rampant in our cultural programming; I want to bring sacredness back where it belongs, back to the womb, back in the hands of women.

I hear silence from birth givers who have plenty to say, but who are restricted, patronized, bullied into staying tame and “good”; I want to create space for them to use their voice, to dig up those buried words and howls and battle cries and tender sweet nothings and reconnect with their natural expression of wildness.

Birth is the beginning of all things. And this is where I need to be to see the changes I want to see for women — back to the drawing board, to the seat of creation, right at the very start.

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