Women of earth, take back your birth . . .
Do you dream of giving birth in awareness and connection?
You want your birth to be unassisted, undisturbed and self-directed. You see birth as an archetypal threshold that offers birthing women and families the opportunity for a mysterious and powerful initiation. You know birth is unpredictable and you want to embrace the incredible opportunity, recover more and more trust in your body, mind and spirit, connect with your baby and partner or other children, and find courage on your path to motherhood. You know you can do it with the right support.
You want a sister who will go with you.
Someone who will traverse these levels without needing to control the outcome of your birth. You want to feel connected to her without being dependent on her. You want access to her expertise with women, families, birth, and babies without automatically being subject to the medicalization or management of birth.
But right now, you can’t seem to find someone willing to this.
You have interviewed a few birth attendants, but you you keep feeling controlled, patronized, or just simply misunderstood. You don’t want to fill out an impersonal intake or medical history form. Maybe you’ve heard of unassisted or undisturbed birth and have considered doing it alone, but that doesn’t feel quite right. You do want to be connected and witnessed. You’ve thought of just hiring a doula, but in the end, it doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe you’ve interviewed midwives who weren’t willing to co-create with you or let you take the lead. I hear ya sister….
I know how you feel:
When I became pregnant with my second baby, I knew I wanted a different experience than I had with my first baby. I wanted to have an unassisted birth. I wanted to reclaim that level of empowerment, but I also didn’t want to do it alone. I had a very hard time finding someone willing to be be with me in a way that would allow me to stay connected to my own instincts and deep inner knowing.
The birth of my first baby had been very traumatic. I had pushed for for 8 excruciating and demoralizing hours and I worried about how I would cope if that happened again. I desperately wanted to have a new and powerful experience, and heal from the experience of birthing my first baby.
In the end (around 36 weeks) I did found a very unusual midwife willing to be with me. She didn’t require any paperwork. She didn’t need to take my blood pressure or palpate my baby. She just asked me what I had been doing and listened to my story. I had been taking my own blood pressure and my husband had been listening to our baby’s heartbeat with his ear on my belly. She said that she would come, or not. Whatever we wanted in the moment. I’ll sleep out in the car if you want, she told us.
What I couldn’t find was a midwife who would attend to my fears and worries and help me clear them, someone who would offer comprehensive care for my soul. I had to look elsewhere for that.
That’s why I crafted this unique service for Mamas who want an Undisturbed Birth:
I have devoted myself to becoming what I was looking for, as a birthing mother, and couldn’t find. I have studied midwifery arts and clinical skills as well as childbirth preparation. I have trained as a doula as well as acquired myriad other complimentary skills and knowledge.
In order to gain footing in the birthing community, midwives have fought for recognition, credibility, and inclusion. As a result, much of midwifery care today is profoundly informed, and shaped by, the medical model. In response to this, a growing movement of families is taking birth back home as an important rite of passage without a birth attendant. These families want to recover birth as it was for our ancestors. They also want to revision it for the future and don’t want to be stuck in trying to avoid interventions. They want an undisturbed birth.
Undisturbed Birth: Giving Birth back to Mothers and Families.
Many women want to give birth at home with autonomy, surrender and faith. They don’t want to be managed and advised, patronized or dismissed. Most women want to give birth in connection, with support, and deep mystical presence. They want to co-create their birth experience with their baby, their family and community. They do want support, but not the kind that gets in the way of their birthright as mothers: to give birth undisturbed from a place of instinct and deep elemental knowing.
At the same time, many women have a deep intuition that something stands between them and true self-directed childbirth; they want support in overcoming obstacles that keep them reliant on a culture of fear. These perceptive women, far from being weak, are aware on some level of the profound interruption our mothers and grandmothers experienced at the dawn of the medicalization of birth and the legacy we carry as women under the sign of patriarchy. Our ability to access our most instinctual self, that knows how to give birth and flow into motherhood, has been clouded and compromised. Luckily, we haven’t completely lost this deep knowing and can un-conceal and access it.
We cannot guarantee safety in birth, from death nor from technology and its oppression. What we can do is slowly recover our true, authentic and knowing selves who have resilience and vision, intuition and strength. From that place we become less dependent on outcome for our sense of well-being. We know how to grieve, and grow, and that is our power as women.
What to Expect:
Touch the Earth is a translation of the Mayan Birth Glyph, U Kab Panamil, meaning To be Born. This image, of touching the earth, is repeated all over the world in birth rituals. I use it as a symbol for my work as a Birth Keeper with mother and baby in their birth journey together. I aspire to un-earth birth wisdom, to recover and restore earth-birth wisdom.
A Warrior would never go to battle without serious, sustained, and appropriate, preparation. His elders guide him through various smaller initiations designed to train him, body mind and spirit, for his day of glory on the battle field. When that day comes he doesn’t need to be coached anymore. He is alert, relaxed and willing.
Mothers are Heroes
When Joseph Campbell was asked why nearly all the mythological heroes were men, he replied: Because women learn the heroes lessons in the journey of birth and the challenge of motherhood. Childbirth is the quintessential first Hero’s Journey and, like the Warriors who came after them, women can prepare themselves for the magnitude of a deeply transformational rite of passage for themselves, their partners and families as well as for the emergent baby. Pregnancy and childbirth provide the opportunity for a woman to face herself on a level inaccessible in ordinary reality. When she prepares herself beforehand, she too is able to shine on her high harvest day regardless of her birth outcome.
Stages of the process of Undisturbed Birth:
- preparation for the journey: prenatal meetings: We meet at least four times before your baby is born, for walks or maybe meals, for talks and anything else that feels right for you as we build a bond that will support you and your family’s authentic emergence. These are not one hour visits, but expansive lingering episodes in our journey. Lasting at least 3 hours, we will have the luxury of time to go a little deeper. What do you want? Tell me and we’ll find our way together. You decide what tests and tools you want to bring on your journey. Maybe you know exactly what you want, or maybe you want to talk about it and contemplate your choices. This includes coaching for the hosting of a mother blessing if you want one. You maintain autonomy and power knowing that I am committed to standing witness, following your lead, and co- creating a real, into-the-future, relationship with you and your family.
- leaving home: labor and birth: My highest calling is to stand Witness as you approach and cross the threshold of motherhood, as you find your own way. Whether I am in the room, our int the car, or across the continent, this may include intuitions, prayers, movements, sounds that emerge in the the resonance we create. In the first moments after birth some mothers reach for their babies right away and others need a few minutes. My research and personal experience is that this is not arbitrary. Mama and baby seem to know best. You will make first contact with your precious babe, the intimate stranger as he or she finds his or her own way to you as well. You will wait for the impulse to come from within YOU in caring for your newborn as well as in birthing the placenta. I will hold space as your servant and friend to witness your amazing emergence and knowing as a mother. You shout, moan, bask for as long as you need.
- the journey: labyrinth and emergence: We will meet four times in the delicate openness of immediate postpartum. You will begin to integrate your birth experience and we will weave a birth story. We will complete repairs together and celebrate your “laying-in” with a Rebozo Closing the Bones Ceremony, mother roasting, belly binding and traditional Mexica Herbal Warming Bath. This also includes Placenta Readings, Placenta Medicine preparation and a Welcome/Naming ceremony if you’d like one.
- full circle: coming home and the one year check-in: I am available to you in the first year for simple nutritional, homeopathic and postpartum recovery consultations and an in depth one year check-in/celebration designed for taking stock and honoring your new family’s completion of a full seasonal cycle together. You may also consider Myth Mending or Lazy-Lady Living as a way of going a little deeper in your healing and mothering wisdom and/or recovering nutrient stores.
You can have an Authentic and Undisturbed Birth!
Even if you are afraid of the unknown, have had a difficult birth in the past, or, like most modern mamas, feel some level of disconnection from your instinctual self. I get it. I have spent heartbreaking hours, searched my soul, and found real, concrete tools for recovering your Soft Animal instinctual self, preventing as many birth complications as possible with innovative, cutting edge, creative prenatal care, and reclaiming the Birth Ritual as a profound rite of passage. I am also not attached to you having a “natural birth.” I will honor your process, your baby’s wisdom and the mystery of birth and incarnation.
I have learned that trusting a mother and baby, no matter how they choose to birth, is more important than returning the world to natural birth. Sometimes undisturbed means supporting a woman in transport, or cesarean birth. I will not judge your choices, and I won’t make them for you.
Who Touch the Earth Birth is for:
- Mothers and families who want a self-directed, free, birth in connection.
- Unassisted birthers who don’t want to do it alone.
- Women and families who want to move as close as possible to unassisted birth, but know they’re not yet ready to move toward it without support.
- Women and families who will give birth in the hospital and want deep holistic tandem care, and Birth Keeping support in their hospital birth.
Who Touch the Earth Birth is NOT for:
- Mothers and families who are not willing to take responsibility for their own birth experience.
Please contact me about pricing and how to get started.
In ten years at Pithiviers, I have been taught: where woman are free, we will learn how they give birth best. They will show us. They will trust us. Look at them. Listen closely. ~Dominique Pourré, midwife in “Birth Reborn” by Michel Odent