‘Birth’-a play for a non-perfect world.

•♫ ♪♫•”Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.” •♫ ♪♫•

Squatting with fingers touching the earth, the baby-belly mama rises while cradling her arms in a rocking motion, moving hands in swirling motions near her throat chakra, clapping the right hand reaching to the sky, all the while chanting, “Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.”

A birthing woman is sitting under the stars, breathing air that connects her to the earth and sky, intuitively knowing the bodies blood-water connects her to the fetus that is laboring along with her, and trusting both baby and mother spirit to fuel the fire needed to endure the path to delivery. The mother rocks her body, moving through light contractions. The wave of intensity is building, building–till the pushing urge is so strong that all her focus moves her body to bears down, moving her baby gently into the world to share the earth’s breath. The never ending spiral of life~creating more spirals.

In a perfect world.

Which does exist.

The world of birth compares to the world of snowflakes.

“Wow really?” you may ask, “in what way?”

Simply in that no two are alike. This variable state creates the unexpected. The unexpected at times creates unwanted results, these results can cultivate future fear. This often leads to controlling Birth to get a more satisfactory result. This control contradicts the natural birthing process. Control interrupts the innate rhythmic flow of a birthing body.

This forced flow will still produce the birth of a baby. This forced flow can, at times, save the life of a baby.

Sometimes.

But there has been great loss in this process of forced birth.

If you look at numbers, the lives saved by intervention is not equal to the lives lost. The United States has one of the worst infant mortality rates for an industrialized country. The cesarean rate is out of control. Just look at the world health organization for your statistics. The facts are easily found once you question the process.

If the facts are so easily found then why are so many robotically moving toward controlled birth?

Simple…Fear rules over facts. The majority will not even question the safety of what they are being told is normal and safe. They will simply do what everyone else is doing. If they do question their doctor, they are told that all these interventions make it safer for the baby and them.

The fact is, it does not make it safer.

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Birth, A Play by Karen Brody

Things like this don’t come along that often. A play about Birth from eight completely different women’s perspectives. I’ve been attending the rehearsals because I will be doing background sounds along with two other women, Christar and Sakura. We are drumming with our djembe’s along with some flute and shakers.

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Should I take Hypnobirthing Class

pregnant moon

pregnant moon

Someone dear ask me this question:

Hey Jeanie, I’ve decided to have my baby  in the water! I was wondering if you knew anything about Hypnobirthing?

My answer:

I am first certified from Rahima Baldwin’s program called Informed Birth/Parenting. Then years after I was a midwife I took the hybnobirthing-The Mongan Method course with Micky herself. She came to St John in the Virgin Islands.
I wasn’t terribly impressed with this method of teaching childbirth classes but I do believe Hypnotherapy can be beneficial to relieve fear, which allows for more relaxation, which creates space for a natural birth to occur. Tension causes fear which can cause minor complications.
Is there a class nearby that you are thinking of taking? Do you know a good hypnotherapist?
Orgasmic Birth DVD- this looks interesting but I haven’t seen it.

She then ask this question:

There’s a class at the birth center, the midwife really recommends me taking it. I have the book and the cd with affirmations and the relaxation that ive been listening to everyday. Do u think i should take it?

Here’s my answer:

Ignorance is bliss for some things… too much knowledge can sometimes induce fear if you seek that knowledge in the wrong places. (By the way, I dis-like the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”) I think any relaxation inducing class you choose to take is good.
Letting go is the key.
Just don’t let go of your right to a safe birth. In my mind, safe means no one is going to do an episiotomy or induce labor just because it is routine.

Understand there is no such thing as a natural birth with an epidural. Also understanding there are truly times when an epidural is the right thing to do and that we all love doctors for the special knowledge they know when a natural birth meets a complication. Putting it all in perspective that complications are very rare when the domino effect of unnecessary intervention is not allowed and you have had good prenatal care to rule out complications before birth.
Being smart means surrounded yourself with women you trust.
Which brings us back to letting go and trusting that everything you do is enough when you care, pay attention, breath and circle around to trust and letting go.
I have total trust you already know everything I just wrote.

“Into These Hands”

Available at http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/shop/print-books/ and bookstores now.

Power, politics, and profit aside, how a nation cares for its mothers and newborns is a key indicator of the health of that society. “Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives,” an anthology of essays from 25 extraordinary midwives, speaks directly to what really matters to women: the right to have safe and satisfying births.

“Into These Hands” is edited by Geradine Simkins, a midwife, author, and president of the Midwives Alliance of North America.

Special thanks to Steve and Michelle Lawson for bestowing the footage of the birth of their son, filmed beautifully by Julia Arielle (http://juliaariellephotography.com).

Featured song: “Already Gone” by Josie Overmyer (http://josieovermyer.com)

Watsu for Pregnancy

Watsu is a combination of water and shiatsu.

Wikipedia states “Watsu, a portmanteau of water and shiatsu, is a form of body massage performed while lying in warm water (around 35 °C or 95 °F). The receiver of Watsu treatment is continuously supported by the therapist while he or she rocks and gently stretches the body. Because it is performed in the water, the body is free to be manipulated and stretched in ways impossible while on the land.”

Watsu around the World states “Many come out of a Watsu saying they were more relaxed than they have ever been. Some say it was one of the most powerful experiences in their life.”

Beyond Body Work states “Watsu is used frequently, often weekly, during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. No other therapy offers the profound relaxing weightlessness and comfort for both mother and child. The 96 degree water is safe and perfect for the unborn child. Both mother and child experience a new freedom and expansion benefiting both.”

Watch this Youtube video to get a peek. It is a bit of a sales job but a good into.

 

Marley

 
Note to all: This is my story of knowing Marley Cote’s mother, Joan Cote. She was my birth roommate. RIP Joan. 
Marley and Jeremy

Marley and Jeremy

Marley was Bob’s last name but his songs and positive vibrations have inspired many to pass on more than his gift of uplifting messages on to their youth.

Joan held a precious one inside her belly.

I could not tell you what it was, exactly, that inspired her when she heard Bob sing.
Was it his poetry? Was it the rhythms his songs moved her to and fro? Was it his accent? His culture? His Vibes? His One Love message?
The puzzle pieces are there to be had, but not by me. That story can be told by another.
I only know she named her first and only child Marley. I only know the strength and love she offered him. For two months we were room mates, or should I say deck mates since the home we shared merely consisted of mismatched decks added one by one to form a compound, known by some as a magical Oasis. I only know…
Joan was in the house…
and Marley was zooming by.
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Facebook Angel

Facebook is as amazing as it can be harmful. A red square with a number pops up on my message box. I open it to reveal a picture taking me back to 1994. I look intently into the eyes of a newborn I am holding; the senders precious bundle I was honored to assist into the world.

I’ve had such a blessed life. Sometimes it all gets away from me. Time has a way of insulating past events with particles of everyday busyness. This insulation is nothing more than a thick layer of dust left hidden someplace I thought no longer existed.  Out of the blue someone wipes away the layers of dust particles revealing something so raw and beautiful that it jerks my body into an outburst of sobbing. Tears flow like a tsunami. Raw emotions release me to a place of humbled existence. My life has been full of some incredible gifts bestowed to me by the lives I have been honored to brush past.

I sob out of enormous gratitude to those who have allowed me to enter into their most intimate heartfelt moments of their lives: the births I have witnessed, my children that choose me, the smile from a stranger that dared to share eye contact, opening the window to their heart for even the briefest of moments, nature’s caress, nature’s challenge, the musical twisting around my soul. I sob for every moment life allows me to bear witness to so many others, youth and adult, who cry out for acceptance and connection and I become reassured as I watch a community reach out unconditionally and take hold of that hand that is grasping.

I sob in sorrow when love gets taken over by fear. I sob in sorrow when fear gets held captive by hate. I sob once more when hate gets mistaken for strength and power, when the only true way to have strength and power is through love.

One true moving force helping me start everyday with my heart open is to bath myself in the gratitude I have for every humbling moment in life that was graced by love, warmth, touch, song.

My heart may seep with burning open wounds made by paper cuts of hate filled words, scornful eyes, seething lies. I lather these open pustules with wild aloe thoughts and the sun and healing oxygen allowed to bath a heart that has been left open to the elements, trusting that healing energy has power over the spore laden environment caused by a darkened coffin.

I sob tears of joy for my acceptance of my dark moments and for the strength to walk, sometimes crawl through the darkness understanding the light is waiting for me, waiting to warm me with its healing rays of strength and joy so that when darkness falls again, which is understood as part of life’s balance, I will once again bath in the darkness, opening my soul to life’s lessons, putting one foot in front of the other trusting it will once again move me to the light. This is the Yin/Yang roller coaster I am humbled to ride.

As for this Facebook moment that drew me to my knees, I give a heartfelt thank-you for the mother whose love for her son and her midwife gave me a roller coaster ride I will gladly stand in line for over and over.

 

Chakra Momma

Chakra Mama

Chakra Mama by GypsyChant

This is my sketch/drawing called Chakra Mama. The Blue tears symbolize the milk flowing from the throat chakra which is also Blue. The heart chakra is Green. The Pubic area is red coral representing the Fire coming from the Base chakra. The backbone is mountains representing strength. The New Zealand Fern is reaching out as the arms. The solar plexus has the sun. .

 

Water birth Video

This is a great water birth put out by the Natural Birth Center in California.

There are a few things I like about this video. It shows a family birth with relatives and siblings.

The  mother connecting with her baby is very sweet. Every time the midwife takes the mothers hand off the babies head the mother puts it right back on. Not sure why the midwife is obsessed with rinsing the babies head, either she is trying to stimulate the baby or keep it warm with the warm water from the tub. The baby is a bit limp and not real pink but it appears not in any distress as there is some flexion of limbs and attempts at crying.

I feel like many midwifes could actually do a little bit less then they do. It’s all in the training.

Still thinking about the movie “Babies”

Ponijao lives in Namibia with her family, including her parents and eight older brothers and sisters. Ponijao’s family is part of the Himba tribe, and lives in a small village with other families.

Mari lives with her mother and father in Shibuya, a busy metropolitan area within Tokyo, at the center of all of the city’s noise and excitement. Mari is an only child and lives a contemporary urban lifestyle.

Born in Mongolia, Bayarjargal, usually called “Bayar” for short, lives with his mother, father, and older brother Delgerjargal (“Degi”) on their small family farm.

Hattie lives in San Francisco, born to very ecological, “green” parents.  Both of Hattie’s parents are equally involved in her day-to-day life, fixing her meals, taking her to play groups, and spending time with her around the house.

What am I talking about?

Why “Babies” of course.

Breastmilk squirted on the babies face to wash the eyes.
A mother licking the babies face then spiting sharply.
A jacuzzi with mother and baby. Baby is not happy.
A river to play in.
A metal bath tub to sit in while a goat drinks from it.

These are all scenes you get to be a part of for a breif hour and 20 minutes.

Some of you might say yuk or gross. I say you need to see the film to understand how it is not gross. In fact is is very amusing.

For me, I would love it to just keep going and going.  I’m looking foward to the DVD with all the extras.

Here’s my take on the above.

Breastmilk has antibiotic properties that helps get rid of infection and also help prevent infection in the first place.

All animals clean their babies by licking them. It is the most natural thing. It is not uncommon in most cultures for a parent to suck out the mucus from an infants nose and spit it out when they are sick. I have been told this from some people I know that lived in Jamaica and other Islands. I know, Yuk you say. But this is normal for them.

My babies bath tub in St John was a metal tub we bought from the hardware store. You see people wash their laundry in them. The tub would sit on the deck and they would bathe outside in the fresh warm air.

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