When I had my first (John) I was 19 and knew literally nothing about birthing or raising a child. By the time Trent and Zoe came along I was in my thirties and had a lot more experience and had learned so much I felt that I was ready to do it all over again. I had also grown spiritually and would have been willing to try giving birth in nature if only things hadn’t gotten so complicated. Sure, I was afraid of the pain. John was born after an exhausting 19+ hours of labor and none of that was easy. By the time I had Trent, though, I was aware that the pain, which seems agonizing at the time, is only intense for a few hours. I wondered then, and still do, if I could have done it without an epidural. By the time Trent was born I had already been in the hospital for two weeks with a placental abruption and anything that would end the pain sounded pretty good to me. Drastic measures for drastic times. I had been in and out of labor four times in that two week period and I admit, I wasn’t feeling my best or most focused. To give birth naturally, you absolutely have to be focused. Pain medication administered during a self-managed birth could end with the mother not being aware in time if things go wonky.
Then there were the difficulties I had with Zoe that required five months of bed rest and an induction.
We do the best we can with the situations we have, and none of mine were conducive to giving birth anywhere but in a hospital with medical staff standing by. I can’t help but wonder now what it would have been like to turn my births into rituals. To have the sounds of rushing water and the wind in the trees soothing me as I welcomed three more lives into the world and bonded them with the Deities from birth. It’s a courageous and beautiful choice. It creates a spiritual bond between mother, child and Deity. An unbreakable cord from life to life, being to being. Birthing in nature isn’t the only path to forging that bond, but it’s a wonderful start and a choice I wish I had been able to make.
That is the only change I would make in my birth experiences, though. I believe Mother and Father are there whenever a new life enters the world so I know they were present and watching over my little ones as they took their first breaths and felt their first cuddles from their family. Goddess and God celebrated with us. I felt their energy in the room and their light around my babies as I held them for the first time. I even felt it with my first birth, even though I wasn’t yet a Witch and didn’t understand they had been there with me my whole life.
That was on my mind yesterday as I hung out with the people in my life I love most. Birth, life, spirit and bonding. It was a good day. :o)