Birth is as always a profound experience. The veil between the worlds is at its finest. A woman’s eyes roll back in her head as she surrenders to the deepest release and births her newborn onto planet earth. I was honored to attend the labor and birth of my sister’s first born son on Saturday, March 12, 2011.
My sister prepared deeply for birth.
- She meditated.
- She prayed.
- She attended a three-week journey in Mexcio with a midwife who taught about herbs, plants and traditions for healing.
- She read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth and Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh.
- She went on a Baby Moon with her husband which was a mindful weekend get-a-way before the baby was born.
- She and her husband attended a ten-week childbirth class and got versed in the stages of labor, the variations of breath, and the nuances of breastfeeding.
- Her friends and family created a birth blessing necklace of stones with associated meaning, as well as a birth mandala with mediations for birth, which she carried with her as she labored.
- She attended five births: one for her best friend, two for her other best friend, and two of my births. She saw the process up close and personal.
- She wrote a letter to the angels about her musings, thoughts and hopes for birth; this was different than a birth plan; this was a letter of intension. An excerpt: “I enter the unknown territory of giving birth with humility and flexibility, excitement and confidence that this miracle of life will unfold exactly as it is supposed to and I will jump on board whatever that looks like. While I have no control over what that unfolding will entail, I take it seriously to put forth an intention and vision for how I hope I will engage with the process and how I hope it all might manifest itself in reality.”
In labor, she quieted her mind. She remained internal. She labored at our parents’ house where it was still, quiet, and clean. She relaxed into her husband’s embrace. She danced the smallest steps, she sang a few notes, but mostly she accepted each contraction with humility. Even as things progressed and there were the standard signs of advanced labor, she remained calm, focused, and in a trance. It wasn’t until I noticed the familiarity of her position and expression through a contraction and I asked her if she wanted to push and she said, “Yes,” that we drove to the hospital. (Hers was to be a hospital birth with midwives.)
Once we arrived, the hallway seemed the length of an airport runway and the ride up the elevator an eternity. I pushed on my sister’s lower back with all my strength as she experienced contractions while at the front desk and getting settled into her new room. She was checked immediately and told that she was fully dilated. My sister birthed her baby 50 minutes after our arrival.
I have close friends who have prepared extensively and have not experienced the birth of their dreams; there are many opportunities for disappointment and many factors at play; you can do all of your work ahead of time with no guarantee that all will be well. I do believe, however, that my sister’s thoughtful preparation helped in setting the stage for her mind and body to walk into the labor process and out the other side in the manner that she did. As well, the matriarchal line in our family is known for streamline natural birth, so she had hereditary in her side.
She was born my little sister, and now she is a mother with grace.
About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today's progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.