Monday, March 26, 2007

Women enjoy being in charge of their bodies & babies. Women of healthy mind & sound spirit know what is best for them. Many women find pregnancy to be an amazing opportunity to tune deeply into their body, & in turn their baby.
After 10 moons of healthful preparation, patience & purity, birth becomes the catalyst for transforming from sacred pregnant vessel to empowered mother. Natural birth, where mother is free to be guided by baby & divine spirit, to take full advantage of evolution & gravity as well as benefit from traditional woman/baby centered care & Chiropractic, she will birth with a deep sense of purpose. When all is said & done, her respect for life will be profound, will be a source of great power & deepen her ability to love & be loved.... After all is not this what the conception-breastfeeding continuum is all about?
Warmly, Earth Lande
Transforming How You See Birth

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gomeh's Birth

Gomeh's birth was a beautiful, intimate, connected and empowering experience for me. During my pregnancy, I had no idea what the birth was going to look like. I heard so many birth stories about pain and fear and how "you just have to go through it but at the end you have your baby."
However, I discovered birth could also be a wonderful experience. I felt so connected to myself, to Ido my partner, and to love itself. Yes, it was painful, I stayed with the pain, breathing, feeling my belly and my baby inside me, and letting myself remember that this is a healthy pain, a pain of opening, of bringing a new life. Gomeh was born into the water of our bath tub and Ido caught him. The intimacy of my home and the support I got from Maria, Brit my doula and Noa my friend and my community helped the birth become what I feel it should be: a safe, natural and beautiful special time of new life coming into the world. --Keren Tzarfaty, Mother of Gomeh
Birth photo by Britt Forhman,

A visit to Keren and Ido and Gomeh

My mom gave birth to me in the hospital. I am not sure where my father was, in the hospital outside the delivery room, or maybe not in the hospital at all. So when Gomeh was about to be born, I knew I wanted to be there, part of the experience, connected to my new family. The day Gomeh was born is still so vivid in my memory. The magic of it, the sacred feeling of a new life emerging. I am so happy to have been an active participant in the birth, supporting my wife Keren, and catching Gomeh as he came into this world. I felt we were all connected and am so grateful for our life together. --Ido Siemion, father of Gomeh, born at home

Friday, March 23, 2007

A late visit to Heidi and Jan's

Heidi had her three children at home. Natasha is 15, Havel is 12 and Josephine is 8. Josephine says that "My birth was probably the most specialist moment of my life."

Here's what Heidi has to say:
Asking women about their experiences giving birth when I was pregnant, I heard plenty of scary, pain filled, excruciating hospital birth stories, but no anxiety filled homebirth stories. The women I met who had given birth at home with a midwife assisting had such glowing experiences, it made me wonder what made the difference, why were the homebirth women so uniformly happy and excited about their experience of giving birth, while women giving birth in the hospital so frequently recalled giving birth as an excruciating experience they endured. Talking to midwives, researching birthing practices and outcomes, plus reading a range of birth stories, convinced me to hire a midwife and give birth in the calm, nurturing environment of my home. At home, I felt at ease, I had a level of control in the decisions made and in how I adapted to the pain, how I coped felt under my control. The midwife cared for me and my well being as much as she cared for the baby.
I never anticipated how powerful and rewarding giving birth could be. If I speculate why I felt that way, I imagine the surprising sense of accomplishment, of successfully enduring pain, the tremendous endorphin rush, but I also recall such incredibly warm feelings of love and support there in my home- that was an overwhelming sensation of confidence and security that has stayed with me forever. Birth is meant to be such a powerful gift in all our lives. --Heidi Engel, mother of Natasha, Havel and Josephine

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Empowerment is a feeling of accomplishment and self-awareness that is the result of an extraordinary experience. A woman in birth discovers her limits and what it means to reach beyond those limits. She finds inner strength where she least expects it. During her labor, she surrenders her power, only to find it again on the other side.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fear is a totally debilitating feeling that we think is real. -- Peggy Reid, mother of Addy, pregnant with 2nd child

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Visit from Thomas and Pascal

Two of my baby friends, Thomas and Pascal, came over for lunch today with their moms. We traded lunch for thoughts about natural childbirth. Here is what their moms had to say:

My son is truly the greatest love of my life. I didn't want to be numb on painkillers on the day we met.

It may only be a day in your life, but what I've discovered is that the day of my son's birth is a day that stays with me always. -- Rita Kearns, mother of Thomas

Rites of passage are dying in this country. Many of the troubling issues we're finding with young adults are due to our society's lack of "rites of passage." Birth is one of the most important rites of passage that I know of.

To go from an ordinary, sane, in control woman to MOTHERHOOD is a leap I wasn't sure I would take in this lifetime. I'm blessed that I have gotten to experience this rite of passage. And I'm even more blessed that I chose a homebirth and the midwifery model of care.

Becoming a mother has changed me in every way thinkable. It's made me a richer more powerful woman than the one I was before. We all need to claim this rite as our own. Think of the thought you put into your wedding... Now choose your birth. -- Jamie Glowacki, mother of Pascal

Monday, March 5, 2007

The View from the Top

I don't think I will ever climb Mount Everest. But I did reach a pass in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes that was 14,000 feet above sea level. Just two years ago, I climbed Mount Lassen with my son's 7th grade class. Climbing a mountain is one of those accomplishments that you keep with you for the rest of your life. Oh, I climbed such and such once... Why? It was the process that was all important. The challenge, pushing yourself to keep going when you were tired, visualizing the view from the top, stopping to rest when you needed to. Sometimes it is just one foot in front of the other.

Then you are at the top. The view is glorious. Not only are you seeing the natural world, but you glimpse your internal self-- the will power, the commitment, the strength that pulled you to this place. You feel accomplishment, success and simple joy.

Birth is like this. I always seem to use that analogy of Mount Everest. Really, any mountain will do. Birth is a pinnacle moment when you will see out onto the world, solid in yourself and yet looking out upon the view with new eyes, your baby in your arms. Birth is hard, challenging, unyielding. Yet, when you reach the top, the view will be glorious.
Natural childbirth puts you in touch with being truly alive and present in the moment. -- Linda Gruber, San Francisco Lic. Acupuncturist