On Birth: A Letter to My Children

Dear Children…

Giving birth to all three of you was, well how should I put it… absolutely and completely amazing.

All three times I held you in my arms, my sweet new baby,  I said out loud, “I want to do that again.” Like a thrilling helicopter ride over the volcanic lava flow, overwhelming, humbling, exhilarating, and at times intimidating.  Amazing to be in the air, grateful to be back on land. In awe to see your beauty and perfection. Unlike that helicopter ride, after childbirth we gained a new being, a new member of our family, a new delight to get to know and to watch fumble and learn, to hold during times of pain and to celebrate with during times of growth.  

Parenting… what an adventure… from the very first moment. Unlike the helicopter ride, our family gained you: a perfect being, a perfect baby. Even the birth of the one that chose not to stay in body form beyond 13 weeks…. even that birth, as sad and crushing as it was to let go, even that had beauty.

I am enamoured with birth…

As a midwife, I have been around birth for 19 years, a Certified Nurse Midwife for 12 years, a mom for seven years.  As a child, I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to watch the puppies and kittens being born. I have always been enamored by this miracle called birth.  It’s simple and beautiful and profound and overwhelming. 

I have attended births in Africa, Central America, Haiti and all over the US. I have supported women giving birth inside, outside, in hospitals, in homes, in birthing centers, in geodesic domes….need I go on?  I have taught childbirth education classes, encapsulated placentas, you name it. I honor all that have done it before me and with each additional child, I see how I change as a midwife, as a woman, as a mom and as a human.

I want you to know that giving birth makes me feel empowered and strong and beautiful.  

It is graceful and gentle and empowering. Birth is a time to connect with my loved ones and accept support, to know that I am loved and in love, and at the pinnacle, the journey is centralized on me and the journeying/birthing baby; no one else.  You see, I am going to show you, in this most recent birth…. you all played a role that was important, but most important was my surrender, my trust and the empowerment of the baby on its way out of the womb. 

I hope you will remember this, amazing children of mine…

…remember to surrender and trust.  Trust you are strong and able and nature has its way. Trust that we listened to you and the timing you wanted to be born in. We allowed you to journey through the birth canal without medications altering our communication with one another. You and I both received that natural and humongous surge of oxytocin so that we could fall in love with one another in an overwhelming way. 

Giving birth reminds me I have a voice that can be loud and powerful and needs to be heard.  I am a woman in her 40’s, not a statistic or a “geriatric obstetric patient.” 

I am healthy, and vibrant.  

My husband and I have enjoyed conscious conception, dedicated pregnancies, and focused selfless parenting. The birth story of all three of you is a story of gentleness, ecstasy, love, connectedness and grace.  You see, I have given birth to you in the comfort of my own home, in my own clothing, around the people that I chose, with the music I wanted and the candles burning of my choice. 

I even had my husband climb the coconut tree for fresh coconut water during one of my labors.  And the third birth has finally taken me over an edge, an edge like standing at the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, not exactly over the edge with my body, but ready to go over the edge with my voice. 

To call out to anyone and everyone that will listen. 

To fill that canyon with my sound and my truth; that all who are willing to hear will take heed: I love giving birth.  I want to call out a birth story and a truth I know deeply in my being, in my Yale educated Certified Nurse Midwifery brain, and in my household. 

Birth is to be trusted, to be raw and exposed and in its own timing. For me, birth is naked and like a dance. We danced beautiful children of mine, we danced on the day you were born, and we all sing: “I am so glad you have come”.

January 21, 2021