Someone asked me why I did this.
Did I love babies?
Did I just love people?
The honest answer is neither. What I love is birth.
When I gave birth to my son, I felt like I was let in on the best kept secret of humankind. I could not believe that people did this every day. In fact, as I’m typing this there are many mothers struggling to bring their babies earthside all over the world and it is still mind blowing to me. I couldn’t believe all the details no one ever told me about and how casual moms I knew were when talking about birth, how they played it down: just a 15 hour labor, really not that bad. What all these women had failed to convey to me was the utter transformation that I would need to go through in order to birth my son. The altered states of consciousness that are in fact tied to the types of brain waves you experience. I was told it was hard work, but no one expressed to me the complete exhaustion, the bone weariness, the adrenaline that keeps you going and going and going.
I had even seen birth before, watched a dear friend birth her son, and still I never understood. The most important thing that I gleaned from her birth was the magic when a new person enters the world, when 5 people become 6. The smell of birth, feeling the air so thick with hormonal signals I could almost touch it, those are magical.
I want to be a part of that again and again, but more importantly I want the families who are bringing a new life into the world to feel it to. I want them to feel awed, amazed, exhausted, proud; its simply heartbreaking to me when I hear mothers lament their birth stories. This act, that should be their glory, becomes their shame when they are told they aren’t able, aren’t adequate, aren’t strong enough.
I want to tell mothers that they can do it. I believe they can, and I know they will.