i’m still shocked and awed by my recent experience at natural beginnings birth and wellness center.
my close friend delivered her first child, a daughter, early yesterday morning, february 20th. i’ve spent the past few months talking with my friend about all sorts of birthing expectations and pregnancy experiences. so much of this whole experience has opened my eyes, and while i considered myself to be moderately well-informed about natural birth (if one really can be without witnessing one or giving birth oneself) all the reading and learning and listening can’t prepare for the amazing experience that is natural childbirth.
the past two days have been bizarre for me… i sometimes forget what i have seen and “come to” thinking about the depth of the experience and how it is so truly unlike most other experiences routinely seen in the modern world.
one part science experiment, one part adventure, and one part god, natural birth is truly remarkable. i won’t speak in too much detail today… i first need to talk with my friend and ask her how much she is comfortable with me mentioning, but i will give the highlights.
first of all, i was excited to see the birth center where her daughter was born, since this birth center in statesville, nc is only 1 of 2 in the state and we are possibly interested in birthing our child at this same location in the future. i found the staff to be amazing… calm, collected, relaxed, and knowledgeable. also, they were willing to talk and answer all of my placental and other questions!
my friend had her child via water birth, as did another one of my close friends. she relayed her enthusiasm over being able to labor in the water throughout the experience, and it was apparent that being in the water was soothing and easier on her body. she was able to move around whenever she wanted and she was the first one to touch her newborn girl, plucking her out of the water with joy and awe on her face and exclaiming “our baby!”
witnessing a natural birth is truly difficult to explain. one thing that i can say about it, is that it is inspiring! in the past few days i have felt empowered in new, different ways… thinking: if my friend can so gracefully and beautifully birth a spiritual human entity into the world, what do i have to worry about or complain about? i have never seen anyone work so hard in my life, without complaint.
this experience has caused me to realize that strength is so much more innate and animal than we realize. that our animal selves know what to do, and how to do it. to immediately decide that a drugged and numb labor and birth is the ideal is fallacy. not only does an unquestioned leap into a hospital bed deprive a woman of an amazing animal experience, but it also deprives her of an amazing spiritual one, too.
i will have much more to say about my experience of the birth soon, but for now i can only say how much my friend inspires and awes me. if only one day i can be as heroic and as humble as she is, then i will truly know the beginnings of motherhood.