My fascination with childbirth began when I was a young girl, listening to the birth stories of my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother. I share these stories and my first birth experience and how I was able to have a safe, satisfying birth in the midst of a technological medical model, in our book Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience as well as in our new Pleasurable Birth films. Each of my three births provided me with many lessons and awakened more of my intuitive wisdom. It was during my third pregnancy when I was already a childbirth educator that I researched and knew that birth could be so much more than I had been able to experience in my two previous births. Although my births had been positive, healthy and empowering, I knew there was more.
I discovered an amazing midwife, Lonnie Morris, who at that time had a birth center in New Jersey. Having had two births already that had both elements that I treasure and aspects I knew I wanted to change, I was excited to be with such a strong midwife, whose confidence and wisdom in birth, gave me the freedom I had been yearning for to believe birth could be something incredible, joyous and yes Ecstatic, Blissful and Orgasmic!
With Lonnie strong yet gentle guidance, each visit I found new strengths and insights into childbirth and myself. She touched and rubbed my growing belly, listened to my concerns, feelings and my wishes. Lonnie helped me connect with my baby’s movements in a way that other caregivers had not done. I would no longer have to fight to move around in labor, she encourage me to find positions I was comfortable with. Labor would begin on its own, when my baby was ready, no fear tactics to begin labor before we were ready. I could eat and drink in labor, all these seem like obvious rights, yet laboring women give these up every day around the world, when science shows these simple acts make labor safer and easier for both MotherBaby. Why had I had to fight for these in my past pregnancies? A midwifery model of care, not only honored my voice, my rights and treated me with dignity, but her encouragement instead of a fear-based model, nourished me in confidence.
I will never forget arriving to the birth center in labor knowing I could surrender to the power of labor. Feeling nurtured and supported by a circle of women, midwives, a nurse and my partner. I did not have to negotiate to protect myself or my baby from standard practices that did not meet our needs. I showered, moved and gave birth upright on a birth stool. I was never told to do anything. I was nurtured and encouraged to do what I had to do. To listen to my body, my baby, my “inner wisdom”. As my baby slid from my body, the sense of accomplishment, the orgasmic, blissful feeling that came over me, the release, I did it! I had remained calm, confident and upright. There are never enough words to express those feelings that are contained in the moment of ecstasy. I am filled with gratitude each time I remember my birth. I am so grateful to Lonnie and the other midwives who believed in me. They were like guardian angels, nurturing me safely thru these sacred gates. Lonnie and I have attended many births together in the past 25 years as midwife and doula. She caught my grandson. With tears in our eyes as he was born, my eyes catching hers – I smiled knowing the circle of life goes on as Lonnie continues to advocate for every woman, man, baby’s right to give Birth Your Way!
What does Birth Your Way mean to you? Please share your thoughts, your quotes, your comments as I will gather them and weave them into my upcoming teachings.
Lonnie attended Debra’s daughter’s birth too – read her story.