It has been four years now since I began planning my first home birth.
And I can still clearly recall the first night when I learned giving birth at home was an option. A magical evening, and one that really changed my life.
Four years in – with the blog and Facebook page running for nearly three – I consider myself a part of the fabric of the natural birth movement, local community and overall presence online and off. Which is to say, it’s part of who I am. One large puzzle piece in my makeup.
I go to birth throughout the day, briefly letting stories consume me as I stare off across the lake, deep in thought. I’m thinking about a friend whose birth did not go as planned. Of the woman who is pregnant with her first, trying to be calm through the stress tests and ultrasounds.
Why does birth cross my mind like this? Why does it appear so often in my stream of consciousness?
Why, when I am no longer pregnant or planning to become in the future, am I still interested in birth? In answering emails, taking on writing assignments?
I keep coming back to the same answer:
Because birth matters.
Whether or not it pertains to me in the moment, millions of women are giving birth every minute of every day, day after day.
There are movements surrounding birth. How we give birth safely and where. The rights of families to make choices and the rights of midwives and doulas.
Birth is a big deal.
It is such a fragile, exalting thing, for a woman to give birth.
I know how much one transforms through the experience of giving birth to our children. It changes us, leaving an imprint so strong, we feel it with each heartbeat. It’s Life. That’s very powerful.
Sometimes this “cause” feels to heavy a weight to carry. I don’t feel strong enough to hear the stories of brokenhearted women, taken advantage of. Or I become to busy with housework and details of raising a family well.
So I have to set it down and step back for a while. Consider my options, the amount of time I can dedicate, and ultimately, figure out how I can make a difference while keeping in balance with the rest of all this life that doesn’t pause along with me.
Quiet mornings such as this, (a light breeze coming off the lake through the open dining room windows; sporadic distant chirping) remind me there is a place for everything; that everything belongs and I need not carry a thing but my babe.
To simply be here is enough. As a listener, a teacher, or liaison between parties. It is enough that birth moves me – I can be a part of this movement by caring enough to take action when I can. I’ve been consumed in the past. This site is my example. I spent many a late night on the computer after Ella went to sleep and continued through writing blog posts through the weeks of my pregnancy with Lucan.
To the others – the groups of people on Facebook, the bloggers and activists we see telling their stories on Facebook and Twitter – you are IT. We are the group of people of our time – the generation – making difference in birth today. We are part of this movement together. Although the problems we face aren’t small, I see the work you do to encourage other women and families through their work.
Thank you. I’m glad to be a part of this movement with you.