New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Birth and Art

When I gave birth for the first time, I didn't realize how lucky I was. Well, that might be subjective. I gave birth in Arizona in one of the first free standing birth centers there. It was a beautiful place that I felt comfortable in without the stark floors and drab walls of a hospital. All they did there were natural births...they knew how to help women with a natural birth. I was in 24 hours of labor in pain, and surprisingly enough I came away from that with a very positive view of birth and my abilities to give birth. At that time, I didn't know that things were done differently at the hospital. I didn't know that having a natural birth was something that most women did not do. So, I had my second there. With both of these births I found great meaning and application to my beginning life as a mother.

Then I moved and the birthing possibilities were not the same. It was either at home, which I didn't feel entirely comfortable with, or in the hospital. I did not mind the hospital as much, but no one knew quite what to do with a woman who did not take pain medication. They simple had not had enough experience. It was at this point that I began to really explore why I still chose to have medication free births. Why would any of us choose to feel pain when it can easily be taken away? It's a question that I'm not sure I can still answer, except to say that somehow, I have found meaning in that pain.

This exploration has also led me to write my own in which I have explored the meaning of pain, fear, becoming a mother, and how this applies to motherhood. Part of this exploration has also led me to explore art in the context of birth also. I have felt like the meaning in birth and motherhood can be very difficult to explain and touches on emotional aspects that can sometimes only be expressed by art, either in writing, painting, sewing etc. Explaining the joy that came to me is like trying to explain why seeing the smile on my child for the first time makes me so happy. It is one of those experiences that has the ability to touch the inner core of who we are as women. As such, sometimes the only way we can express this is through art.

I myself am not an artist, but I appreciate and enjoy looking at and experiencing other peoples art. As a part of my own exploration, I began collecting other's art peices that showed what birth and motherhood meant to them. You can find that on my blog at I am still accepting more and see this an ongoing project, so if any of you would like to submit something send it my way. I would love to see how this process has changed you and how you have found meaning in your own roles as mothers.

1 comment:

anjie said...

I have had all 5 of my babies natural. I would love to share my birth art with you. email me.
anjanell at gmail dot com

Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.