I love doing ceremony! Which is funny because a few years ago, I kind of hated the rote following of the leader aspects of ritual and ceremony. But then I was introduced to ceremonies and rituals that actually had meaning for me, and after developing a habit of performing rituals, I came to love the intent and purposeful actions.
Many traditional cultures around the world honor the time after birth for both baby and mother. They see the work of labor as physical as well as emotional, energetic and spiritual, and make time to acknowledge and create space for the transition. From these traditions we are reminded of the importance of mothering the mother.
When it comes to sports, we know that we have to practice in order to know what we're doing. This applies to other physical things, like practicing an instrument. In fact, anything that we do physically OR mentally requires practice in order to gain mastery. Well, I'm not suggesting that we need to master birth, but it sure would be nice if we could practice it! If, for the first birth, we had any idea of what we are doing!
Fertility is a complex thing. Like all other systems, health, balance, freedom and wellness in fertility requires free flowing energy and clear communication of all the body's systems. This is true of all physical health, but when it comes to fertility, we take a lot more notice and lot more stock in why it may or may not be well.
"My body my choice" means so much more than the choice to have a child or not. There was plenty of time and energy devoted to that concern. It also means the choice of how we birth our babies. That choice begins with education: knowing the process of birth internally, physically and medically. When we understand birth we are much less fearful of birth, and when we understand birth we can make choices that are best for our bodies and our lives.
I had the joy and privilege of attending a birth this week. This was the mother's second birth, which was a first for me. Working with a woman who has already birthed makes my work easier since she already has a good idea of what she wants and doesn't want, and she was so confident and relaxed after baby arrived.