Saturday, June 22, 2013

Birth of Baby Ethan! Birthing, Releasing, Allowing, Forgiving.. Gratitude!

Susie birthing baby Ethan and 
Ethan birthing Susie
TODAY, Saturday, June 21, 2013 is Ethan's Blessing, I have the honor of officiating! So grateful I am!
Below is what I wrote a year and a half ago.
Blessings to my clients and their new baby boy, Ethan!
Born, Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Susie Borja is a PHENOMENAL WOMAN! To quote Susie, "It was Easy Breezy." Your faith, conviction, trust and surrender to that innate power within you saw you through the birth of your beloved son. 

My heart is so full, so happy and filled with love for you, Patrick and your family! You labored with such grace and ease. The whole day you were serene and anchored within your loving. I saw you embrace each contraction and breathe through it. You validated your son and trusted him (that he would know how to move through you), and your body every time you took a deep inhale and exhale with each contraction. Never did you lose faith, falter, waiver or allow fear to get the best of you. Nor did you whine, complain or try and rush the process, you allowed. 

You birthed the way I pray many women will again remember to, you focused on the Holy and Majestic child of God coming through you instead of fixating on the "perception of pain" during labor. You and Patrick held a vision and met it. Congratulations on an EXCELLENT job well done! It was my honor and privilege to support you and Patrick through this journey. 

I am deeply humbled and grateful. Thank you!

I Love You All!
What a joy to behold a woman as she births and has the birth she so truly wants.  My prayer is that women realize they can birth naturally if they choose to.  Of course, there are unique circumstances where a baby must come through with emergency birth procedures or have a pre-scheduled c-section.  (I believe all births in whatever form they occur are an predestined agreement between that child and its mother).  
May each woman be willing to move toward pregnancy and childbirth with a new set of eyes, with deeper surrender and trust in herself and the birth process.  May she be willing to heal old wounds and thought perceptions about birth that are filled with fear, drama, trauma, "no one births like that anymore, mentality."  May she find her own voice and hear the whisper of her own soul on how to birth and not listen to the voices of women and men who believe that birth is painful and that an epidural is mandatory.  Not!  Harmonious childbirth can be done and done well, without medication, but there must be a shift in consciousness and a willingness to get support so that one firmly pushes through the old thoughts of fear that do not support the loving intention to birth naturally.   
There is no wrong way to birth, but there are conscious and unconscious approaches to everything in life.  These writings are not to perpetuate guilt about the way one has birthed or will birth, but to offer a new reality and ultimately forgiveness toward oneself, pertaining to birthing or any situation in our life where we could have chosen differently and did not.  May we  forgive ourselves if we are still holding judgments, regrets about our past choices. We each do the best we can with where we are in consciousness at that particular time.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I STAND WITH YOU! I stand with you Pregnant Mamas-to-Be!

As a doula, I stand with you, pregnant mama-to-be! I stand with you! I stand with your unborn child, I stand with your husband or partner, I stand with the grandparents, I stand with the aunts, uncles and cousins, I hold a space of prayer and love for your entire family as the next generation is birthed.  This is my passion, it is my calling, it is what I do.  Pregnant mama, even though I may not know you, and for those I do know, I hold a space of love and support for you. I stand with you!

This past weekend, I had a lovely and honest conversation with a new mama. Her baby is now seven months old and just a cutie pie! 

She began talking about her birth experience and I asked her if she had a doula at her birth, she said no. She also told me that she had been given my business card around her 3rd month of pregnancy but she never called me. I asked her why and she said it was financial and that during that time, she and her husband were having financial challenges.  She was in labor for about 20 hours or so, the hospital was "strongly suggesting" an epidural and she eventually gave in and got one. Thankfully, she did not have a c-section.  She confessed that she wished she had called me. I told her, I wished she had called me as well. She began to tear up because she realized that she could have done things much differently, and she would not have allowed the money to be an issue.  (Note: I am not against women receiving epidurals if this is "her" choice.  What I want to support women in doing is making informed choices so that they can go all out for themselves and their baby and stand in having the birth they truly desire to experience.) It is important to give 100% of yourself to this pregnancy and birth experience. When you do this, you will feel you've done your best postpartum. I have met so many women who were in regret, remorse for not having the birth they truly wanted. If this happened to you, please get the help you need, share the experience, forgive yourself and the hospital staff or individuals that participated in your decision making.

I informed her that when a woman wants to hire me, really feels it in her heart and money is an "issue," I work with couples to set up payment plans, make monthly payments that are doable for them. A payment schedule that supports them, as well as myself. I share this story because we can all make excuses as to why we cannot have this or that. You only get one opportunity to birth the child you are currently carrying within your womb. Now, you may have other pregnancies, but you will never get the opportunity again to carry and birth the child that is within you right now, so you might as well go full out!

Mamas-to-Be, it is so important for you to set the intention to have the birth that you truly want. Just like this young woman, she had been given my card 6 months before she was due and she did nothing with it. She did not even bother to look at the website. I felt her regret through the tears she shed. I reminded her that her daughter is healthy and all is well.  Many times, we are being given a lifeline we don't even know we need. We must begin to pay attention when things are suggested or given to us. It could be the opportunity that we didn't even know we were looking for!

If you find yourself reading this blog and have the same concerns, I invite you to take a leap of faith!  Wherever you may live in the world, find a doula near you that you resonate with and allow her to support you!  Make a choice based from your heart and soul and not from your pocketbookYou NEED to be, you MUST be and you DESERVE to be fully supported during your labor and child's birth. Nothing less will do!  When a woman is in labor, she is birthing from her heart and soul, not her purse or wallet. Many women choose a birth doula based solely on their finances. Their heart (their intuition) may have communicated to them, "Yes! that is the doula for me!" But, in her fear-based thinking, she cannot get past the money or communicate effectively enough to her partner, the importance of having a doula at their child's birth.  Every woman wants to give birth knowing she is fully supported emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. (If you have a family member, friend who can hold space for you as you give birth and they are able to not make the birth about them, Excellent!)

This young woman further shared with me how her husband was exhausted, getting impatient with the nurses and was stressing out toward the end because he wanted his wife to experience a natural birth, which is what they both wanted.  I shared with her that when a doula is present, the man/partner gets a much needed nap or naps! Your partner will then be more rested and fully present for you and your child.

As a doula, I stand with you, pregnant mama-to-be! I stand with your unborn child, I stand with your husband or partner, I stand with the grandparents, I stand with the aunts, uncles and cousins, I hold a space of prayer and love for your entire family as the next generation is birthed.  This is my passion, it is my calling, it is what I do.  Pregnant mama, even though I may not know you, and for those I do know, I hold you in an embrace that you may not have even been fully aware of what you need now is a third person present at your birth that supports you, your partner and your child coming into this world. 

Now... go find yourself a doula to support you!  After reading this, you can never say again, you did not know.  Best of luck to you!   

Now... with that said, not every woman will need a doula. There are women out there who are up on their pregnancy from beginning to end. These are the women holding space for themselves and you. Work it out warrior woman!!     

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Natural Birth-A New Mama's Experience

A New Mama's Experience of Natural Birth

I was completely convinced that I could have a natural birth.  However, I was not completely convinced that I would have a natural birth.  I tried to go into it with an open mind, because if I was unable to have a natural birth due to things out of my control, I did not want to set myself up for disappointment or regret.  I was 100% committed to trying to have a natural birth and doing everything possible to make it happen.

Everything for me was my breath.  I kept my eyes closed and tried to block out everything around me, while being completely in touch with everything at the same time.  I was always aware of my surroundings, and spoke up for what I needed (either quietly or verbally).  But my focus was on my breath and only my breath.  There were no words or thoughts, just breath.  When I had thoughts (be they positive or negative), I just let them pass and tried to bring my focus back to my breath.  I did have both positive and negative thoughts.  Most of my negative thoughts were before your (my doula's) arrival, when I found out I was only 3cm, and when I was going through transition.  These thoughts came from a place of exhaustion and fear.  I'm sure you remember all of these time periods.  I was able to be less focused in between contractions and I was fine with others speaking during those times, but during the contractions all I wanted to do was focus on my breath and to go into that space.  I pulled from a place that was all around me, and within me at the same time.  It is hard to put into words.  I went to a place I have never been before.  It was a place of deep strength, power, and complete serenity.  A place of complete surrender and complete focus without focus... if that makes any sense.  I think it was dhyana (moments of it anyway). 
Natural childbirth was the most intense experience of deep Love I have ever experienced.  I think everyone can have a natural childbirth, but they have to really want it.  It is unfortunate that our society breeds so much fear into women about childbirth.  I do believe that our bodies are built for bringing babies into the world, however, sometimes the unexpected happens.  I am grateful for western medicine and its ability to save lives.  I do think there are way too many interventions in childbirth, but sometimes they are necessary.  I also think it is unfortunate that women beat themselves up when these interventions are necessary and they are not able to have a natural birth experience.  The most important thing is that both mama and baby are healthy and survive.  I wouldn't change my experience for anything.  I am grateful that my body allowed me to have the experience of a sober, conscious childbirth.  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.

Dhyana a state of consciousness in which the observer detaches from several qualities of the mind. In this state the mind has become firm and stable and the ability to concentrate is greatly enhanced.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Mama's Birth Love Story! The Power of Natural Birth!

The Power of Natural Childbirth!

"Thank you mama"

"I was convinced that woman could do it. I relied on the fact that we are built to do this.  God designed us to do this. Yes He promised us that childbirth would be painful, and he also promised us that He would not put more on us than we can bear. I held on to those words to pump myself up to do it. Once I understood woman could do it, I then personalized it and realized I could do it.  I also Googled the negative effects of an epidural and the impact it would have on my child. I hate needles so I also Googled images of the epidural needle to totally convince myself to stay away from it. Once I prepared myself as much as possible, including watching the Business of Being Born, watching water births on YouTube, taking a hypnobirthing class, etc., I was convinced that I could do it!  I was 100+% committed to having a natural birth!!!!  Having my husband on board and just as committed was very helpful as well. 

I had mixed feelings. When I was in the middle of a surge I thought whoa this is intense, how much longer is this going to last.  When is the baby coming? How come I'm not dilating more/faster? But once the surge passed I was thinking, ok, that wasn't too bad, I can do this.  I managed by breathing deeply in and out, staying in my breath, prayer, and the excitement of finally meeting our little one. I also replayed parts of the hypnobirthing class in my head. I stayed in the breath and went so far in/deep inside that I just remember closing my eyes breathing in deep when a surge started and then not remembering anything until the surge passed and my eyes re-opened. It was also very helpful having my doula (Angela) and my husband there with me coaching and encouraging me along the way. It was very helpful having my doula (Angela) to remind me not to tense up when the surges got very intense. 

 I had mixed thoughts and feelings, more of joy and excitement and questions about the unknown. I felt a little disappointed that we did not have a water-birth at the birth center and had to be transferred to the hospital and had to get pitocin because my uterus was sluggish. But by that time we got to the hospital, I just wanted a safe and healthy delivery naturally.  By that hour my biggest concern was getting my baby out safely w/o the result of a c-section. I stayed positive. I knew that any negative thoughts would only worsen the situation.  So I stayed positive and prayerful. I prayed that God would get Ethan here safely, that I would be healthy, that Ethan would be healthy, and that he would arrive naturally. I prayed that I would dilate more. 

I hold natural childbirth as something very sacred and near and dear to my heart. I advocate for natural childbirth for every woman. I believe every woman is capable if properly prepared. I get excited when I hear of other woman that have and/or going to have/plan a natural child birth. 

Every woman has a choice. I believe that every woman should do her research before she chooses. Informed consent is very important. To choose medication as your first option without informing yourself is not fair to the woman or her unborn child. I would encourage woman to avoid medication by any means necessary."