Trust Love

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Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.  – Rumi

I hear it all the time:

Birth is Safe. Trust Birth.

As a Birth Keeper, this slogan kept me from stepping out on my own. I thought I had to wait until I could guarantee safety in birth.

As a mother, it stirred a sense of guilt.

You see, when I went into labor something happened. It was unexpected and it was bigger than me. It was NOT safe. It came from outside, a flurry of energies in my sacred birth space. It came from within, something deep, something old and unresolved. All I knew was that I could NOT have anything pass through my pelvis. I pushed with all my might, and I held back equally. I was alone in the underworld and I was terrified. For years, I couldn’t think about my daughter’s birth without shuddering. And oh, the guilt. What was wrong with me that I didn’t have an ecstatic, orgasmic, A+ honors equivalent, birth?

So, when I hear someone say, Birth is safe or Trust Birth –your body knows how to give birth, something in me rebels.

“That’s not true,” it says.

“Birth is anything but safe.”

Birth may not be a medical emergency, but that does not mean it is safe. It is a serious and intense rite of passage that can shake us to our depths. Persephone’s trip to the underworld was not safe. Safe is a cop-out in life, and in birth.

But there’s more to it.

As modern women, through no fault of our own, we have been deeply imprinted by birth fear. Not just from movies, and birth fear and doctors, but from the way we ourselves were born, the way our mothers and their mothers were born. Nearly ALL of our mothers were subjected to inhumane treatment and we, in our most vulnerable moments as newborns, were manhandled and abused. It’s no wonder we are a generation of women seeking a shortcut around the intensity of birth.

If we accept the evidence that the way we are born imprints us for our entire lives then we must also accept that modern women are host to a lineage and legacy of pain and fear written on our wombs, our throats, our breath, breasts, and being.

For the first time in history of humanity most women have babies without releasing a flow of hormones of love… [T]he future of our civilization is at stake. – Michel Odent, The Farmer and the Obstetrician

Our age has been called the traumatic age. Our disconnect from ourselves, each other, and from the external world, has become epidemic.

Healing cultural trauma is an enormous task. In a very real way we cannot move forward alone. In fact, even though it may seem that some of us, natural birthers, are “ahead” in the race, the truth is we rise and fall together.

I will never again judge a woman who has an epidural. I will not tell her she should trust birth.

Instead, I offer love.

Women who choose interventions are, in a way, victims of the system they are seeking out… and perhaps the ones most marked by it. Until our culture offers all people the balm of true and lasting healing, I honor a woman’s choice to avoid triggering a trauma that is too deep to face without fragmentation. This is not weakness, it is true wisdom.

We must speak the truth about birth, and hold space for all women at the same time.

Birth is no longer safe for all women,

but love is.

Women who plan natural births, but don’t get them, aren’t failures.

They are the martyrs of our traumatic age. They are birth warriors extraordinaire. Honor them.

Birth is our first rite of passage, our primal imprint and lifetime touchstone for being.

So, natural birth vs. medical birth. I advocate of neither. I am an advocate for love. L-o-v-e.

Trust Love, I say. Uncover it. Apply it. Know its secrets.

It might be the only thing that’s really safe.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam May 9, 2011 at 1:08 am

Krista, what you wrote is amazing.

I am just…blown away.

This is the first chapter of your book.

That changes the way thousands of women think about birth.

I am so honored to be a witness to the priestess in you that is taking her rightful place.

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Durga Fuller May 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

F***ing beautiful, Krista. This really rocks.

Thank you.

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Claudia May 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

YES. Yes. Yes.

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Cristal May 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Spot on! This is so right on and compassionate. Thank you for your words and wisdom.

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krista May 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thanks so much ladies…. for your support and kinds words.
Krista

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Summer May 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS

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Jennifer May 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing these thoughts. We get stuck in our boxes of belief so easily and this word helps us to see past those walls.

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krista May 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Thanks to everyone who is sharing this post.
I am moved by the response and look forward to sharing more!

SO good to meet you Cristal, Summer and Jennifer!
Welcome.

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Melanie June 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm

This is perfect. This is exactly true.

I am a midwife’s assistant and a doula by trade, but right now defined by being a momma trying desperately hard to make sense of her own birth experience. It is such a long process, but I know I have to “do the work” before I can sit with other mommas again and posts like this one really help with perspective and healing.

Thank you from my healing heart.

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admin January 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

Melanie,
Our deepest wisdom comes from our wounds… and yes, it does seem to be a lifetime’s work. Offer your vulnerability and, as Rilke wrote, “become world…for another’s sake.” For the sake of the mamas you help, the family you create and the children you love. As we integrate the darkness, we become whole and a “sense” does emerge, for each of us. There is nothing like birth to bring us to our depths and the jewels that lay hidden there.

Your fellow wayfarer,
Krista

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Lou Sicoli February 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

My wife sent me this link – it hits very close to home; nobody talks about how traumatic an experience the birth of a child has the potential to be, and it’s unfair expectations placed on the moms- and dads-to-be that creates guilt when things to go astray. In order for me to get out some of guilt and fears, I wrote about our experience – feel free to check out the preview available:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2922095

or here for more viewing options:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/128590

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cecil July 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

Thanks for this wonderful post- beautifully articulates a sentiment I have struggled to communicate
x

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Samantha September 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm

You’re a beautiful writer.

However the true intentions of “Trust Birth” is love, love of mothers, love of babies love of birth. Trusting birth cannot exist without love. Women are not trusted to make the best choices for themselves, they are betrayed by obstetrics and sometimes midwifery, and bullied into ignoring their body. To trust birth means that in birth you trust your body to guide you exactly where you need to be, that you love yourself enough to listen to your inner voice.

My heart aches for those hurt in birth, I’ve been there. I’ve journeyed through PTSD, and forever am labeled a “VBAC” because my baby was cut from me. It’s been almost 7 years and I still get triggered randomly. I have learned to “trust birth” slowly, and love myself. I finally got it AFTER the birth of my last baby. I got what it meant. Its changed who I am as a mother, as a woman.

Sending you love and peace.

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Angie September 5, 2012 at 8:16 am

I understand that this post might not be approved by you for posting to your blog but it is a post mostly for you anyway. Please know that you are loved more than you know by the great creator. He is aware of your situation and He will guide you to the answers and information you seek if you will trust him and follow his guiding hand that is present in your life. You are one of his daughters and He wants nothing more than for you to feel His love encompass you…

I read your post a few hours ago and wanted (needed) time to put my own words together. I am perplexed by people who hang their hat on “love” but do not trust birth – a process designed by the author of love. When we strip everything away from the birth process; when we get down to the basic of birth and understand how it works (when it’s left entirely alone) then we cannot help but see how it was designed to be safe. It was designed to be trusted. It was designed by a loving creator who’s goal was to continue creation; continue His love through creation.

Sadly, human beings have turned the process into one very large science experiment; one whose subjects have no idea that they are involved in whatever humans have decided to study “this time”…..this science experiment is creating mothers who spend years “processing” and “healing from” what happened instead of creating the mothers that the great creator intended to have as the end product – capable, empowered, vocal, fierce, loving, caring, attached (to sweetheart and child), trusting their intuition, fearless, etc…..and even sadder is the fact that women can no longer simply “find a midwife and have a home birth” because there are midwives who are conducting the same experiment within the woman’s own home.

Furthermore, it does matter what type of birth a woman has. Should she be made to feel guilty for accepting pitocin and/or epidural (or anything else)? I say accepting because the mothers I’ve served certainly didn’t feel as though they had any choice at all. The answer is a loud and resounding “NO!” Why? Because she has been taught since birth that “that’s just the way it is”…..she’s been lied to, her mother was lied to, her grandmother was lied to, her great grandmother may have been lied to. The truth is that hospitals were not created when the earth was created because birth was designed by the great creator to be safe…..hospitals have a role in our lives (a VERY small role) but until we learn how to use them correctly people will come out of them damaged.

The type of birth every woman should seek is the one that the great creator designed for her….complete with privacy, the space she needs for the birth chemicals to do their job and anyone in attendance understanding that the birthing woman is in charge; NO ONE ELSE! Her lead is to be followed because she is the only one who will receive information from her body – she must trust her birth instinct. But she’s being lied to about that as well, being told that humans don’t have a birth instinct like other mammals. As someone who’s birthed 8, I am here to testify that humans have birth instinct but we must TRUST it. We must TRUST the great creator; the author of love.

How does a woman find that? How does she know what she’s looking for? How does she know what past situations she needs to heal from so that her body will release her creation? By learning HOW to trust the process that was designed FOR HER! By learning to TRUST the creator! If birth was unsafe, the population of the world would not be as great as it is. There are A LOT of women who have experienced healing as part of their birth experience. I’ve witnessed it and it is a glorious blessing when one is allowed to witness such healing. Some women need this healing to happen alone while others will need someone with them. Healing through birth does not make the process unsafe. INTERFERING with healing that is happening through birth is what makes the process unsafe.

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Amy Durrant September 9, 2012 at 7:13 am

You’re writing is beautiful.
13 months ago my beloved, beautiful, perfectly healthy, 40 week ‘young’ first born died whilst I was giving birth to her, due to asphyxiation in the womb, in a private hospital in Spain. In the 12th hour of my otherwise ‘perfect’ labour. After a beautiful pregnancy filled with love, song, nature, organic foods, and the best care I could think to devote to her and myself.
I too see that love, above all, is the way to healing, from all pain. It is the way to beauty. The way to joy. To peace.
And mystery, it envelopes me.
And oh, how I wish they had left her there, for me to birth naturally and hold and kiss. But, they took her out through emergency cesarean, and blasted her with electricity to ‘reanimate’ her. And took her away from me, to another hospital. And there she lay for 26 hours. Until I held her in my arms for the first time, and sang to her her Rainbow song, and there her ‘life-support’ flat-lined.
It is invigorating to read your blog, and see how you illuminate this fierce maternal love that is within me, within all women.
I would like to share a 7 minute video of a ceremony held on the anniversary of my daughter’s birth. It is not only mothers of living children who have this deep and powerful love. It forms part of mothers who mourn for their children too. This is true for maternal wisdom also, and in a broader sense, perhaps the uptake and actualization of certain wisdom is accelerated in the life of a mother such as myself; when she is faced with the death of her child at the very time that her child was born in every way perfect, but without breath. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg83j0ReBy8&feature=youtu.be
It is this love, fierce, proud, and true, that can change the world.

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