I’ve been craving circles of women who have experienced birthing, wanting to hear their sacred stories. I’m so grateful & blessed that mamas from around the globe have agreed to speak their stories to me, and to us… I want to weave a woven wicker basket of mama’s birthing stories for us all to hear in our hearts.

This week, I’m so excited – the precious Goddess Nina Beana shares the beautiful birthing stories of her three chillens. Goddess Nina is a mama, doula, lover & artist.

I’ve been blessed to have three very different, very magical births.  Each child was born in a different city, in a different hospital, with a different caregiver.  Each birth says a bit about my child and their personality, and a bit about where I was at on my own journey as a mama.

My first birthing : Gray

Gray, my first, arrived almost 9 days late, and quickly. it was intense, and a journey that involved me learning to trust in the unknown.  As I was walking into the hospital lobby to be induced, which I was kind of bummed about, my water broke with a huge splash. I will always remember that wonderful feeling of release, and the bright red skirt I was wearing at the time.  I still think of that exciting, there’s-no-going-back feeling that i had at that exact moment.  I was clueless when it came to all things birth, but by choice.  During my pregnancy, I avoided any shows, books, or magazines about the birthing process.  I desperately wanted to trust in my intuition and not be influenced by any outside sources.

I was so grateful to have my husband, a beautiful scottish nurse with a thick accent, and a midwife who kissed my face at my lowest moments (sounds inappropriate but really saved me).  What worked best for me was closing my eyes the whole time, and going to a deeply primal place.  There’s something so amazing about being handed your first child on your chest-  I remember feeling this huge “here she is” kind of feeling and having all the pain being swept away as soon as I saw her.

My second birthing: Joey

Joey, my second babe, began his journey a bit early, while I was Christmas shopping.  I look back and laugh because I remember being in the store, knowing I was in labor, and just thinking “I have to get this one last gift!”.  Then, still knowing I was in labor, I went to a pizza party, and then proceeded to make my best friend look at my bloody show in the bathroom (totally best friend worthy material!).  This time around, I knew what I was getting myself into as far as labor and delivery and I was pretty stoked.  I took a shower and labored in the bathroom at home while my husband ate leftover pizza from the party and my best friend gathered up magazines and things to take to the hospital.  I kept jokingly yelling through the bathroom door “I’m in labor here!  But you guys just chill out and eat!  No problem!”.

Joey also came fast and furious once we arrived at the hospital.  This time around, I used lots of walking around and depended on the kindness of the nurses to get me through.  I used an OB for Joey’s birth and it was a very different kind of experience for me, especially since I had been trained as a doula.  His birth was special and unique in its own way, teaching me to cultivate strength and courage from myself and a support team, other than the OB.  I learned the importance of having a loving support team in place!  The second time around, I felt more confident and less afraid of what lay ahead.  Joey has a big, beautiful head and I still remember thinking, “If I can birth him, I can birth anything!”.

My third birthing : Lulu

I’m still reeling from Lulu’s birth, my third.  She’s just nine months now, so it’s still somewhat fresh.  It was the kind of birth I had always dreamed about.  The third time around, I had gathered my tribe, and was supported by my friend Shannon (mama of four little ones and acting as my doula), my nurse (who was also a mama and a doula), my husband (who was a seasoned birth coach at this point), and my new midwife who was literally sent from above.  I also collected objects that I could draw power from during the labor from mamas in my life –  a bundle of sage, a necklace, a mama bear bead.  Just having these things next to me while birthing made me feel stronger.

While things didn’t go as planned (i was induced, had high blood pressure, and there was some worries about Lulu’s health), I learned to bask in the help offered by my team, and to let my body be open to any possibilities.  We walked as a group, we used the birthing ball, we all rocked together.  I had visitors in and out during my labor – my dad even came in at one point to give us some laughter and town gossip!  It was pretty magical, if I do say so myself.  Lulu arrived after a brief, very intense active labor.  Safe, healthy, and much bigger than originally anticipated.  Her head, however, was smaller than Joey’s (of course!) and she felt much easier to push out. 🙂  My midwife snuggled in my bed afterward, debriefing about her birth.  Her taking that time with me, even though it was 2am and she had to be at her office in the morning, made me realize how lucky I was to have found such a perfect midwife the third time around.

What I’ve learned from birthing…

After birthing my own children, my work as a doula feels so much more intense, in the best way possible.  While circling my friends and clients during their own births, I feel myself opening up for them, feeling along with them.  It’s really one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Through each of my own births, I found that my best technique was trusting in myself.  When I learned to trust in the process and say affirming things like “I can do this,” instead of negative things like “I can’t do this any more”, birthing felt easier.  Trusting that my body knew what to do made the process feel more manageable.  And of course, holding those sweet babes on my chest at the end of labor was the sweetest, sweetest reward.

Thank you so much dearest Goddess Nina… for your wisdom, honesty, authenticity and courage. Your stories are precious, and touch my heart. Thank you for adding your birthing stories to this womens wicker basket so we may all learn from them, and hear what we need from them…

To check out more Birthing Stories and the rest of my mama goddess posts, head over to the Mama Goddess page.

Women are amazing!