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Joyous Kwanzaa, Joyous Birth. PURPOSE

Source: Sacred Roots Birth Community

I’ve been sitting here staring at this blank page for 5 minutes trying to think of some inspiring way to start a post about PURPOSE. Then all of a sudden the book ‘Writing Down The Bones’ came into my mind and I just started writing what you’re reading. That book has a simple message…write. So instead of a well crafted and thought out introduction, you get raw, authentic thought. It works becasue that is how birth happens too..most women think too much about it at an intellectual level, and then the day arrives and they realize thinking is not applicable. On the fifth day of Kwanzaa we celebrate  NIA. PURPOSE ~ To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community, to restore our people to their traditional greatness. 
Right away I think of two communities, our community of women and our community of birth workers. I’ll start with birth workers. It feels like such a huge task to bring all birth workers together into one community. Midwives, Physicians, Doulas, Nurses, OB/GYNs and within each of these professions there are so many different approaches to birth! So here’s my thought…an annual conference where the members of all the governing bodies get together and actively work on building and developing ONE community. A Birth Professionals Summit. At this dream summit what would the program look like? Maybe we could convince a couple hundred women to commit to birthing there! Undisturbed birth right in front of everybody! That oughta do it.We’d have to make sure the conference was on a full moon. In all seriousness, how do we build this community? Is there a place for all of us to coexist? Is there a common belief system? I just don’t know. I want to believe this community can exist, but it seems so far from our current reality that I’m already exhausted trying to think of ways to facilitate it. Does the system even need to change? Can we coexist the way the system has been created? All of us respected by one another as equals? I have to admit, I have prejudices directed towards medical professionals when it comes to birth.  Now there’s a whole other post on PURPOSE…what was the purpose of that vacuum extraction? What was the purpose of  that amniotomy? I’ve witnessed true emergency cesarean section due to cord prolapse. That experience put a lot of fear into me about home birth and free birth. I was buying into the idea that the motherbaby survived because we were in the hospital. Then a mentor of mine was helping me through some of that fear and she asked me what was happening right before the cord prolapse…AROM! So the medical professionals get credit for saving that motherbaby, and they all say “Thank God you were in a hospital” but to this day I wonder what would have happened if that sac had been left to rupture spontaneously? So yes, admittedly I’m not sure if I am even open to this community. I question what belief systems I would have to compromise to be a member of this community? So how about “restoring our community to it’s original greatness?” This is so confusing for me. How can we collectively build this community when the Birth Community’s original greatness is Midwifery Care? Right now in our culture there is division among midwives! Why? Why can’t midwives all respect eachother? This conflict is yet another area that we need to address if “restoration” is to occur. The medicalization of childbirth will continue to grow until all the babies are surgically removed from their wombs if we don’t come together and agree that birth is safe. Can the culture of birth be turned around? I think if we ever make change it’s going to have to come from women…let’s talk about us.
What is our purpose in all of this? We are meant to give birth. Shouldn’t it be as simple as those six words. Oh no women are far too complex to allow six simple words to be their approach to childbirth. Let’s look at Kwanzaa’s principle. Imagine if women consciously worked at building and developing a birth community. It reminds me of an idea I share with many of my clients. “200 years ago you would never have found yourself entering your own birth room without having witnessed another woman give birth, surely you’d have supported your sister, or auntie, or maybe even your own mother giving birth to your siblings.This was women’s work…a sisterhood and the door to the birth room was open for our sisters and daughters to be part of the miracle.” In the realm of women, restoring our community to it’s original greatness means…gathering together during pregnancy, inviting a sister to your birth, being bold enough to ask a sister if you could attend her birth, talking about birth, fostering a community in which birth is an open part of our lives! Opening the BIRTH ROOM DOOR! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying birth needs to be a big ole ‘look at this’ party in fact that is far from conducive to the atmosphere that birth works best in. What I’m saying is that without compromising the intimacy natural childbirth workers hold sacred, women need to become familiar with these experiences. We need a Big Sisters For Birth -a buddy system. You open the door to your birth to a sister, and when it’s her turn she’ll do the same. We need to invite our daughters to witness birth, we need to hold mother daughter circles where menstruation, childbirth and menopause are honoured and freely discussed. If we change the culture of birth within our community of women first…then the culture of birth among birth workers will have to follow. This will restore womankind to our original GREATNESS. This is a rEVOLution…and it has PURPOSE.