Birth is a fully holistic experience where all aspects of ourselves are present, aware and involved in the process of pregnancy and giving birth. The actual "labor" and physical body is simply but a small part of the process as a whole. The body definitely works hard to do the strenuous work of bringing a new life earthside.
Let us remember though there is a psychological, emotional and spiritual facet of herself weaving themselves into the fibers and structures of each experience during childbirth. The emotional/psychological aspects are seen quite often from the very onset. I know once my first real intense contraction hits and I recognize birth is imminent, I sob for a good half hour. Honestly, I'm not even 100% sure why. I've always thought it was because I know the concentration and energy I'll have to put forth to help my infant come.
From my perspective as a midwife, the spiritual is present the whole time. Blissfully embracing each woman and unborn baby throughout the progression. Spirit seems to come and rest itself upon both mama and baby showing it's presence through prayer, support, comfort, caress, blessings, etc. There are a plethora of ways God shows up for each and every mother.
I'm passionate that to withdraw any or all of those 3 aspects from a mother and her experience denies her the full passion, pleasure and, most important, TRANSFORMATION that comes with birthing. When denied, a women leaves the intimacy her soul expected in despair and fear. She has been violated in the fortuity of participating with her whole self. THIS stimulates feelings of disempowerment. Only to leave her questioning how one of her most sacred spaces she was meant to be in had been taken from her.
Please know, I understand not all women necessarily care about what childbirth is like for them. But those woman who do, should be given the opportunity to find the wisdom in it. That can only happen as their care provider takes a integrated approach, honoring all parts of her throughout the course of it. This is vitally important if we as a society and community are EVER to bring birth back to what it really is.
by Rachel Talley
As a midwife, this ONE fact is absolutely true to me. Out of everything else I know about conception, pregnancy and birth, woman knowing that their bodies and babies are blessed with the ability (just like any other physiological function) to give birth is mandatory for a safe, ecstatic experience to take place . It's the fear, trauma, false beliefs, misunderstandings, misconceptions, untruths that are passed from generation to generation that prevent that from happening.
An AMAZING book I've read over and over is called "As a Man Thinketh." Thoughts are things and vital to our success in any endeavor we undertake. Mastering and disciplining our thoughts gives way to focus and clarity to be guided to help create whatever thing or experience your wanting to.
So believe then hope then have faith that our bodies CAN and WILL birth are babies naturally and safely. This process gives way to the blissful experience most pregnant mamas long for. Its our thoughts that will, inevitably, create FIRST what we think of birth. Its the stories we've been told. The fear or concern that it stimulated within us. Its our mothers, aunts, sisters, who share their birth experiences with us that will mold how we then go on to understand and incorporate birth into our psychological process.
If you've heard a story that was negative (which most passed stories about birth are), contemplate on that. Recognize that person is NOT YOU and your experience doesn't have to be ANYTHING like theirs. Its just a story. Someone else's perception of what happened to them. I recognize that there are those "scary" birth stories out there where someone's body couldn't do it or things didn't turn out as planned. If we enter OUR experience believing first we don't know what we might experience, then we can have all kinds of open doors to help us educate and navigate exactly what it is we DO want and how to accomplish that.
You will hear me say over and over and over again that EDUCATION and SUPPORT are 2 of the most important factors in having a wonderful pregnancy and birth experience. Its a rare woman that I meet that did everything she could. She read books. Took classes. Talked with professionals of all kinds. Ate right. Meditated. Exercised. A woman that truly took great care and consideration of her thoughts, body, and spirit, that didn't end up with exactly what she hoped for and wanted in her delivery.
Ponder that. Its true. I promise the more you know, when it comes to birth, will absolutely help you find the belief, hope and faith that you can birth your baby safely and happily.
What does that mean? If you are a healthy, low risk woman, WHY are you going to a high risk doctor for prenatal/postnatal care? It doesn't make sense. It is no different than a pediatrician babysitting a healthy 2 year old, as it says above!
There are actually 2 different schools of thought & professional care when it comes to midwifery. The medical model-which claims all pregnant mamas are a complication waiting to happen. That a woman's body is ill equipped to properly, effectively and safely birth a child. This model of care is complete hog wash. I ain't buying it. I've been to too many births & researched birth too much to ever believe it.
OR there is the midwifery model of care-which states that a woman's body can & does know VERY WELL how to birth a child & is actually created to do so. That it's a normal, physiological process of the human body & when given the proper care throughout conception, pregnancy & birth, the vast MAJORITY of the time it gets it right.
Birth is changing in America and its exciting to think midwifery care is exploding right now. Women tend to be fed up with the highly controlled, grossly interventive medical care they've been receiving. I'm consistently amazed at how beautifully birth happens, with little to no complications or issues, when left undisturbed with the least amount of interventions possible.
Please understand, I am very grateful for OBGYN's and their specialized care for pregnant mamas in need. Thank God they know what they know and do what they do. There are DEFINITELY those women who need more than a midwife and are truly high risk. This is where these specialized skills can make all the difference in saving life of Mom's and babies. BUT......those woman that really do need that type of care are much fewer than we think. Fear, I believe, is the reason they choose the type of care providers they do.
Unfortunately, a women who chooses a hospital, high intervention birth might inevitably end up with an outcome she didn't expect or want. Only to go on glorifying a doctor who might have caused the problems in the first place. Often, what we don't know, CAN actually hurt us.
Make sure you KNOW if you are low risk or high risk in your pregnancy. This might navigate you to the proper care provider for you!
Birth is a miracle! Absolutely. No question. Once you've studied, researched and spent over half your life hoping to understand what birth is and how it works, you quickly and humbly realize there is something greater than ourselves in this fierce world around us.
Even with all our knowledge about birth, I believe we've hit a drop in the bucket of what birth really is. I accept the simple meeting of an egg & sperm creates the life of a child. Though, to me, It's so MUCH MORE than that!
If I ever questioned there was a God (which I have in the past), pregnancy and birth ALWAYS brings me back to the truth that there is. And His hand is in the organization and formation every step of the way!
To all you strong, empowering mamas: On those days you don't want to be pregnant. Or are dealing with morning sickness. Or are past your due date. Or are in labor and just feel too tired to keep going......Remember, you've helped create a MIRACLE! Life itself rests inside you. Coming back to a prayerful place of stillness on this subject makes it all WORTH IT!
Birth can be orgasmic just as making love. It can be intense. Raw. Opening. Engaging. Filled with emotion. Passion. Love. Anger. Fierceness. A whole range of emotions, feelings & sensations is part of the birthing experience. Those things MUST & NEED to be expressed for many women in order to succeed at the goal at hand. Bringing their sweet little one into their arms. But, as Sarah says, first things first.
The way all those sensations & emotions release, as they should, is by creating the proper set & setting. Creating the stage by which the childbirth process can come to complete fruition. That means: the LEAST amount of stimulation possible to the cortex brain.
The limbic brain births our babies. Keeping the cortex brain quiet consists of: low lights, very quiet to no talking, candle light, peaceable space, less people. Think about it. Who do you invite in the bedroom while making love? You're searching for that same environment in striving to create the ideal birth experience for yourself & your baby.
Consider all of these factors when delving into what you want your birth experience to look like and how you want to create that. It's probably the most important factor in giving birth. The recognition that the environment, how and where you give birth, gives the largest credence to what exactly plays out and how it does so.
"Remember Your Greatness
Before you were born,
And were still too tiny for
The human eye to see,
You won the race for life
From among 250 million competitors.
How fast you have forgotten
When your very existence
Is proof of your greatness.
You were born a winner,
One who defied the odds
By surviving the most gruesome
Battle of them all.
And now that you are a giant,
Why do you even doubt victory
Against smaller numbers,
And wider margins?
The only walls that exist,
Are those you have placed in your mind.
And whatever obstacles you conceive,
Exist only because you have forgotten.
What you have already
-Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
"A mother does not become pregnant in order to provide employment to medical people. Giving birth is in a static jubilant adventure not available to males. It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime."-John Stevenson
Birth is, in fact, an ecstatic experience where a woman moves from a maiden to a mother. This transformation starts with an opening of intensity & sensations unavailable at any other time in her life. And which the memory of will dissipate within days & weeks after. By finding peace within the experience, she walks through a door where sleeping bliss & joy has been residing. There is no other life experience like bringing a being you helped create & carry into the world. There's truly even no proper or concise description for it. That all being said, education, support & Spirit help facilitate the ecstatic-ness that inevitably comes when prepared. All you beautiful, abundant Mamas, do your part. As the Boy Scouts say: Be prepared. Read all the books & information available to you. Release fear. Open to all the possibilities birth brings. You'll be so happy you did. Even if all doesn't turned out as planned, you'll leave the situation awakened & enlightened to all the beauty & gifts that surround you because of the hard work & effort in behalf of you & your child.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! How lovely to get such kind words this morning! I'm so in love with what I do & here's part of why! From a client who just posted this on FB:"I just go these cards in the mail from Rachel Shumway Talley. Placenta encapsulation was a complete game changer for me! Message me for info or this coupon. I'm not getting anything for this. I really just want others to experience how helpful it is, and this lady is the bomb.com!"
Thank you, Miranda! I'm beyond grateful for these AMAZING woman I get to meet & work with almost every day! I almost can't believe some days that THIS is what I get to do for my living. ? I'm feeling so wonderfully blessed! If your interested in getting some coupons from me, please contact me & I'd LOVE to ship you some. If your pregnant and interested in placenta encapsulation, I'll give you the coupon price for Halloween.
A miracle is really the only way to describe motherhood and giving birth. It's unbelievable how God has made us women and babies to endure and be able to do so much. A miracle, indeed. Such an incredible blessing.-Jennie Finch
With all the difficulties, the heartache, the sorrow & pain, motherhood brings so much joy, bliss, happiness & fulfillment. I feel passionately it is the greatest work I have yet to do & may just be my greatest work I ever do. To have & bear & raise beautiful children. Whom I hope & pray will work to do their best to help make human kind & our world a happier, more peaceable place for all of us!
Have a HAPPY Friday!
"Every child should be nuture with great love. The feeling of great love promotes wellness and potential for greatness."
-Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great, Be Great!
Mamas, love your little ones. Let them know they are worthy of love just because they are living, breathing human beings. Be gentle. Speak kindly. Love does truly open the hearts and minds of our babies to new ideas. New creations. That love will then be passed on to their children. With each generation, we create a more Christlike, wise people. THIS action alone can help to bring peace within each other and peace to our planet. Always remember: The hand that rocks the cradle (does most definitely) rule the world.
"A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three." -Grantly Dick-Read
Breastfeed your sweet, tiny babies beautiful mamas! If you work at it, have faith in you & your baby that together you can DO IT, & stay strong without giving up, it'll be all WORTH IT! There is no other type of bond or connection or love that only breastfeeding can bring. Please contact me with any help or advice you might need. Your not alone! Please contact me if you need anything support or help to forward your progression of having a positive outcome.
I had a placenta encapsulation client recently in need of how to help her baby with jaundice. Here it is, guys. 1️⃣st- Lots & lots of breastfeeding is BEST! This moves the bile from the liver through the bowels to be excreted. Every 2 hours is ideal if jaundice is already presenting itself. 2️⃣nd- These two supplements. One for Baby. One for Mama. Just to make sure we're meeting the demand for healing. Vitamin D helps to synthesize the bile. Hence, the reason when you take your baby to the doctor for jaundice, they put your baby under lights. The lights help the body create its own vitamin D through using the the largest organ in the body, the skin as the conductor. 3️⃣rd- Place baby only in diaper in sun filled window for 30 min to an hour at a time. Of course, move baby if they get too warm. The idea is for baby to absorb the vitamin D from the light not for baby to get too hot. Again, utilizing natural light is getting the same affect as unnatural lights like the hospital may place them under. I received a call from my client yesterday. Baby is doing GREAT & jaundice is cleared up after 48 hours! Easy cheesy people.
I have been wanting to get this story written down for some time, but due craziness of the entire story, it has taken me some time to process everything, and put it into words. Archer's birth story is unique and very empowering for me. Enough with the intro though. Lets start at the beginning... ish...
Imagine huge pregnant Kylee being a week over due. I was all sorts of miserable. No baby, feeling huge, trying so patiently to wait, and zero signs of baby coming any time soon. I asked my amazing friend and neighbor to do some foot zoning on me to help put me into labor. She came over on Friday, September 9th. She spent a couple hours working on me, and said that she felt like baby was close, but not quite ready yet, (but she also has a 48 hour "almost" guarantee to start labor). With that "almost guarantee" I figured Sunday would be the longest I would be pregnant. I certainly hoped anyway. Also, by this point, I had been losing pieces of mucus plug for the past 2 days, (for me this was weird, because with Jace I lost my plug while I was in labor. It all sort of happened at once). And to lose little pieces slowly was very different because I never knew quite how close I was to going into labor.
Saturday, September 10th I woke up feeling just as normal as ever. I remember being slightly bummed that no baby came because Sue had worked on me, and I definitely wasn't in labor. The morning went like most Saturday mornings usually do. Paul mowed the lawn while Jace and I picked the garden and pulled some weeds. We came inside and had some breakfast/lunch when I started noticing a few contractions. I couldn't quite tell if they were real or Braxton Hicks because I had had so many BH contractions throughout my pregnancy. But I could tell that they were slowly starting to become consistent so Paul and I started to track them. I also asked Sue if she had some time to come work on my feet again, (with hopes that it would keep things going and help it progress). Paul had me text our midwife, Rachel, and let her know about the contractions. I didn't really think that I needed to, because I didn't think I was in labor, but I ended up sending Rachel a text with a heads up. She definitely thought that I was in labor. I refused to believe it because I felt WAY to good to be in labor. I just remember feeling miserable and puking with Jace. But she still seemed to think so.
After we put Jace down for a nap, Sue came over to worked on my feet some more. I didn't really feel like contractions were picking up, (at this point they were inconsistently between 7 and 20 minutes apart but, but also not gaining any intensity), but they were definitely still going. We had a relaxing afternoon watching the office. I even tried to take a nap. 5:00 rolls around and still no baby.
Our neighbors were having a party to watch the BYU vs UofU game which we had said we would attend if baby hadn't arrived yet. So we figured we would just head over, (it was literally 2 houses away), and if we needed to leave to come have a baby it would be a piece of cake. Contractions still hadn't picked up so I figured that we would maybe have a midnight baby or early Sunday morning baby so I wasn't too worried about getting things set up. Paul thought that we should at least inflate the birthing pool before we left, (yes we planned to have our baby at home), but I shrugged it off and said we would have plenty of time when we got home to set it up.
The game starts and I'm still feeling same old same old. We have some snacks, and watch the game a little bit, but still no crazy increase in intensity or closeness of contractions. Rachel called and asked if anything had picked up. I said that it hadn't really picked up yet, (still thinking I'm not in labor). She suggested doing some movements to reposition the baby. She said he might just be mispositioned and thats why labor was somewhat stalled. I shared this information with my friend Meagan who suggested we go and do some rebozo to try to help coax babes into a better position. Meagan and I snuck away and walked back to her house to get her equipment, (by the way Meagan is an awesome doula so she is super knowledgeable about all of this stuff). Meagan had me lay on the floor almost in child's pose but with my butt sticking up in the air. I felt ridiculous, and I am sure I looked a little ridiculous as well, but she just pulled out her scarf and did her thing, and didn't even mention anything about how silly I felt. After about 10-15 ish minutes maybe less we decided to head back to the party.
All the while I was continuing to track contractions. Once we got back to the party I noticed that my contractions started picking up a little bit. It was half time at this point so I was thinking Paul would for sure get through the game before we needed to head home. Slowly over the next few hours my contractions started to get closer and closer together as well as grow in intensity. The app on my phone told me probably every 3 contractions that it was time to go to the hospital. I just chuckled and didn't think much about it because 1, I feel like people go to the hospital way to early and just wait around doing nothing, and 2, I wasn't going to the hospital so I only needed 5 minutes to get home and I was good to go.
All the wives were sitting in the kitchen chatting while our husbands were down the stairs watching the game. I remember sitting with the girls, just chatting, and then as soon as I felt a contraction come I would hit my timer. Then when the contraction would finish, I would hit my timer again. All the while just carrying on conversation and trying to keep myself distracted with what they were saying. As the football game progressed so did my contractions. Eventually they got to the point where I could not comfortably sit through a contraction, I needed to be standing up. This should have been my first sign that things were starting to progress. I think I was just recalling my labor with Jace, that even after contractions were close I was still pushing for several hours. I eventually texted my midwife to update her. I told her that they were getting more intense, and about 6 minutes apart. She said she would head out if I needed her, (she lives 40 minutes away). I replied that I wasn't sure, she would be a better judge if I was close enough or not. Rachel ended up calling me just after that text and told me that she would leave in about 10-15 minutes so as to arrive within an hour. At that moment I started having a contraction and continued to talk to Rachel on the phone through the contraction. She said, yeah, you should be fine, but I'll head out anyway.
Now keep in mind this whole time, I was waiting for the moment when I could not talk through a contraction and I had to just stop and focus and breathe. Meagan said that that would be a good indicator that I was getting close. So being able to talk on the phone through a contraction was me thinking that I still had plenty of time left before I would be in transition. Meagan and Kaylene, (my amazing friends), were so great to talk with me, and encourage me, and even massage my back occasionally during a contraction. (They were pretty much awesome). And we still waited for my contractions to be too intense.
The BYU game was basically over. Only 18 seconds left with no hope of BYU winning, so I told Paul that he needed to leave and go fill up the tub. I asked him to take Jace home with him and get the tub ready and I would be over. I started to collect my things and was headed out the door when I started to have another contraction. This time though, I started to feel a pressure as if I were just about ready to push. Not quite ready, but I certainly felt the pressure. I turned to say bye to my friends, then wobbled out the door. Halfway from Kaylene's house to mine I started having another contraction. Because of the pressure I had felt at Kaylene's I felt a sense of urgency to get home quickly, so I forced myself to walk through the contraction and get home. I came in the garage and headed down the stairs. I saw that Paul had the tub inflated and was in the process of filling it up. He was also frantically laying down plastic in the walk ways and such.
I walked myself straight to the bathroom where I proceeded to undress. I was seriously SOOO hot at Kaylene's so all I wanted to do was strip out of my layers so I wouldn't be so hot. I switched into my sports bra and put on some basketball shorts then walked out to see how the tub was coming. (I really wanted to be sitting in the tub instead of standing in the hall). It wasn't even half full yet and I felt the urge to push. Along with this though I just knew I was going to poop because I totally hadn't pooped all day, (even though I had been trying so I wouldn't need to in labor. Like that would ever happen though right!). I told Paul that I needed some tissues right away. He handed me about 5 and I pushed, (and pooped) and grossly, caught the plopper in the tissues and wobbled back to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet, (and try to get some more out). Squatting in the bathroom I felt the urge to push, and I don't even remember pushing it just sort of happened, then a big pop came, and a huge gush of warm liquid splashed all over the floor in the bathroom. I yelled to Paul that my water broke and asked him to text the midwife letting her know that my water broke. I also sent a text to my friend Meagan, who I had asked to kind of doula/be a birth photographer letting her know my water broke.
Paul ran in with Rachel on the phone, (he had texted her, and she called him back), telling Paul to get me off of the toilet and said be prepared because baby's head would probably start crowning soon, and obviously she wasn't going to make it to our birth in time. Paul pulled me up off the toilet, and held on to my legs because they were shaking like crazy. Right as Rachel said that baby would start crowning I said, "Paul, the baby is crowning." Rachel heard and told Paul to reach his fingers up and make sure there was no umbilical cord around baby's neck. At this point Paul told Rachel that he needed to put her on speaker so he could use both hands. He set the phone down super fast, but before Paul could check and see if there was a cord around baby's neck, baby was sliding out and into Paul's arm. He was seriously holding me up with one arm and catching our baby with the other. Right after Paul caught babes, he looked and said, yeah, no cord around the neck. He quickly handed baby to me as our little guy took his first breaths and started crying. I was a little nervous at first because baby sounded gargly like there was a little bit of liquid in his lungs, but he was pink, and breathing, and I just felt really peaceful like everything was ok, so I stopped worrying and tried to take in the moment. I was also a little worried about hemorrhaging especially without a midwife there. But again, that peacefulness came over me and I didn't worry about it anymore.
Ok, so keep in mind, that all of the above paragraph happened within a matter of minutes. Seconds almost. I have played it over and over in my head and it seems like it happened within the blink of an eye. Really it wasn't that fast, but seriously, two pushes basically and my baby was here. Now, Jace had rushed back to the bathroom with Paul, not sure of what was going on. He ended up getting to watch the birth of his brother. I hadn't fully decided if I wanted Jace there or not, but I guess there were other plans that had decided that he was going to be there. I hope he wasn't traumatized, but he seems ok right now.
After Paul handed me baby, Rachel told him that I needed to lay or sit down and wait. Paul ran out of the room with Jace, took Jace upstairs to our sister in law, (who so graciously saved the day and watched Jace for the next 30-60 minutes), also yelled at Jess to turn the hose off upstairs because the pool was now about to overflow, and then rushed back to me in the bathroom carrying loads of towels. He gave me one to wrap around baby, (I was worried that he was going to be too cold), and put the rest on the floor to try and mop up the blood that was EVERYWHERE. Seriously, guys, white linoleum floors make red blood look really red! (thankfully I cleaned and disinfected the bathroom a few days ago on a whim). So here I am, laying on towels, my legs covered in blood, waiting for the midwives to show up. Paul is running back and forth trying to get everything sorted out (bless his heart), and baby and I are just chilling. I remember sitting there in disbelief that all of this had taken place so fast.
Rachel's backup midwife, and apprentice showed up about 15 minutes after the birth. They started cleaning up some things, and checked me and baby to make sure that we were good, then set to work doing some more cleanup. I still hadn't delivered my placenta yet, nor had I felt the urge to push it out, so we were just chilling. 5-10 minutes later Rachel showed up. They pushed on my stomach to try to convince my uterus to contract and push out the placenta, but still nothing happened, then Rachel said, oh, its just sitting right here, give me a quick push Kylee. So as weird as it felt, I pushed, and out slid the placenta. Paul got to cut the cord which had long stopped pulsing at this point, and baby was free! I passed him off to Paul for a minute while the midwives stood me up and tried to clean up some of the blood that was coating my legs. I had wanted to take a shower, but there was no hot water left from filling up the tub, and they had already drained the tub so I couldn't get in it to rinse off. So I had a wet wipe bath for the time being.
They got me cleaned up and walked me to my bed where I got to snuggle it up with cute babes. Paul brought Jace down to meet his baby brother, and we all spent a few minutes together just cuddling and snuggling. Then Paul took Jace and put him to bed. I was worried that with all the people and the commotion he wouldn't want to sleep, but he went down without a fuss, so that was really nice. I think the fact that he had spent the previous 4 hours running around with his friends, then got to bed 2 hours late really helped.
Our baby was born at 9:38 pm. Not even joking you, he came 10 minutes or less after I got home from Kaylene's house. While I was 10 days over I fully expected to have a bigger sized babe. But our sweet boy weighed in at 7 lbs. 3 oz. It took Paul and me a good 12 hours to decide on a name for him. We had narrowed it down to 3, then to 2, and I felt like he could be named either, and I liked both equally. After prayer and thought, we decided on Archer. Archer William Burnett. William is a family name on my side of the family, and Paul's as well. We chose Archer because of the meaning behind it. Archer means just that, a bowman. Someone who uses a bow and arrow. Even though Archer is going to be a younger brother I feel like his personality is going to be more of a protector, which, an archer would use his bow to protect. I also felt the connection to Nephi in the Book of Mormon, and the faithfulness that he had, despite his bow being broken, he was still able to provide for his family. It is hard to put in words the connection I felt to Archer's name, but there is my best effort. :)
As I have pondered about our experience it has gone from a crazy whirlwind of emotion and memories, to a spiritual and empowering experience for me. My biggest fear when asking Rachel to be my midwife was that she would not be there to attend my birth. It just worried me that she was so far away. But I also felt really good about choosing her to be our midwife. So despite my fears, we made the decision to choose her. I know, that while Rachel wasn't there for our birth, Paul and I were not alone in that bathroom. We had so many experienced hands helping us bring our sweet boy into the world. Even though they could not be seen, I know that they were there, each doing their part to keep me steady and on my feet, directing Paul's hands where they needed to be, holding onto Jace while he stood there watching, and safely guiding baby here. I feel empowered because I know that I can do hard things. I am strong. And even though society thinks that women are inferior, I know we are not. Not that I would choose to deliver my next baby the same way we delivered Archer, I am so grateful for the acknowledgements I was able to make because of it.
If you haven't heard about this, you need to! It's beyond heartbreaking! You can read the whole article on KSL by clicking on the highlighted link: THE EMILY EFFECT
My heart and mind have been reeling over this since I heard about it yesterday afternoon. As someone who has experienced, explored and educated myself on all things birth related for the past 20 years, postpartum depression has now become a subject that MUST be discussed, focused on, looked at and supported so something like this never happens again.
I accept that this sweet, beautiful mother had no intention of killing herself when she disoriently strolled onto the freeway. What went wrong? Why did this have to happen? Maybe it was no accident. Maybe Emily was one who unknowingly sacrificed herself to help and aid all the other woman who struggle living within their own heads and bodies entrenched in a hell even themselves can't express.
I may not know postpartum depression like some mothers do though I do know severe depression and the intense hold it can have on anyone. I come from a long line of depressed woman and of course, have felt the depths of pain, confusion, terror, panic sorrow, shame and the list goes on, that depression brings with it. I have dealt with my own sense of postpartum depression with each of my babies which leads me to feel I can relate to those suffering. I also accept I might never know the whole of the sensations that come with it. Yet, I deeply long to uplift and change what is currently taking place in the hearts and minds of these tormented women.
I am fiercely intent that I will do my part to help, support, uplift and educate woman through all the ups and downs, ins and outs that come with conception, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. I don't know the reasons this happened to Emily and her family. What I do know is Emily's story has now opened another doorway for all woman silently suffering from PPD to feel they are not alone. There are many who have seen your pain and anguish and long to help!
As stated in the video above, my experience and research tells me that Emily's particular situation might not have been caused by PPD but by PTSD. That's right, folks. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! As also stated above, Emily's husband points out that she had a very difficult birth. I know it may be hard for some to believe but PTSD stimulated during birth is REAL!! The actions of others, unexpected birth experiences, complications, c-sections, etc. All of these things can play a part into the psyche of each woman during her birthing process.
When we birth, we open a door into the mysterious and unknown that is universal in all woman. This is a vulnerable state like no other. I am convinced birth invites a whole body and mind experience where a woman is at her most open, raw, and intensely vulnerable. Unfortunately, this is taken advantage of on a daily basis by all kinds of care providers. My experience has shown me we do see it mostly in hospital with doctors and nurses.
While I appreciate these care providers are doing what they have been taught and what they think is best for Mama and baby. I'm not convinced choices and actions are made in a state where the emotional and spiritual components of birth are highly considered. Doctors and nurses are knowledgeable and have been taught about the physical mechanics of birth though I see little if any consideration for the emotional, psychological, or even spiritual actions that birth inherently brings with it. You can't change that. A woman's birthing experience can be for good or to her detriment dependent on only 3 things: 1)Who she chooses as her care provider. 2) How much or how little education she has on all aspects of childbearing. 3)The needed support of mother, family and friends to help her create the right birth experience for her.
Its really that simple and yet not that simple. We have so many differing voices on so many differing subjects when it comes to birth. I do know that there are answers to these sorts of problems. This is just the beginning of more posts to come of the negative and positive effects of how and where we birth. I'll save those for later then.
What is just one of the answers that might of helped Emily? Placenta encapsulation. I don't mean to sound trite or simple since her problem seemed more complex. Placenta encapsulation is THAT powerful, THAT beneficial and THAT effective. I do believe this is something that could of changed Emily's outcome.
Lots of research is going into placenta encapsulation right now. My 8 years experience of encapsulating placentas has only taught me that its a MUST for every postpartum mama! Placenta ingestion truly IS the first step to creating a balanced, happy and peaceful postpartum time. The many wonderful positive effects I have seen with the hundreds of placentas I have encapsulated leaves me passionately believing it is truly a gift from above to help mamas and babies bond, heal, recover and connect. My logic tells me its natural and normal to give mamas back what was lost during pregnancy and birth and that is done through placenta encapsulation. This, in itself, does more good than we know. Jump on over to my product site at shop.livingmombirth.com to find out more. Watch the testimonial on my placenta encapsulation page on how it might help you too!
In Peace, Rachel
Lastly, TO EMILY's FAMILY:
Our hearts and prayers are with you during this time. We are so sorry for your loss yet so grateful for your efforts with The Emily Effect to help others know of her story. Wherever you are, we LOVE you Emily!