Birthing Inspiration from April the Giraffe
This weekend I had so many people come up to me while I've been traveling in California with my family while my little baby was being carried on my chest in a sling to talk. First they would comment on what a sweet attentive baby he is. Then they would tell me excitedly how they watched April the Giraffe give birth live on the internet on Saturday morning!
I was amazed how many people of all ages told me they saw April give birth, and how they'd been checking in to the live cam for weeks. I felt this openness of wonder toward my baby and desire to connect from these strangers, especially because they were recently awed by the wonder of natural unassisted birth.
I just love that April the Giraffe gave birth to her baby on April 15th - because that's also the day that I first gave birth, to my eldest son Ari, who just turned 17 years old!!! I can't believe that I have a 17 year old son, a 5 year old, and a 4 month old! My boys all inspire and motivate me so much to work to make the world safer and healthier for families and children.
When Ari was born at home in Seattle, WA in 2000, it deeply committed me to the importance of supporting mothers, babies and families to have empowered gentle births. He was born at home with two midwives and a doula present. It was an amazing powerful experience that opened me to the incredible reserves of power and potential that we hold as women bringing life forth.
I was already experienced as a birth and postpartum doula, and pre and perinatal massage therapist, which gave me the confidence at age 21 to choose a home birth with midwives, and after Ari's birth I continued to pursue deeper studies and experience in the midwifery and birthing arts, as well as holistic birth and women's health education and advocacy.
My 4 month old Jasper was born unassisted at home this winter in our cottage in the midst of a gentle snow.
My husband Jahsah played the didgeridoo (the long Australian wind instrument) during almost every contraction I had for the last 4 hours of my labor - which was the most amazingly effective natural pain relief to my great joy and surprise! He could see how significantly it would ease my pain, as soon as he started playing I would take a deep breath and shift from uncontrollable moaning to a calm centered space, and so he played the didgeridoo over and over again from midnight to near 4 am in the morning when he caught our baby as I pushed him out on my knees halfway between the kitchen and the front door.
It was absolutely amazing and I'm still soaking in the power of that experience.
My 5 year old son Jeva (who prefers to be called Guy), was my first unassisted birth, in a warm tub of water with beautiful music playing who awakened me to embrace my sovereign power as a mother. You can read more about my birth experiences with Guy and Ari in my book "How to Have an Awesome Birth", which is a 300+ page bonus with the Awesome Birth Teacher Training.
Birth is a huge part of my life. I've been supporting moms, dads, babies and families for almost 20 years.
I believe every mother should feel safe in birth, and has the right to choose where and with whom she births.
I believe that all mothers should have access to affordable, mother and baby friendly healthcare in pregnancy, birth and postpartum, whether that's with compassionate obstetricians, midwives or family.
I hope that April the Giraffe who's birth was witnessed by millions live on the internet, has opened people to remember that we are all mammals, and mammals birth best when they feel safe and undisturbed. Read this story on my blog about how elephants birth best with other female elephants present.
Mamas and babies are designed for birth, and when given the space, time and patience, instinctively know what to do.
Did you see April the Giraffe give birth? What was most impactful for you about this experience?
Many blessings and gratitude,
Be an Advocate for Mothers, Babies & Families Today
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