This weekend something A.Mazing happened. I attended a home Birth conference and met some truly inspirational women. Sheena Byrom, Hannah Doe and Clara Haken were all speaking about so many important aspects of the care we give to women in pregnancy and the influences that surround us. There was for me, a very special speaker. Someone i have admired for over 20 years, Ina May Gaskin.
I bought her books in 1995 and she has without doubt been the single, greatest influence on my birthy path in life. And this weekend i got to wee in the SAME toilet as her. This was not the highlight, don’t worry too much for my mental state. I also TOUCHED HER ARM. It’s ok, i’m just about getting a grip. I have a picture of myself with her and an equally star struck mate, Elizabeth her blog is here if you’re a yarn nut and birth junky. We look like total geeks.
I have handed out my copies of Spiritual Midwifery and her Guide to Childbirth to each and every one of my pregnant friends over the years because they are by and away the most positive birth books you can read. They are full of such empowering stories of strong birthing women. Ironically, both my copies are currently loaned out to those in need and so i had to purchase a shiny new book of hers so that i could come away with a signature (Of COURSE it was necessary). I read Spiritual Midwifery and immediately wanted to move to The Farm (a commune in Tennessee) and become a midwife or have 10 babies. I did a bit of both.
The message that resonated out of the Home Birth conference was one of the very real need to share the positivity. Tell the positive stories, say them over and over again. To anyone who’ll listen. Saturate the world with them so that women hear all about how birth can be a great and positive experience. Milli Hill has set up The Positive Birth Movement with the sole purpose of doing just this. “Birth works” said Ina May at the conference and that woman knows what she’s talking about.