Sacred work of birth

Monday, July 3, 2017

"If a woman doesn't look like a goddess during labor, then someone isn't treating her right." 
-Ina May Gaskin.

I have often come across this quote and as much as I love Ina May, I have rolled my eyes. Yall, birth is HARD. It is WORK. You get sweaty. There are lots of smells. It hurts. My hair is crazy-looking, make-up is smeared. I'm wearing adult diapers for crying out loud! But I as was skimming through my birth photos, looking for something else for a project, this photo jumped out. It caught my breath!

In this moment, I am a goddess.
In a circle around me are women who know birth deeply.
I am being supported. Loved. Watched over.
My eyes closed, I am turning inward for strength. I find it in my breath, in my spirit, in the women before me and around me.
My hands are open, showing that I am open to receiving inspiration.
My brow is high, demonstrating the strength I am feeling.
My neck is tight, showing the intensity of the contraction.
Birth is work, sacred work. The work for a goddess.

This quiet moment means so many things to me. For one, it demonstrates why I love midwifery so much. Women, mothers, reign over the veil that enters into this life. I think midwives know this intuitively and allow the mother to reign there without unnecessary intervention. Of course, there is a need for physicians in many births, but midwives are the experts in normal birth. This connection of women between life here and life before has drawn me to birth so much lately. The possibility of midwifery school is years, perhaps decades, away. But I hope through what I say and write about birth now helps other women see it for the absolute miracle and symbol of Godliness it is.

Please know that you don't have to look like a goddess in *every* moment of birth. There are many moments I did not look like a goddess, believe me. I only post this to try and show a bit of my journey in learning more about the sacred work of birth.

This is also a good opportunity for a plug for birth photography. I am still learning new things about Riah's birth a year later because I have these photos. I am forever grateful my talented friend Cate gave us this amazing gift. They are an absolute treasure to me.


  1. I have never read that quote before and I absolutely love it! You DO look like a goddess. Beautiful thoughts. Thank you for sharing.


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