Category Archives: Pregnancy

A fertility story

fertility like snowflakes
Birth is like snowflakes, no two are alike.
I have said this a million times but what I should of repeated along with it is:
Getting pregnant is like snowflakes, no two fertility stories are the same.
Telling stories has a purpose. It helps us understand the human side to life.
Here is my human side to fertility.

I have four children but getting pregnant wasn’t a fast thing for my body. I always had far apart periods; 30 to 45 days apart (the average was every 28 days just like the full moons). I did not use birth control but only got pregnant once a year. To be clear there were lots of opportunities for the squiggly sperm to make its journey to the robust egg. I am pretty sure the egg was feeling fine but just didn’t want to be bothered. SHE (the egg) seemed to love the month of July. She got very social that month because in July 1979 she danced with the squiggly guy. Unfortunately two months later the pregnancy ended. Another year goes by and every month SHE didn’t want to be bothered until July came. But again, two months later the pregnancy ended. Another year goes by and after months of keeping HERSELF closed off, July comes and she danced, and nine months later my first child was born. Breastfeeding kept HER from dancing three months later (July) but SHE couldn’t hold back any longer the following July, seeing as I had just stopped breastfeeding, and nine months later my second son was born.

What I am hoping to relay to other women is not the sensual dance of the egg but the fact our body’s are not always reading the science journals. They usually react a certain way but sometimes they just dance to their own set of musicians. If I was trying to plan my life out and get pregnant in say…August, I would of been pretty fearful or untrusting of my body by June. That would be 10 months of waiting. By 10 months I would of thought my body was malfunctioning. At this point, if I was a planner, I would of been reading the text books, doing my research and probably already been to my OB/GYN to see why my body was failing me. I might of already taken some new drug that might solve my “problem”.

What I wouldn’t of know was that I didn’t have a problem. That my body did know how to carry a baby just fine. That my body knew how to birth a baby just fine. It just had it’s own time schedule.

Even the miscarriages that I had were natures way of knowing what my body needed. I do not have a scientific reason as to why they happened. I think that the formation of their little bodies were possibly not happening like they needed to or my body was not ready to be a mama yet. I do not know. The experience did prepare my emotions to understand the process of being a mother. It allowed me a very slow transition into caring for a child on a daily basis. I view it as perfect for what my life journey is and was.

Fast forward six years and I am in a new relationship and we both really want a child together. After a year and a half go by with us trying to wake the egg up and get her dancing, NOTHING. So I decide to add some chemistry into the situation, my own natural drug Dong Quai in tincture form. I took that and did Kundalini Yoga for two weeks straight. BOOM. The egg was twerking. Now I know it may of had nothing to do with the tincture or the yoga but  I do think, if nothing else, the yoga relaxed me enough into being more chill overall. Chill enough to allow my body the space it needed. I was pregnant once again. I actually thought maybe my body could not do the whole pregnant thing again. That it had retired from that department. Even though I had two children I had yearned for another. So I can relate to others that yearn for a little one in their lives. But the egg had decided to dance after all and nine months later a little boy was born.
My body had shifted over the long break. Had I thought my body was malfunctioning I might of really thrown things off by interrupting it with artificial drugs. I will never be sure what would of happened with allopathic drugs and to be clear, I do think there are cases where they have helped others.  For my story, the only story I have,  I am grateful I was patient. This story is to remind us how different we all are, that we are not text books, we are women with multi prisms stories.

My lesson in surrender was not over. This story has two sides to the coin. The side where I have to let go to get pregnant and the side where I have to let go after getting pregnant. We thought we were done after three boys but unbeknown to me my egg decided to twerk again a year and a half later. This was with us being very careful not to bother HER. Great strides were taken not to send any rhythm HER way. In my mind I was done. My mind thought my body did not have it in her to be pregnant one more time, let alone raise another baby into a little person. But the planning mind once again does not always know what the actual life journey of my human experience needs. Nine months later a little girl arrived in my world. I needed this little girl to be part of my life. I surrendered to this life experience and my heart song got a lot stronger. I had the joy of four children to follow me around like little ducklings follow the mother duck. For years I got to waddle this way and that and they just waddled along with me. Now they are all making their own journeys in life.
I just wanted to share this with whomever finds its journey useful. Thank you and please share so OUR woman stories vibrate into the future.

Best advise two days before you give birth.

A woman due in two days watched the documentary: The Business of Being Born by Ricky Lake….. and stated she felt “Nauseated… sick to my stomach.  The images that were disturbing are still flashing in my mind. ugh.”
The Facebook discussion went on to have 68 comments. Here is some of that…. FB chat person…….to the mom…..and back….and forth.
Comments like:
” I reached down and pulled him out”……”I had no idea i could request to pull the baby out myself. Im so glad u said something!!!!!!!!!!!!”
             “They wanted to cut me but my husband said I didnt need it, so they didn’t”…….”Can i say no don’t cut me?”
             “My due date is 14th but my doctor has me scheduled for an induction one day later, on the 15th”…. “I had to be induced when I was only 38 weeks along”…..”I had to be induced at 34 weeks because of a placental abruption”…….”Due dates are an estimate. Women go to 41, and 42 weeks all the time. Babies know when to be born.”
………another women wrote, “I’ve assisted with 65 births and some of the most beautiful births I’ve witnessed were in the hospital and with many necessary interventions”…..”Birth is a natural and normal life event. A gestation longer than 40 weeks is not, in itself, a medical emergency.”
I felt the last two days are not the time to panic and doubt yourself. Do what you can to get the birth you want, change what is possible, shift what needs to be shifted and then let it go. So many people put their fears onto her. One went as far as to say, “not to scare you, but I had a friend who let her baby cook too long and eneded up having a still born”.
She replied, “thats the last thing i wanna hear! eeekk! My back n forth of this whole decision stems from being afraid of making the “wrong” decision and possibly putting my baby at risk.”
This is how so much of the intervention gets sold to mothers. FEAR!!!!
“You don’t want to hurt your child do you?” “You want the best for your child don’t you?”
The answer should be, “Yes I want the best for my child which is why I am informing myself of my choices, looking at how the human body preforms naturally and seeking out more than one opinion.”
The best advise I can give to someone two days before their due date is very simple.
Breath in and feel the breath rejuvenate every cell in your body. Now breath out and feel anything that is not serving your well being leave your body with the breath. Release all negative thoughts, fears, sorrows, disappointments with each breath. Now breath in everything you do want, joy, peace, trust, health. This is what you and the baby need.
You are empowered and strong. You will do your very best with what you have at this moment and that is enough.
Yes it is important to educate yourself from those you trust but trust that you know enough. When meeting with your birth team let everyone know what you want in a loving, firm, empowered way. Your body has the DNA of women’s instincts since the beginning of time. We know what to do, our baby’s know what to do. Once you are ready to give birth, trust this and let others around you know that your body knows what to do. When you look someone in the eye and say, “I know what I need and this is not it, or I know what I need and this is it”, they will listen. When you get to a point when you don’t know, use your support teams help and trust them if it feels right. 

Facilitated Blessingways

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Jenna’s Blessingway

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Blessing Way
Blessing Way

A Blessingway is for a soon-to-be-mother to gather other women and celebrate the life inside and the process of becoming a mother. By passing on ceremony’s from Native American wise women of yesterday and wise women of today, a mother is blessed with song, rhythm, and loving hands that at times give massage, braid hair, make bracelets out of beads everyone brings and special words of encouragement along with much more. Food and drink is shared and sometimes henna bellies and henna hands are created. A memory like no other, that is a Blessingway.

I am available to facilitate Blessing Ways. Contact me, Jeanie Williamson, at jeanstarbo@hotmail.com or call me at 239-898-9841.

For More Info click here.

‘Birth’-in a non-perfect world.

•♫ ♪♫•”Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.” •♫ ♪♫•

Squatting with fingers touching the earth, the baby-belly mama rises while cradling her arms in a rocking motion, moving hands in swirling motions near her throat chakra, clapping the right hand reaching to the sky, all the while chanting, “Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.”

A birthing woman is sitting under the stars, breathing air that connects her to the earth and sky, intuitively knowing the bodies blood-water connects her to the fetus that is laboring along with her, and trusting both baby and mother spirit to fuel the fire needed to endure the path to delivery. The mother rocks her body, moving through light contractions. The wave of intensity is building, building–till the pushing urge is so strong that all her focus moves her body to bears down, moving her baby gently into the world to share the earth’s breath. The never ending spiral of life~creating more spirals.

In a perfect world.

Which does exist.

The world of birth compares to the world of snowflakes.

“Wow really?” you may ask, “in what way?”

Simply in that no two are alike. This variable state creates the unexpected. The unexpected at times creates unwanted results, these results can cultivate future fear. This often leads to controlling Birth to get a more satisfactory result. This control contradicts the natural birthing process. Control interrupts the innate rhythmic flow of a birthing body.

This forced flow will still produce the birth of a baby. This forced flow can, at times, save the life of a baby.

Sometimes.

But there has been great loss in this process of forced birth.

If you look at numbers, the lives saved by intervention is not equal to the lives lost. The United States has one of the worst infant mortality rates for an industrialized country. The cesarean rate is out of control. Just look at the world health organization for your statistics. The facts are easily found once you question the process.

If the facts are so easily found then why are so many robotically moving toward controlled birth?

Simple…Fear rules over facts. The majority will not even question the safety of what they are being told is normal and safe. They will simply do what everyone else is doing. If they do question their doctor, they are told that all these interventions make it safer for the baby and them.

The fact is, it does not make it safer.

Continue reading ‘Birth’-in a non-perfect world.

Birth, A Play by Karen Brody

Things like this don’t come along that often. A play about Birth from eight completely different women’s perspectives. I’ve been attending the rehearsals because I will be doing background sounds along with two other women, Christar and Sakura. We are drumming with our djembe’s along with some flute and shakers.

Continue reading Birth, A Play by Karen Brody

Should I take Hypnobirthing Class

pregnant moon
pregnant moon

Someone dear ask me this question:

Hey Jeanie, I’ve decided to have my baby  in the water! I was wondering if you knew anything about Hypnobirthing?

My answer:

I am first certified from Rahima Baldwin’s program called Informed Birth/Parenting. Then years after I was a midwife I took the hybnobirthing-The Mongan Method course with Micky herself. She came to St John in the Virgin Islands.
I wasn’t terribly impressed with this method of teaching childbirth classes but I do believe Hypnotherapy can be beneficial to relieve fear, which allows for more relaxation, which creates space for a natural birth to occur. Tension causes fear which can cause minor complications.
Is there a class nearby that you are thinking of taking? Do you know a good hypnotherapist?
Orgasmic Birth DVD- this looks interesting but I haven’t seen it.

She then ask this question:

There’s a class at the birth center, the midwife really recommends me taking it. I have the book and the cd with affirmations and the relaxation that ive been listening to everyday. Do u think i should take it?

Here’s my answer:

Ignorance is bliss for some things… too much knowledge can sometimes induce fear if you seek that knowledge in the wrong places. (By the way, I dis-like the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”) I think any relaxation inducing class you choose to take is good.
Letting go is the key.
Just don’t let go of your right to a safe birth. In my mind, safe means no one is going to do an episiotomy or induce labor just because it is routine.

Understand there is no such thing as a natural birth with an epidural. Also understanding there are truly times when an epidural is the right thing to do and that we all love doctors for the special knowledge they know when a natural birth meets a complication. Putting it all in perspective that complications are very rare when the domino effect of unnecessary intervention is not allowed and you have had good prenatal care to rule out complications before birth.
Being smart means surrounded yourself with women you trust.
Which brings us back to letting go and trusting that everything you do is enough when you care, pay attention, breath and circle around to trust and letting go.
I have total trust you already know everything I just wrote.

“Into These Hands”

Available at http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/shop/print-books/ and bookstores now.

Power, politics, and profit aside, how a nation cares for its mothers and newborns is a key indicator of the health of that society. “Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives,” an anthology of essays from 25 extraordinary midwives, speaks directly to what really matters to women: the right to have safe and satisfying births.

“Into These Hands” is edited by Geradine Simkins, a midwife, author, and president of the Midwives Alliance of North America.

Special thanks to Steve and Michelle Lawson for bestowing the footage of the birth of their son, filmed beautifully by Julia Arielle (http://juliaariellephotography.com).

Featured song: “Already Gone” by Josie Overmyer (http://josieovermyer.com)

Watsu for Pregnancy

Watsu is a combination of water and shiatsu.

Wikipedia states “Watsu, a portmanteau of water and shiatsu, is a form of body massage performed while lying in warm water (around 35 °C or 95 °F). The receiver of Watsu treatment is continuously supported by the therapist while he or she rocks and gently stretches the body. Because it is performed in the water, the body is free to be manipulated and stretched in ways impossible while on the land.”

Watsu around the World states “Many come out of a Watsu saying they were more relaxed than they have ever been. Some say it was one of the most powerful experiences in their life.”

Beyond Body Work states “Watsu is used frequently, often weekly, during pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. No other therapy offers the profound relaxing weightlessness and comfort for both mother and child. The 96 degree water is safe and perfect for the unborn child. Both mother and child experience a new freedom and expansion benefiting both.”

Watch this Youtube video to get a peek. It is a bit of a sales job but a good into.

 

Marley

 
Note to all: This is my story of knowing Marley Cote’s mother, Joan Cote. She was my birth roommate. RIP Joan. 
Marley and Jeremy
Marley and Jeremy

Marley was Bob’s last name but his songs and positive vibrations have inspired many to pass on more than his gift of uplifting messages on to their youth.

Joan held a precious one inside her belly.

I could not tell you what it was, exactly, that inspired her when she heard Bob sing.
Was it his poetry? Was it the rhythms his songs moved her to and fro? Was it his accent? His culture? His Vibes? His One Love message?
The puzzle pieces are there to be had, but not by me. That story can be told by another.
I only know she named her first and only child Marley. I only know the strength and love she offered him. For two months we were room mates, or should I say deck mates since the home we shared merely consisted of mismatched decks added one by one to form a compound, known by some as a magical Oasis. I only know…
Joan was in the house…
and Marley was zooming by.
Continue reading Marley

Facebook Angel

Facebook is as amazing as it can be harmful. A red square with a number pops up on my message box. I open it to reveal a picture taking me back to 1994. I look intently into the eyes of a newborn I am holding; the senders precious bundle I was honored to assist into the world.

I’ve had such a blessed life. Sometimes it all gets away from me. Time has a way of insulating past events with particles of everyday busyness. This insulation is nothing more than a thick layer of dust left hidden someplace I thought no longer existed.  Out of the blue someone wipes away the layers of dust particles revealing something so raw and beautiful that it jerks my body into an outburst of sobbing. Tears flow like a tsunami. Raw emotions release me to a place of humbled existence. My life has been full of some incredible gifts bestowed to me by the lives I have been honored to brush past.

I sob out of enormous gratitude to those who have invited me to enter into their most intimate heartfelt moments of their lives: the births I have witnessed, my children that choose me, the smile from a stranger that dared to share eye contact-opening the window to their heart for even the briefest of moments. I sob for every moment life allows me to bear witness to so many others-youth and adult-who cry out for acceptance and connection. I become reassured as I watch a community also reach out unconditionally and take hold of that hand that is grasping.

I sob in sorrow when love gets taken over by fear. I sob in sorrow when fear gets held captive by hate. I sob once more when hate gets mistaken for strength and power, knowing the only true way to have strength and power is through love.

One moving force, helping me start everyday with my heart open, is to bath myself in the gratitude I have for every humbling moment in life that was graced by love, warmth, touch, song.

At times my heart may seep with burning open wounds made by paper cuts of hate filled words, scornful eyes, seething lies. I lather these open pustules with wild aloe thoughts and turn it toward the sun, allowing healing oxygen to bath my heart that has been left open to the elements, trusting that healing energy has power over the spore laden environment caused by a darkened coffin.

I sob tears of joy for my acceptance of my dark moments and for the strength to walk, sometimes crawl through the darkness, understanding the light is waiting for me, waiting to warm me with its healing rays of strength and joy so that when darkness falls again, which is understood as part of life’s balance, I will once again bath in the darkness, opening my soul to life’s lessons, putting one foot in front of the other trusting it will once again move me to the light. This is the Yin/Yang roller coaster I am humbled to ride.

As for this Facebook moment that drew me to my knees, I give a heartfelt thank-you for the mother whose love for her son and her midwife gave me a roller coaster ride I will gladly stand in line for over and over.