Ka Sundance is the father of three beautiful children (with another expected any second), two of whom were born at home. Here, he waxes poetic about his wife Katie, his children, and about “the capability you ladies and goddesses have to bring birth to this planet.” I wanted to share some beautiful papa love today from a man who not only gets it regarding birth, but really revels in the power of women during labor and birth. And, in Ka’s example, I propose that we no longer refer to folks who are pregnant as women or mothers or clients, but simply as goddesses.
So as a beginning midwifery student, it quickly becomes apparent that you don’t know much. You fumble through the first several times you take blood pressure, and you are terrified to stick someone with a needle to draw their blood. At least I was. I attempted to take the pulse of one of our clients during a prenatal and was completely embarrassed when I couldn’t find it! When everything is this new, even something that sounds as simple as taking a pulse can be difficult. (I remedied the situation by taking the pulse of everyone one of my classmates the following day. I learned that pulses can be subtle. Sneaky buggers.)
So while I am continually being reminded that one must be a humble sponge as a student (the better to soak up knowledge and life lessons with), I also of course want to feel like I’m contributing and doing my part to help. Partially, this is coming with experience – the more prenatal appointments I sit in on, the more I see places where I can help. I can take blood pressure, pulse, check reflexes, for edema, etc. etc. etc. all on my own even as a student. And I can contribute knowledge that I’m learning in class. But really, I still don’t know very much.
So I get very excited when I feel like I can really contribute. And one area I feel I can definitely do that is with the spiritual side of birth. Whether it’s moving energy, holding space, or creating ritual for our clients, I feel completely qualified to participate! Finally, something I’m good at. I put a lot of energy into this when an opportunity crops up because I have so much experience in this area. We created a beautiful blessingway ceremony for one of our clients and I couldn’t have been happier to participate. Being a Pagan for all these years has been good for something! Mostly, though, it’s exciting to be able to contribute something I feel uniquely qualified to help with. Am I an expert at checking cervical dilation? No way. Do I know how to shift the energy in a room and create a productive birthing environment? You bet. It is an honor to be able to provide our clients with any part of this and is something I’m very excited about doing.
So I’m going to keep learning and absorbing and making mistakes and trying new things. But I’m also going to bring nearly a decade’s worth of work connecting to the Divine, moving energy, and creating space. Because I think every pregnant and birthing person can benefit from a little of that.