Dedication and Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 - The Awakening
Chapter 2 - Motherbirth
Chapter 3 History and Memories
Chapter 4 Childbirth
Chapter 5 Afterward
From My Story to Yours
Appendix I Rebirth: Discussion of a New Paradigm
Mysteries of the Womb Unveiled
Stages of Birth
Un-natural Childbirth and Medical Intervention
Trauma Associated with the Umbilical Cord
Bonding vs. Attachment
Empowerment and Separation
Appendix II Sacred Birth Practices Around the World
Appendix III Birth Right
Facts on Violence and Baby Bill of Rights
From Voyeur to Voyager
In the early 70”s when I embarked on my life-changing journey to and through “Motherbirth”, little did I know that the lens of my camera would open up a vista of worlds that I was drawn to explore, not as a spectator in an observation tower but as a hands-on voyager. I was barely aware of the burgeoning feminist movement, books like Our Bodies, Ourselves or such topics as “Patriarchy’s Suppression of Women,” made popular by the newly established Women’s History curriculum. Suzanne Arms had not yet published Immaculate Deception, her revolutionary expose of the birthing industry, and Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery was yet to appear. I was married and had no children. For me the whole idea of pregnancy and birth sounded painful and threatening. I was already in my twenties but couldn’t imagine how a baby could get out of that tiny, little hole.
My upbringing was what I consider to be typical middle class, followed by a not uncommon series of episodes: college, marriage, divorce, disillusionment and aching loneliness. After my first marriage broke up, I began looking for my “self” in earnest. Yoga and meditation brought me face to face with a Self I was never sure existed. My work as a free-lance photographer gave me a medium through which I could express my self while my camera gained me entrée into intriguing situations. I wanted to see a birth firsthand, safe behind my camera. I found a pregnant woman willing to let me photograph her delivery; I was elated.
Little did I knowthise the gateway was through my feelings and
MotherBirth, my memoir, remained incomplete until 2005 when National Geographic’s special “the Womb” reawakened my desire to share my journey that began in earnest over 35 years before when I was entering the third year of my second marriage. Childless, I had done nothing to prevent pregnancy; yet I didn’t conceive. What follows is a chronicle of the process that helped to uproot the negative emotion that haunted me from the time of my own birth, opening the way, physically, emotionally and spiritually for the child who came into our life.
This book is not a “how to” manual, nor does it recommend any one method or philosophy of birth preparation and procedure. By telling the story of my pain and subsequent awakening and liberation, I hope to offer a catalyst for you the reader to explore and heal scars left from trauma associated with your own entry into this world and possibly stimulate new ways of parenting that can break negative patterns passed from generation to generation.