I’ve been waiting for the right words to come so that I can share this birth story. It is one that is so dear to my heart.
Empowerment. Empowered. Empower. Words that get thrown around a lot in birth but which lately have not been sitting well.
After I had my children I had a bias towards my own experience of home birth. I knew my experiences were positive but I also knew I was missing the answer to why. I wanted others to have the same feelings towards their birth and the only way that I knew how was to encourage the same choices that I had made. I hope I was subtle. I hope I was thoughtful but I am sure that I made mistakes. I am not the only one.
Elizabeth’s birth taught me once and for all that the recipe is simple. As Oxford tells us, to empower is to “make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights”. Hmmm. Yes. That sounds like a good thing to have around birth. Informed choice and support for those choices – it sounds so simple.
So what do I believe is important to a positive birth experience now? Certainly not just the choice of doctor or midwife, hospital or home, water or land, epidural or drug-free. Rather, to birth in awareness of what we can control and what is outside of our control. To find a caregiver that will lead us in informed choice and then support the choices that we make. To recognize that some fear and worry may be a normal part of birth but to find a way through it so that it does not lead our bodies and our minds. To be kind, patient and forgiving (most of all to ourselves) throughout the process.
Thank you Elizabeth and Andre for opening your hearts to me, inviting me to share in the birth of your little girl and for trusting in the process of having your journey photographed. Thank you to the health care team at the South Campus in Calgary, Alberta who together with Elizabeth and Andre gave me the chance to witness how gentle and empowering cesarean birth can be.
This birth was my first birth film, which Elizabeth and Andre have given me permission to share. If you think you might be interested in having your birth filmed, please contact me to see the film and for more information and samples of my videography work.
Now for some of my favourites from this beautiful birth!