Editor’s note: This week we’re trying something new. I asked some of our regular contributors to each respond to a quote from midwife and natural birth advocate Ina May Gaskin. In her new book Birth Matters Gaskin wrote:
Birth… matters because the journey through pregnancy and birth offers an irreplaceable way for women to explore their deepest selves – their minds, bodies, and nature… There is a sacred power in the innately feminine capacity of giving birth. It is one of the elemental, continuing processes of nature that women have the chance to experience, and it is the one act of human creation that is not shared by men.
This short passage stimulated some quite different responses. In the next few days we’ll have responses to the same passage from some of our other Pagan Families contributors. Today we hear from Suus:
I actually don’t know Ina May Gaskin’s work…..we have wonderful midwives here in Holland where giving birth at home is very common. As long as you have no medical indication your pregnancy is monitored by a midwife, who also does the birth. The mother has the free choice to either give birth at home or in the hospital with the midwife. I decided to give birth in the hospital; my daughter decided otherwise and was born in my own bed at home.
Regarding the quote:
This is how I experienced pregnancy, and giving birth. I felt really, really thankful that I am a woman, and that just being that made it possible for me to have this experience. I watched my husband being on the side and felt kind of sorry for him that he could never, no matter what he would do, be able to have this experience.
Pregnancy made me so aware of my body. The power a woman’s body has is amazing — just look at to what extent a uterus can stretch! Extra blood was pumping through my veins, and my body took care of two individuals. Also, with the growing belly power grows. Pregnant women have a special place in society, most pregnant women I see are radiating with power. They shine because they are full of life force and KNOW it. I think that is why pregnant women are always so beautiful. I know I felt truly beautiful for the first time in my life when my pregnant belly was really showing. Their radiating aura turn pregnant women into magnets, everybody just has to look at them.
And then birth….well I often describe it as: I was The Goddess at that moment. I was so aware of how powerful I am during childbirth, and I remember thinking: ok, this is how it feels to be God Herself, to give life. It was by far the most spiritual experience in my life and I enjoyed every second of it (yes, I was lucky and had a very easy childbirth). My husband was there, but again, he stood at the sideline, which I think is also a very powerful task — it is the magic of deep witnessing. So I think both mom and dad have their own pregnancy and childbirth powers. It was a shared experience, but I don’t think that he felt what I felt and I didn’t feel what he felt. It is different. That doesn’t mean one thing is more powerful than the other, maybe women and men just get the experience that fits their make-up. But as said: I am really glad that I am a woman and got the woman-side of the experience!
Suus is a Dutch witch who has been fascinated with magic her entire life. As a child she thought life was filled with mysteries, and guess what, it is!
She has studied magic for over a decade now, has trained with people in various traditions, varying from Gardnerian to Reclaiming. Suus now calls herself a Feri practitioner and Morningstar student in which she currently holds the White and the Blue Cord. Besides that Suus has studied psychology and is a Reiki master. She loves working with the energies that are all around and in us and loves to sing!
To her leading a magical life means that everything we do carries magic in it and she tries to be as aware of that as she can. Suus finds life in all its wonderful shapes and forms is sacred. Aside of teaching others, Suus remains a student because she believes that we are never done with learning. She loves to deepen her knowledge of the mysteries and her connection with the Gods to whom Suus is eternally grateful for this wonderful life.
Suus lives in a suburb in the east of The Netherlands with her husband, daughter, dog and cats and has made it a goal in life to incorporate magic in everything she does.