Thirty years ago, we had our first of six children. It was an unattended home birth. The word “unattended” wasn’t even in the birthing vocabulary yet. I can’t tell you how many times I got asked, “Home birth? Did that happen by accident?” The most common reaction when I answered “no” was a look of shock.
Tom and I consciously chose home birth because we did not think of birth as a disease, but rather a normal, natural process to be respected and honored. Having had three major surgeries by the time I was 6 years old, I knew all too well the hospital experience, and it didn’t seem conducive to birth.
The next three children we had were at home and unattended as well. We didn’t have midwives for the first two, because we didn’t know of any in the area. For the next two we tried to have midwives but they didn’t make it to the births. For our last two, we did hire midwives, and their presence and assistance was wonderful and appreciated.
Preparing for our first birth, we took a brief course with midwives who explained the process of birth. We also read Ina May Gaskin’s first book, Spiritual Midwifery. It was a wonderful compilation of birth stories—all different from each other, all special. It inspired me to realize that birth is normal, natural, safe and intuitive, and that each woman and child, when allowed to birth together with no outside control, bring a unique experience of birth each time.
Whereas I still credit the knowledge I was exposed to by the midwives and in Ina May’s book as so valuable, they really served as a catalyst to draw from within myself the strength, respect and conviction to trust my inner knowing and my ability to give birth. Very fortunately, I was surrounded by chiropractors throughout my first pregnancy, and their philosophical understanding and application of intuitive birthing was my true inspiration. It laid the path for me to also go within, seek resonance with these principles and apply the internal knowing of this philosophy in our lifestyle and choices.
The major premise of chiropractic states: “A universal intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.” There are a total of 33 principles, but it was this major premise and the following two that we immediately committed to. Principle two states, “The expression of this intelligence through matter is the chiropractic meaning of life.” And principle three adds, “Life is necessarily the union of intelligence and matter.” In living matter, chiropractors have named this “innate intelligence.”
These vitalistic principles resonated with our own core beliefs and values. Our decision, therefore, to trust my innate ability to give birth was strong. And the experience of this type of intuitive birthing strengthened our trust in these principles—strength to last a lifetime.
Having a natural, inspired and intuitive birth comes about by surrounding ourselves with those who also hold these principles to be true. But beyond any birth care team we may have and the level of trust they embody on our behalf, it will always come down to the essence of our conscious choices, made from our deepest core values.
With this and every issue of Pathways, I hope to draw you, our reader, into a deeper relationship with your inner knowing, and so offer you the opportunity to make your own strong, conscious choices in your life.
Many, many blessings,
Jeanne Ohm, D.C.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #31.
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