One of the reasons I chose to have a homebirth was because I wanted a sacred birth space and I didn’t feel it was possible to create that experience in a hospital. I believe that creating a sacred birth space is one of the fundamental elements of manifesting your intention for a wonderful birth. It is important for a woman to feel safe and held in a loving environment in order to birth in love. I feel that a major part of creating this is choosing to birth at home. Where you have already done the work filling the space with your energy. Without a vision of the end result of the birth we truly want. We can never achieve that which we truly desire. The sacred experience of birth should be honoured with a venue that is prepared in a manner that reflects its divine nature.
My situation became challenging when I was told by each of the midwives I was referred to that I live far away for them to travel. We moved to the Seal Rocks area 2 months into my pregnancy and I felt like I had landed in a black hole as far as a homebirth community went! After speaking to almost 10 different midwives and spending months searching for a solution, I was beginning to feel like my dream of a homebirth was becoming impossible.
About 5 months into my pregnancy I was soaking in the bath and decided to call a dear friend. She said “Lizzy, what do you really want? This is your birth and you can have exactly what you would love. Just got for it!” In that moment I realised I had attended her birth with Betty Vella as her midwife and I really want Betty as my midwife but she is in Sydney, 4 hours away! She told me not to worry about logistics, just to call Betty! So I did, and we began the process of finding a way to have her as our midwife. We eventually decided to ask my partner David’s parents if we could use their apartment in Milson’s Point to have our baby in! It was wonderful that they were so generous in saying yes, but it was far away from my vision of being snuggled up in our beautiful country home, walking through the forest during labour! This choice involved a lot of driving back to Sydney for visits with Betty, then moving there for the final month to birth our baby. It also meant being up on the 14th floor in a city apartment far away from the earthy experience I was hoping for. Then having to pack up and make our way home 4 hours drive north once our baby girl had been born. It was an interesting decision but we felt like it was right.
As the day or birth grew closer I began to think about the incredible task of packing. Oh my… what docs one need when you are off to birth your first baby and recreate the sanctuary of your own home in a small city apartment? I had never done that before!! Being very much about creating sacred space with my many alters and sacred items around the house, it became my mission to find a way to take this energy with me.
I packed everything but the kitchen sink! Crystal lamps, statues, Tibetan Wall hangings, blankets, crystals and the list goes on, David kept saying, what is all this stuff? My answer was… I am going for my dream, a sacred birthing space. So the day came for me to pack the car and leave our home to go have our homebirth! It felt kind of strange and I experienced every emotion possible as I drove away with a car full of stuff… sacred stuff that is! I felt like a pregnant snail, carrying my home on my back and my baby in my belly. I waved goodbye to the magnificent trees and the beautiful lake. I decided to take the spirit of the land with me as I drove away into the unknown.
I left a few days before David, as his sister had organised my Blessingway for that weekend. I arrived to the apartment and slowly dragged everything up to level 14 and unpacked. I fell onto the bed in tears; I had made it… after all of the doubts along the way, I felt I was one step away from creating my birthing nest. It was good to arrive and settle in. I felt relaxed in knowing that I was there just in case my baby decided to come early. I was overwhelmed as I held my hands on my belly and spoke to the little girl within me. I told her we had arrived and that I was now creating the space we needed to feel held and supported in her journey to join us earth side. I fell into a deep sleep and had very powerful dreams.
The following morning I awoke, had a long bath and prepared for the most special women in my life to arrive for my Blessingway. They all squeezed into the living room and filled the apartment with so much love, support and safety. This was our intention for having it in the apartment and I feel it is a very important part of creating the supportive energy in the birthing space. I would encourage women to have their Blessingway in the space they plan to birth if possible. It was one of the most incredible days of my life. I was such a high after everyone left as I had been permeated with love.
With that energy I created my birthing altar. I smudged the space calling on Great Spirit to guide me and hold me through this journey into motherhood. I arranged the cards and sacred objects I had been given with the intention of what they represented to me. I put up pictures of my mother and father and David’s ancestors. I cried as I felt deep gratitude and understanding in the realisation that they too had stood where I was standing now just before giving birth to me. I felt the history of humanity flowing through me and all that had come before me. I looked in the mirror in my reflection and saw the necklace from my bead ceremony earlier that day still hanging around my neck. I looked deep into my own eyes and realised I had arrived. My belly full with child, I stood at the birthing altar, the place where I was to be altered and transformed from maiden into mother, where all women with child have stood before me. I was preparing to birth my first child. I picked up my medicine drum which I made in my Shamanic Midwifery Training and I drummed, calling all of my guides and angels to be with me and all of my baby’s guides and angels to be with her. It felt almost like a veil of love and protection came down around the space that night and I slept with the angels.
David arrived the following day and decided it was important to check over the birthing pool and all equipment needed for the birth. With the spiritual aspect covered we entered into the physical, practical preparation of the birthing space! Luckily he was onto it as we soon realised there were holes in the pool. Very important to take care of the practical aspects of what will be needed for a comfy birth! Lighting was very important to me so I made sure I had some pink lamps and candles to make it soft and warm.
A few nights later David and I had dinner with my 2 support friends. It was important to talk all together about what David and I needed in the support of our birth and how we envisioned the space to be. We named our fears and stated how necessary it was for any fears that came up during the birth to be recognised and we acknowledged that these fears would be felt in the sacred birthing space and potentially hold up the process. I feel that this was a huge part of the emotional preparation for our birthing space as the energies that the people in the room are holding will deeply influence and affect the labour process.
Then came the final magic touches that were accumulated in the space in those final 2 weeks. There were the hand made flags that each of the women had brought to my Blessingway which were left for me to sew together. It felt so right to be spending those last few days before birth sewing – sewing in the dreams and blessings for my daughter Delphi to have forever.
Everyday that passed I added more and more love to our birthing space until it finally began to feel like my nest! It is important at that stage in pregnancy to remember to do things slowly, so each day I would achieve one more small thing, like make the playlist of sacred music for the birth or do some food shopping to stock up on supplies. I opened presents and hung the beautiful hand flags… I relished these final days. I was enjoying Betty’s visits more and more often. Oh I love her! I felt like the luckiest woman on earth relishing in being pregnant, spending time with my beautiful family and friends, and my beloved David. Every moment felt like the last in some way as I knew once my baby girl arrived everything would be different.
So with the pool blown up, patches on, pumps working, crystals in place, lamps on, pictures up and the flags hung above the birthing pool. I felt alive and ready! Sacred birthing spaces can be created by anyone anywhere, in any way that is good for them. It can even be sacred in a Sydney apartment way up in the sky! All of us are unique and amazing individuals that can tune in to what we need to feel safe and supported and all I have to say is, it can be done anywhere, just create it the way you dream.
“Creating Sacred Birthing creates Sacred Living, creates Sacred Deathing, creates Sacred Birthing, creates…” (Quote from ‘Sacred Birthing, Birthing a New Humanity’ by Sunni Karl).