Birth Mystics

Welcome to the Birth Mystics podcast. What is a birth mystic, anyway? Doulas Katie and Stephanie define it as a person who pursues contemplation, surrender, and truth in order to understand birth beyond the intellect. Think ”birth nerds” but with a little more depth and spirituality. Here we talk birth through the lens of mythology, philosophy, poetry, and more.

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Episodes

Wednesday Aug 03, 2022

Stephanie's original poem takes an intimate look at the role partner's can play in the birth experience--and it's not what you think it is. How can partners best support the birthing person without overpowering, overprotecting, naysaying, or neglecting? And furthermore, what is their unique transformational potential? Even more important than the amount of time you spend as a birthing person researching your options, you are the one carrying the baby and delivering the baby which means you should always have the bigger say. This is about bodily autonomy, personal comfort, and birthing rights. Too often birthers are stepping into "caretaker mode" and putting their partner's comfort before their own. And this is just one more profound way that birth teaches us how to step into our power. It doesn't mean that birthers should railroad their partners and not consider their input or opinions. Please, start a dialogue with your partner. Share with them the same resources, podcasts, books, and information that has informed your own opinion. Is your partner willing to dig into that content? If not, you can give an ultimatum--either do the work, like me, or your opinion doesn't hold weight. That's fair. What is the transformational potential of the partner? Life has taught you, partners, to show your strength through muscle and brawn, to show your masculinity through saving and protecting. In birth, it's been modeled for you to lead with your fear and doubt in the name of protecting. But your potential is learning how to show up without having to save. You can show strength through your spiritual presence and emotional availability. You can be there as a space holder rather than a knight in shining armor. You can help the birther by trusting their judgement and their unique, messy process of giving birth. Stephanie speaks to the novel Damsel, by Elaina K. Arnold. It's about a knight on a quest to slay a dragon. He succeeds, and on the other side of the wall he rescues the damsel in distress. According to custom of their kingdom you could not become a king until you slayed a dragon and rescued a princess. They arrive back at the kingdom, and over time you begin to learn that the damsel is not exactly who you think she is. The custom says that if the knight doesn't marry the princess before a certain amount of time then the princess--who turns out to be the dragon--will revert back to her wild self. It has powerful themes of masculine and feminine roles, and the culturally accepted taming of women. Birth is a perfect and ripe opportunity to forever change the dynamic that may or may not exist in your partnership. And to those of you listening that do not have a partner in your life or in your birth space--you can and will go on to have a phenomenal transformational journey because you are the hero of your story. If you'd like to learn more please visit www.bhavabirth.com

Wednesday Jul 20, 2022

Katie shares with us beautiful prose of going into the darkness. She invites us to challenge the idea that darkness is evil or scary and how to use it to our advantage during childbirth. For Katie, darkness is solace, peace, and seclusion, which are wonderful adjectives for birth. Consider how we often meet a lover in the darkness. Our senses are turned down. We get to put all of our focus into touching and feeling. Stephanie shares her experience being "highly sensitive" and how much the noise of children can overstimulate her. One way that she balances things out is through low-lighting. This definitely translates, for many people, into the birth space. Some midwives wear headlamps at births to be more honoring of their clients' desire for darkness. When you're laying down at night, getting ready to sleep, and all the lights are off--where do your thoughts go? For some, it goes into ideas. Others, planning. Imagination is often sparked, for good or for bad. It can lead to feelings of unsafety. If that applies to you, that can be informative self-awareness for your upcoming birth. Our brain is the place we live, and if your default is fear--birth could be more challenging in this area. Nyx is the goddess of darkness from Greek mythology. One story that's told about her involves her son, Chaos, who incurs the rath of Zeus. He flees to the safety of her mother, Nyx, and Zeus would not follow him. And he's Zeus! That just shows how powerful darkness is that even the most powerful god will retreat. But, perhaps, if you're prepared to face the darkness you don't have anything to fear. Stephanie points out that this is also found in Yogic teachings, from Paramahansa Yoginanda's book The Second Coming of Christ. He teaches that any reference to the "wilderness" or "darkness" is a reference to the third-eye, or sixth chakra. And the third-eye is very much associated with seeing reality and discerning truth. You'd think that would be connected to light, but it's not--it's in darkness that we discover and know truth, when all of our other senses are quiet. Katie reminds us that traumatic births aren't always healed by "perfect births" to follow. Many times, births are a combination of light and dark, smooth and pokey, and there is still profound healing potential within that full spectrum. This is the process of integrating the shadowside. Stephanie speaks about the challenges of growing up in purity culture and an obsession with all that is light, bright, and right, while avoiding anything that is dark or evil. What that separation does is makes the darkness more powerful than we are. This is where addictions are born. Like the story of Jekyll and Hyde, where the good doctor meets his own demise because he didn't know he could integrate his evil nature. This is powerful in your birth preparations, as well. You don't want to only focus on your "perfect and good" birth, but also spend some time understanding your fears and "worst case scenarios." If you avoid those areas, they become more powerful than you. We challenge you: give yourself time alone in the darkness as part of your birth preparation. Get to know yourself there. Meet your baby there. Enter the darkness in order for both of you to step out, together, into the light. If you'd like to learn more please visit www.freyabirth.com

Wednesday Jul 06, 2022

Stephanie reads her original poem, "Willing to Die," which explores the metaphorical and mythical journey birthers undertake. Instead of fearing death of the ego, we can learn to embrace it, and when we do—birth transforms us. This kind of death is about moving with the seasons and cycles of life and accepting our undoing. To learn more about Stephanie's work, visit bhavabirth.com

Wednesday Jun 22, 2022

Katie tells us the Slavic myth of Baba Yaga. This is a myth, while on the outside can appear very dark, is actually about connecting to our intuition. Any myth with all of its components can represent the entire psyche. Baba Yaga is a powerful template that all of us can follow in our process of discovering our intuition in the birth space. To learn more about Katie's birth work, please visit www.freyabirth.com

Wednesday Jun 08, 2022

Stephanie describes feeling intense grief and rage from childhood trauma that surfaced during her first postpartum. Then she learned about Kundalini, which instilled a deep and profound purpose to her pain. This awakening isn't just trying to shove our past traumas into our faces just because--it's trying to evolve us. To learn more please visit www.bhavabirth.com

Wednesday May 25, 2022

Katie walks us through her original poem "Poseidon" that she wrote while six months pregnant with her third baby. As she laid in bed pondering her upcoming birth the words just came together in her mind. She jumped out of bed and wrote it down, feeling how it deeply expressed her hopes and wishes for her birth. This poem also represents her embodiment journey. If you'd like to learn more please visit www.freyabirth.com

Wednesday May 25, 2022

Stephanie discusses what led her to naming her business Bhava Birth. It's a Sanskrit word that translates to becoming. When it's spelled bhavah it translates into giving birth. The etymology shows a deep and profound connection between these two processes, of birth and becoming. If you'd like to learn more please visit www.bhavabirth.com

Wednesday May 25, 2022

Katie introduces what inspired her to name her business Freya Birth. Join us as we explore Norse mythology to understand the meaning and symbology of the goddess Freya and how it pertains to birth. If you'd like to learn more please visit www.freyabirth.com References: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in your Childbirth Experience, by Anne Lyerly

Wednesday May 25, 2022

Welcome to the Birth Mystics podcast. What is a birth mystic, anyway? Doulas Katie and Stephanie define it as a person who pursues contemplation, surrender, and truth in order to understand birth beyond the intellect. Think "birth nerds" but with a little more depth and spirituality.  

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Meet Katie

Katie has 3 children and each of their births has had a tremendous influence on her life, leading her on the path to realizing her passion for empowering mothers on their own journeys. She loves reading, especially books related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Give her a book, a warm cup of tea, fuzzy socks, and a cuddly blanket and she is a happy camper. Her own motherhood journey took place in Stuttgart Germany. Her first birth was a challenge, one which she was unprepared to meet and it was not easy. She walked away feeling disappointed in her body but happy to be a mother. Those difficulties motivated her to make some changes. The next time she was pregnant, she took a birth preparation course and gained some tools for labor. She rocked that birth and it was truly transformative. She walked away feeling powerful and strong. This experience inspired her to become a birth worker and help women put their feet on the path to a powerful, positive birth.

freyabirth.com

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Meet Stephanie

Stephanie is passionate about her work as certified yoga teacher, doula, childbirth educator, and personal mentor. Stephanie is the founder of Bhava Birth, a yoga and meditation-based childbirth education course. She believes that birth is a spiritual right of passage and a profound opportunity for personal growth. Her speciality is merging Eastern wisdom with Western research in an effective multidisciplinary approach. Above all else in the birth experience, Stephanie values sovereignty, consent, and whole-body attunement.

Stephanie loves to travel, write, spend time in nature, have deep one-on-one conversations, and avoid crowded places. Her happy place involves wool socks, a hot beverage, a cozy sweater, and something to write on. Her introverted nature brings a sense of calm and depth with her wherever she goes. Stephanie is married to Nicolas, an intuitive deep tissue massage therapist, personal development coach, and Tai Chi instructor. Together they're raising four awesome children in beautiful Provo, Utah.

bhavabirth.com

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