My Birth Book   PNCA 2011

I have teachers who have shown my a higher path. 

I have been lead to the place in my career that just pushes the limits of my attempted vulnerability. The vulnerability comes when I go within and ask why. A part of me is in love with the broad story of my life. This being wants to be a part of the invention of what I am here for. This is our true nature that is our birth right. 

Birth Book Cover Pregnancy
JMP Birth Book Maternity Photographer.jpg

Pages 

When Maya was little we lived by the river.

They had beautiful wild brush with lovely dried flowers. I was taking a etching class, so I dug these into the copper. I heart making things. My hands are happiest when creating. The process for this is similar to the dark room. Old school. I loved the dark room with big flat baths filled with nose stinging chemicals. The film in canisters. My hands would smell too. Take it everywhere. Happy by me. 

The etchings of a moth, and dried flowers were the prints I was left with. A year later the book became a idea. 

Portland Pregnancy Photography.jpeg
Pregnancy Photographer Pdx.jpeg

Words/Images

I wanted to sew the images I saw at the farm. This was a time that was 10 years away. I was pregnant there. The farm consisted of a orchard and a few fields for tomatoes. The land was a Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, by the Trinity River. 

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The etchings of a moth, and dried flowers. 

My wish in this story is that all women can own their birth as their own powerful story. 

When visiting a friend in Rome, I saw photographs of underwater births. They were taken looking up from far below in a large pool. Blood and all. 

That is what I want, I told myself. In beauty is wisdom. 

I got pregnant a bit by surprise. But the answer I got was to go and live like a native and have this baby. 

I moved to Humbolt County, California. I found a farm on a Indian Reservation, by the Trinity River with the most beautiful fig tree. 

During the months of incubation I delt with myself. Thinking of my parents, who they were, how they hurt me. There was some upcoming doom. The eventual death of my personhood. The person who is not a mother. Choice and freedom will not abound for much longer. 

I met some really wise midwives. Versed in the practice of dealing with the health in obvious ways. Not too much sugar, iron, and lots of vegetables. I drank a mix of herbs. This was all new to me. All of it. 

I had office visits for one hour every month until the third trimester, and then biweekly. Talking about things to talk about during this time. Serious things. Clearing out any debris before entering into this enormous task. Abortions. Sexual abuse. Rape. When expressed these things can lift a woman from shame, which is a cultural standard. 

I had a water birth, by the sea. 

My midwives got out of my way and sat in support the whole time. I felt totally and completely held. 

I labored in the hot water for too long, and was shaky kneed at 3am. They gave me blue and black coash. I slept until 7. I was done with the labor. I wanted out. They feed me a hard boiled egg, (two bites) and I began to ask for help and listen. 

Outside. I laughed at them at first. Then I started moving on the porch. Hips moving from side to side, my juices flowing down my legs. The young woman who was wincing in pain without even being in labor, is now dancing while opening in intense pain. 

The message was clear. I walked off the porch and down the hill. Threw away the egg is disgust and grounded out. Oh, I am in this reality. I have to go through it. 

I did.