Many years ago, in fact it was the first time I was living in England (about 1994), I heard a voice in my dream so real that I wondered if it was a dream. The voice said to me: You will write The Beautiful Birth book. At the time, I was working as a Media Officer for Compassion in World Farming having just finished a stint doing the same job for the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
I thought it an odd dream ~ my work was about animal welfare and animal rights. What did I know about children? And actually, at that time, I wasn’t even interested in having babies. (How quickly that would change ~ I gave birth two years later!)
But the voice was strong. Kind, but strong. I popped into a beautiful little New Age bookshop that morning. It was called The Open Window, and was in my village of Petersfield, Hampshire. Two books on waterbirth literally fell off the shelves (spooky, I know) and landed at my feet. I bought them, and devoured every page.
My mother, who had birthed eight children, had given birth unassisted at home to the last three. If I had any idea of beautiful birth, it would stem from her experiences of tuning in with her body and birthing in private.
So, my life changed. In 1995 I set up the National Waterbirth Trust (in NZ), wrote affirmations for a CD called Peaceful Pregnancy (which my husband did the voice over for), and in 1996 gave birth to my beautiful daughter Bethany, by candlelight and the sounds of Mozart, in our bedroom. Oh how my life was to change. Between then, and 2002, I had given birth again, and lived in three countries, and began publishing The Mother magazine (which I went on to edit for 12 years). www.themothermagazine.co.uk
Writing The Birthkeepers was, I believe, the book I was told about in my dream. It describes the three biological needs of a birthing woman, and how important they are for an easy and ecstatic birth. Half of the book contains stories from women who had empowered births. As the subtitles states, it is reclaiming an ancient tradition. To birth, in tune with our bodies, is to do what our ancestresses did long before man interfered with the birthing process.