when karissa came and sat in my living room with me and began talking about the miracle of pregnancy she found herself in, and how she was so bowled over by it and feeling all the feelings so deeply, and then began sharing bits of her personal history and describing herself with such self-awareness and depth... well, i just "got" her. this woman is a woman of great soul, and she doesn't hide.
at the time we met she was just about to "break up" with her OB, since she'd been feeling, as she puts it, as though she was "getting an oil change, not having my first baby." instead, she decided to follow her gut and search out a midwife. she chose a great CNM who delivered at the hospital. but as she read more birth stories (including my own), and looked inward further, she realized there was no reason she shouldn't/couldn't have her baby at home. so she interviewed home birth midwives, and ultimately settled on Leslie and Kim at Midwifery Matters, which is a practice of CNMs who do home birth deliveries. she also chose a wonderful doula, Brenda, of Over The Moon.
she gathered a birth team made up only of women who believed that she could do it, and with whom she felt safe, because she knew she would need that circle of love and power to do the work of bringing her little son earth-side. from there, i watched karissa go on to have the most proactive, empowering, prepared, and lovingly present pregnancy and birth preparation you can imagine.
her birth space was sacred and serene, even with all the growling and vocalizing ;). and after it was all over, as she lay nursing her son in bed with her rock of a husband and her big sister beside her, she said with grateful disbelief, "i never thought i would do this." ah, doesn't life have a way of turning out to be totally other than and also better than we hoped or imagined? i love that.