“When a woman births without drugs…she learns that she is strong and powerful…She learns to trust herself, even in the face of powerful authority figures. Once she realizes her own strength and power, she will have a different attitude for the rest of her life, about pain, illness, disease, fatigue, and difficult situations.” –Polly Perez
In addition to our new cesarean birth goddess pendant, this month I sculpted two more new pendants that my husband then transformed into pewter casts. The first is a “Squatter’s Rights” sculpture of a mama catching her own baby. I have found this image tremendously empowering for a very long time.
Would the new child coming from me be slippery like soap? I rubbed my fat belly. I loved each pound I gained, each craving I had, and every trip to the bathroom. Okay, maybe not every trip to the bathroom. But, I loved this growing baby. Tucked away like a pearl in the sea just waiting to be discovered. I was in a constant state of marvel.
Would I be able to physically do this? No, I don’t mean the labor, nor do I mean the birth. I knew I could do that. I got lost in thought as I planned in my head every moment that would come after my body did the work of labor. The moment would come once my body was ready and the crown of a child’s head pushed itself from me, the moment the child would emerge. That’s what I was planning for; I planned to catch my own baby.
It is hard to express how much I love knowing how these figures “speak” to the women who receive them. I started making them to express something within me and to speak to myself or remind me of my own power. I absolutely love knowing that they carry these messages to other women as well, not just me! Earlier this year a made a polymer clay birthing mama sculpture for a woman and she gave me permission to share her feedback on it:
I LOVE THIS!!! <3 I JUST got my lovely statue, she’s gorgeous, I am in awe of your work, and I caught myself choking up a bit at how I look at her and it pulls me back to that most empowering of moments, Me-birthing my little rainbow.. Completely uninhibited.. THANK YOU!…They will be in a sacred space, helping watch over me as I go through Midwifery school… <3 Thank you, thank you!! <3
What a tremendous honor to be a small part of another woman’s journey in this way. It feels like a sacred trust.
Our second new pendant is a “womb with a view” themed pendant. I’m particularly in love with this one, but I’ve noticed that reactions from other people seems quite mixed! (From “that is SO cool” to, “oh, okaaaaay.”) One friend said, “this is the kind of thing that people who are really into birth will like, but everyone else would think is gross.” ;) And, maybe that does sum it up! I love it because it has a placenta and an umbilical cord and the baby is quite purposefully LOA to send the right “head down, good position for birth” message to mothers who see or wear it.