long before the first contraction, i had done months of prayer work, visioning and meditation around this birth. this invisible work, as i call it, prepared the path for the visible. for me, with my second birth, it was really important that my birth team (the team of midwives, the nurses on the floor that day and my doula) understood all of my preferences, desires and intentions. by hiring a doula, i also had a birth buddy, so to speak, who was totally on board with my philosophy of birth, who knew my intentions for my birth, my vision and my desire to experience an ecstatic birth. she knew the hospital, the midwifery team and the whole hospital scene. i brought my own pillow, my own music, a heart-shaped grapevine that was created at my blessingway (mother-centered shower) ceremony that had all the prayers and blessings from all my girlfriends, sisters and mother tied onto it with each precious ribbon. i looked at it several times while in active labor.

i also hung a sign on the labor and delivery room door that said, "Quiet Please, You are entering sacred space. Please speak in soft tones. No drugs necessary, Thank you. and it had an image of the Buddha on it! To me, all of these things added up together made me feel empowered and at peace with my choice to birth in the hospital.

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