I found the below poem while searching around on the Birthing From Within Mentor Forum and asked Juji for permission to publish. When I read it I thought, wow, now THAT is what I mean when I use the phrase empowering birth. Thanks Juji for letting me share!
Invitation to Birthing From Within Mothers
With thanks to Oriah Mountain Dreamer for inspiration
It doesn't interest me how many prenatal books you've read,
I want to know if you hear your child whisper to you
when you lie awake at night.
It doesn't interest me who you are
or where you came from,
I want to know if your authentic mother warrior will awaken
when you birth your baby with all that you have.
It doesn't interest me if you have a birth plan
or where you plan to give birth.
I want to know that you will meet your birth
with an open mind and open heart.
I want to know if you can fully embrace the path
you must journey
to birth yourself as a mother.
It doesn’t interest me if you birth in silence
or as a lioness roars.
I want to know if you are willing to do
whatever it takes to birth your baby,
regardless of how you look,
how you sound,
or what others may think.
I want to know if you are willing to journey
to your depths and through the unknown.
It doesn't interest me how many stitches you get,
I want to know how you are moving in your body.
I want to know if you can take each movement
of your achy dripping body
and know that it has done a marvelous, miraculous thing.
It doesn't matter to me how you feed your baby.
I want to know if you are willing
to nurture your baby
from the depths of your soul and with
I want to know if in the dark of night,
you can raise your tired bones and weary spirit
and do what needs to be done to care for your children
I want to know if you are willing to give up
your judges and ideals of a perfect parent
and surrender to your heart
to love your baby until you ache.
This work was compiled and edited by Juji Woodring with contributions from Alejandrina in AZ, Lia from South Africa, Alisa from Texas, Charlene, and Tamara D.