Katie Silva – Indie Birth Contributor
Miscarriage in our culture is not often discussed openly. Women often pass through the experience of a miscarriage alone or with only her partner. In many cases, there is no ceremony, no special nurturing care afterwards, nor enough support from other women.
Even the word “miscarriage” somehow implies that the woman or her body is at fault somehow and she somehow didn’t carry her child well enough and that the whole thing was a mis-take.
My first miscarriage was when I was 19 years old in India. I was staying at Amachi’s Ashram and birthed the baby, a little boy, in a thatched hut. The monks freaked out and insisted I be taken by a little boat and a wild-driven taxi to the hospital hours away in the night. The hospital personnel threw my baby away in the trash without looking at me, gave me a D & C and fed me big pink horse pills. The blessing was that one of the nuns came and stayed with me in the hospital and nurtured me and spoke to me about impermanence. I had named the child in the womb “Tashi” which means “good fortune” in Tibetan, and that is still his name. My little Karma clearing angel baby.
The second of my babies who crossed over before birth did so in Taos, New Mexico. In the beautiful Belizean rainforest, Miss Hortense (a Mayan midwife in her 60’s) had discovered and announced I was pregnant with a boy while doing an abdominal massage for me. Miss Beatrice (a Mayan village healer) had named the child “Kamich a h’au”, after the Mayan Sun God.
Back home only a week, I dreamt that a ship was sinking and lost the child the next day. It was very painful emotionally and physically and I didn’t have much support. I felt like I had failed somehow. I grieved and felt depressed and had a lung infection for months afterwards. As I came out of my fog, with the help of my Peruvian Shaman friend, I heard the message that Kamich a’hau brought to me; “I will return when you don’t need me.” When I had finally let go of the intense feeling of NEEDING to be pregnant and was feeling complete and full in myself, I conceived again. We birthed our beautiful living baby boy, Matoska, 2 years later.
Two weeks ago, I experienced my third “miscarriage.” When I noticed my baby hadn’t been moving for a while, my breasts were shrinking and I was spotting, I called Shell and Maryn, my midwives. This was to be another technology-free pregnancy and birth, but I knew under the circumstances that a doppler would be necessary. As I feared, no heartbeat was found, and when followed by an ultrasound we saw her. My little baby, just sleeping peacefully in my womb, still.
My midwives stayed with me through the 24 hour process of birthing Amanda. With the loving help of the women with me, I released my fears and told the naked truth about things in my life. I came to an incredible new connection and commitment to be all that I am and to ruthlessly tell the truth and deeply take care of myself. We contacted the spirit of the child and she told me, “I died so that you can live more fully.” True to her word, Amanda was born in the sac- which in Mayan culture means that she is a midwife, a seer, a healer…my healer..my midwife, my new eyes. She had changed me profoundly.
It is my hope that all women whose babies start the journey to our world but leave before they arrive will be honored, held and supported like I was. The support I received made a difficult life experience into a strengthening, heart opening rites of passage which I know was divinely perfect for my life and Amanda’s as well. I have a deeper faith in life, and in death, and am truly able to live more fully.
Katie Silva is Mother to Tashi, Theresa, Kamich a’hau, Matoska and Amanda. Katie lives in Cornville, Arizona and is a homebirther, student midwife and massage doula as well.