In the lead up to my birth, I was blessed to have a homebirth midwife (Lea Ritter) and not one, but 4 doulas, supporting me. Each played their own unique role, and in this post I tell the story of doula number 2, Susan Bratton.
Susan is a dear friend of many years and an absolute inspiration. She’s an extremely knowledgeable sex educator and her pizzazz and authenticity is palpable. ✨
Knowing her to be a pleasure-positive person, I informed her that I’d signed up for a program about orgasmic birth by Sheila Hamara Kay called “O’Baby.”
Susan was instantly intrigued and offered to support me in my orgasmic birth preparation. Because although orgasmic birth can happen out of the blue, it’s more likely to happen with the proper “training,” meaning more time spent in an orgasmic state during the pregnancy.
To achieve this goal, our plan was to do regular “yoni massages.”
The intention was multifold:
🔥 To get me in a pleasurable state of deep relaxation and turn on
🔥 To heighten my awareness of the various parts of my yoni
🔥 To keep me in the “pleasure zone,” even as my body changed and faced pregnancy-related challenges including heartburn and difficulty lying on my back.
Susan being a seasoned teacher of sexuality and a trusted friend was perfect for the role of “pregnancy pleasure partner.” At first my husband objected, thinking he should be the one giving me these massages. But soon he relaxed into the idea of delegating this area of birth preparation to a qualified expert and female friend.
He was doing a lot to support the pregnancy and birth preparation in other ways. Susan stepping in would lighten the demands on his shoulders. As they say, “it takes a village.”
Looking back, our massage sessions were one of the highlights of my pregnancy. I relished every minute of them, and wish for every pregnant woman to experience such relaxing, divine pleasure. 😌
Over the months leading up to the birth, we developed our “Ecstatic Birth Massage” protocol. Susan would start with my face, jaw, belly and breasts. Then she’d begin the yoni massage, starting on the outside, and working her way in, bringing blood flow to the whole area. ✨
Each session was truly exquisite and ecstatic. My body felt heavenly. My baby in utero clearly loved them too, as she’d started moving around in reaction to the sensual touch. 🔥
Just as a woman is meant to be fully engorged before intercourse—the way a baby typically “gets in,” so the same applies for the baby “getting out.” Simply put, engorgement is a key ingredient of orgasmic birth, and that was one of our principal goals. 💎
Most women experience yoni massages with a lover, so receiving them from a friend instead was uniquely different. The mood of the massage was sisterly. It was joyful, healing, relaxing, and accepting of the female body. We’d talk and giggle and I felt extremely nurtured and loved by Susan throughout the entire process. ❤️
The intention was for Susan to be at my birth as my “pleasure doula.” Since the sensations of pleasure and pain run on the same neural pathways, the concept is that a woman in labor can transform the pain of labor into pleasure by boarding the pathways with pleasure, via this delicious, sensual massage.
In addition to these ecstatic-feeling massages, in the lead up to the birth, Susan generously hosted an intimate Blessing Way for me in her garden and showered me with gifts for the baby. 🎉🎁
She always had a listening ear available for me and offered down-to-earth advice. And delightfully, as the big event drew near, she’d bring over food and wine for “doula dinner parties” with the birth team. 🥰
These dinner parties were so much fun! We experienced the preparation for birth as a social, community-building experience, during which our friendships were forged at an even deeper level. 👭
By this stage, everything was going really well with the pregnancy. I felt relaxed and literally blissful most of the time, and I’m sure the massages had something to do with that.
Early labor began for me deep into the night, and petered out in the morning. This pattern repeated for several nights. The painful sensations lasted only a minute, followed by several minutes of rest. I was dilating.
However, finally, the night before my baby was born, the sensations took a turn and became unbearable. The pain simply would not subside, no matter what I tried. With immense sadness I knew I had to transfer to the hospital. Though I hoped I could have my orgasmic birth there instead, with or without Susan’s help, it didn’t turn out that way.
At the hospital they determined that my dilation had reversed, not a good sign, and that baby’s heart was looking compromised. They said Cesarian-section was “medically indicated,” and by the looks of their evidence, it made sense to me. 🥺
I consented and a few hours later, I went into surgery and my baby was born. Sadly, this was not an orgasmic birth in the way I’d hoped. However, if we define orgasmic birth as a joyful experience to which I gave my all, then yes, it was. The birth was an orgasm of the heart, full of love and harmony with my partner, so by this definition, yes, it was an orgasmic birth. 🔥
In the end, Susan was not available to go to the hospital with me, which was not an issue because we had another doula available. Instead, Susan came to the hospital the next day, bringing an exquisite bouquet of flowers, and supportive positivity. 💐🌈
I give thanks to Susan. She’s a remarkable woman, a superb friend, and the perfect orgasmic birth doula. Hopefully with my next pregnancy, we’ll have a different result, the “orgasmic home birth in water” that we were aiming for. 🥰🙏
That said, for now I’m practicing surrendering to what happened this time. I’m thrilled by my baby daughter Zoë—and so is Susan—and I’m appreciating everything that happened as a needed learning experience. 💎
Susan and I are making a video series to teach how to give « Ecstatic Birth Massage » to a pregnant woman. You can get on the waiting list at www.EcstaticBirthMassage.com and we’ll be in touch as soon as they are released.
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