The first time I understood the meaning of childbirth I was way too young. A good friend invited me to join the birth of her daughter at home. A midwife had been called for that moment; giving birth at home with a midwife was something rare in urban lands, and unfortunately it still is. Until then I thought that this experience was about our ancestors, “modern” to me meant all women giving birth in well-equipped hospitals with large teams of specialized professionals.
That moment a portal of consciousness opened in my existence as a woman on Earth. From then on I started a journey in search of understanding what it means to be a woman and to host children in the world.
I can't tell you more about this birth, because I wasn't there, at the time my answer to the invitation was: "If I attend your birth, I won't be able to give birth". I was too naive and inexperienced to understand the meaning of that invitation, and that woman's request.
But I have to tell you that my intuition and curiosity made me available to support and learn. Somehow I wanted to be there, I wanted to participate and understand more. How was it possible to be born "alone" with the help of another woman?
So I activated my materializing version and with a list in hand, I went out into the city looking for straw mats, teas, special waters, cotton fabrics, and many plants, roots and herbs that I didn't know, which were gifts for the woman giving birth.
While the baby and the mother, newly born, were growing, I was developing myself.
Some time later, I received a new invitation from the same friend, this time she called me to attend a women's circle for the first time, to exchange knowledge, and to take care of each other. During that meeting, in front of the fire, eating natural food, looking at all the diversity of our bodies and experiences, I understood that from that moment on I would be accompanied by women. And so it was!
Since then, in a discrete and powerful way, I gather with women to listen to stories, we celebrate our births and mourn our deaths, we learn and create together anything we want to discover and experience.
I will talk about Aura in a moment, but first I need to tell you about another birth.
A few years ago, my mind and body reached its limits after a life of overloads. I didn't know how to "be" if it wasn't to be productive and take care of everyone. I was in service to rescue the world, and for the first time in my life I felt that my creativity was dying.
The artist living inside me wanted to play again, I wanted to meet children, artists and people who were caring for the subtle field of human life, it was urgent to balance my vital energy to continue existing.
In a mixture of fear and courage I changed direction, I let go of what seemed comfortable. Soon after, I realized that I was generating a life in my womb.
I was in the process of creating a human life. This opportunity fascinated me.
I wished to give birth, at home, in comfort and freedom, accompanied by Gisele, that friend of mine from the other story, who by that time had become a midwife.
My circle of women came together to offer me blessings for my family, and everything I needed came to me. It was when I began to receive amazing gifts, which since then do not stop coming.
A historical miracle happened in my life, and in the lives of my ancestors...
I have chosen!
I’ve chosen to be the mother I wanted to be, I’ve chosen to say goodbye to an intense routine full of burdens to gestate. I’ve chosen to stop, give birth, breastfeed, and experience my daughter's childhood. I intuited that in the beginning of life there were answers and that I needed in order to change the significance of my living.
These choices are not simple or romantic, they are acts of existence within a system that cares too little for women and children. I opened a breach and trusted that it would be possible, despite the fear of helplessness.
These choices, like all women's choices, have a high price to pay.
Even so, I took the risk to experiment and seek something that was taken away from us long ago " Living for Pleasure". I felt I needed to do this for myself, for my lineage and for all....
When my baby started walking, my creativity began to return. And at that moment a pandemic crossed our path, my imagination couldn’t reach what was to come. I experienced a loneliness I had never felt before, for the first time I was physically distant from the women who have integrated and nurtured my life since I arrived here. Even accompanied by my creativity, I began to feel a great fear, I felt that something might've been missing. It was then that I put myself in prayer and asked for support to continue doing what I enjoy doing.
Days later I received a call from Renata, Anne and Eve, three dreamy midwives, who were supporting the birth of the Aura Circle.
I had no dimension of what this invitation meant, but this time my intuition and my experience made me say yes!
Aura, a collective birth.
One of the things that struck me most when I met the Aura midwives was hearing from one of them that the circle was made up of women who were "flaws in the system" I have spent most of my life trying to fit in, to adapt, several times I have tried to shrink myself to fit in.
What I express through my living, at first sight does not fit on the shelf of useful and urgent things, does not feed the production lines. Everything I can generate in the world comes from a place of enchantment, it feeds playfulness. I invite children and adults to create in their daily lives. What I have to offer has always seemed insufficient, almost worthless.
For months I also felt that I didn't fit in Aura, and I think this feeling was a remnant of previous experiences. I also discovered that everything I have told so far is not about me, it is about us... This discovery gave me a mix of relief and concern.
In Aura, we receive gifts. The great invitation is about care and pleasure, experiences little experienced by most of us.
Then we asked ourselves: If we are not going to produce, what are we going to do?
Listen and share stories!
And so we are in labor, in a process of regeneration and recreation, supported by midwives, and various mentors who share their knowledge and care.
In this birthing house, there is room for subtleties, screams, whispers, moans of pain and pleasure.
Between one contraction and another, we ask ourselves:
What if every woman in the world had the chance to create without fear?
What would happen if we had the opportunity and the courage to let go of what weighs us down and relax?
What would the world be like if women had the freedom to nurture and enjoy themselves in freedom?
We are together, in an extraordinary, unimaginable experience, bravely unblocking traumas, and creating new realities in our daily lives.
We are midwives to each other.
And today I am aware that all women know how to give birth.
Renata Laurentino is an artist-facilitator, mother, and researcher of childhoods. She designs experiences and environments with children, families, and educators. Idealiser of the boxes "Nutrition for Imagination" and writer of the book "Somos". She is dedicated to harmonising relationships and community environments where children and creative people live.