Love and Liquid Sound
By Marina Alzuguaray
The story I have to share with you about sexuality and birth is about a
homebirth couple who took my AquaNatal classes for several months. We had
built a fun relationship through our class time and we were used to making
sounds for the baby underwater, exercising and playing in the water, and
sharing openly about any subject related to their pregnancy and birthing.
Their prenatal exams happened right by the pool. Doing prenatals this way
gave us a feeling of wellness: no buildings, no office, just us under the
shade by the pool-very lovely.
A few weeks before the birth the father told me that his perineum was tied. That was a new one for me! I just replied that maybe he needed to do hot compresses on his bottom, just like her, in preparation for the birth. I did not know what else to say, and we did not speak of his perineum any more.
On the last day of June 2001 they went into labor. When I walked into their
home in the middle of the day, she was floating in a pool that she had
purchased for $39.00. This inflatable pool was 10 feet long by 6 feet wide
and 2 feet high. The couple could float in the pool together.
The pool took over the entire kitchen floor. They had lowered all of the
curtains in the kitchen, so that even though it was very bright and hot
outside, in their kitchen we were in the shade and cool.
She used the floating lotus position for a lot of her labor; otherwise she
would sit in a full squat as she chanted. This couple practiced tantric yoga
in their 20s; they were focused, limber, devoted, sure of themselves, and
were using postures, breath and sounds to move through their labor. Their
yoga teacher arrived with a small organ and a flute. The addition of long
and modulating tones was exceptional.
Sometime during the active face of labor, the father took the bridge posture
while in the tub and began to make very loud, low-tone sounds; he was
breathing slowly and releasing. She was floating with her ears underwater
so that she did not hear the full tone of her partner. But I did, and it was
almost scary, powerful and at some point during this I wondered just who was
in labor. His yoga teacher was by his side helping him breath though it. She
gave me a look of confidence so I just stayed calm, chanting with the
He later told me that his perineum had become tied again in fear of her
power, that the sounds that she made reminded him of her lovemaking sounds
and that sometimes she was an unbelievable lover devouring him with her
sexuality. She was sometimes much more than him being able to have multiple
climaxes while he could sustain the moment but only have one release. And
during that early part of her labor, again, there she was in all her power
and making her moaning powerful sounds. He reacted by wanting to run away or
cry like a baby, just like he had sometimes felt again and again in his life
when he was scared. But he knew that he needed to be present for the birth
and not be afraid of her.
That is why he took on the bridge position and began to move his energy
beyond fear, beyond self pity and right into being present. And present he
was once he finished with his process. That is when he began to chant right
into her vagina and that is how labor happened from then on. The two of
them in yoga postures. She, floating face up in the lotus posture. He also
in lotus posture facing down and chanting underwater right into her yoni.
This went on for about 6 hours.
The chanting from the tub in the kitchen,
the yoga teacher sitting on the floor playing the organ or the flute, the
doula and I mostly standing and chanting as well. I listened to the baby
and did not check her internally until late in the day and by then she was 7
to 8 cms. The sun began to ebb and the labor took on a different quality.
The sounds grew right along with their tantric connection. I stayed around
her head, him at her bottom feeling her energy, the room full of waves,
modulating voices that were touching everyone and everything. Then the
sounds changed-so full and low that it was percussive as if drums were
playing, as if the earth was separating. And so it was that the child
separated from her mother while the birthing mother made a primal call of
power that swirled into the vortex of sound, and then I knew the baby was
beginning to crown.
I moved to her other end and helped the dad in receiving the child. Four
hands gently caressing her perineum, his by her clitoris, mine gently
flexing the head of the child, slowly breathing the perineum open with the
uninterrupted chant and a flute playing in the background. Another midwife
arrived. The sun had moved to the other side of the planet. The doula facing
the mom caressed the mother's face, making sure that all lips were soft, her
jaw open, and so her perineum opened slowly releasing the baby's head, and
just as easily her body into the water.
The dad felt an energy as the baby's head came into his hands. This energy
moved up his arms and as the body fully emerged into the water, he said that
he felt the energy go throughout his body and out his head. Then the baby
was out of the water and embraced by the mom as the new dad embraced both of
them cooing softly in semidarkness.
The placenta was spilled easily into the water and floated attached to the
baby. The room was steamy hot and eventually the mom crawled to the
bathroom and her bed and the dad with baby and placenta attached walked to
the dark bedroom. No lights please, just love and the sound of loving
The next day I returned to weigh the baby. Veronica was 8 lbs. 5 oz. and
peaceful. The couple was glowing with the joy of new parenthood and the
bliss of their first birth. Mother, father and baby intact- healthy and
pleased. And I, grateful for the opportunity to be a witness of birth in
liquid sound from a young couple doing what they know how to do well.
This is birth in the 21st century. It gives me tremendous hope and
satisfaction to know the potential of young couples to manifest their
birthing within the depth of their being, using their lovemaking energy to
birth their baby into their arms. What a blessing of sexuality for birthing
Marina Alzugaray, MS, LM, CNM, is an international midwifery consultant and
speaker with more than 30 years of experience in women's health care. She
received her Master of Science degree from the University of California, San
Francisco, where she focused her research on homebirths and birth positions
and related maternal-infant outcomes. Marina has facilitated sacred births
in homes, hospitals and birth centers. She now offers homebirths and
waterbirths in the Florida Keys, where she develops courses and facilitates
educational retreats as director of Comadres Institute. Marina is known as a
provider of holistic midwifery care; pioneer of water births; developer of
the American AquaNatal method, a prenatal water exercise program; and
producer of continuing education courses on sacred birthing, women's health
and care that empowers clients. She serves as regional representative to
Midwives' Alliance of North America (MANA).