Birth story: A Native American journey

Birth story: A Native American journey

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Niko Coyote Goodblood
(A boy)
Born Aug. 20, 2007, at 10:03 a.m.
8 pounds, 14 ounces and 20 inches
The proud parents: Jamie Star Dancing Huff and Tim Walking Bear Goodblood

Our first reaction upon hearing the news that we were pregnant was surprise, then fear. You see, Tim and I are 44 and 38, respectively, and already have three boys between us. We never thought we would have another child. Spirit had other plans.

How it all began

How do I tell the story of an event as amazing as the birth of a child, my child? Are there words to describe the wonder of it? Can I paint a picture so that your mind's eye can really see the beauty in the sight of a baby making its way down the birth canal and out into the world? Or the heartwarming sound of its first cry? Or the feeling of wholeness when a parent holds their child for the first time, gazing lovingly into one another's eyes? I think not, but I will do my best to share what I can of the day that has changed my life in so many beautiful and amazing ways. His father and I were given a great blessing on the day that Niko Coyote Goodblood joined our family.

As soon as the news set in, we felt the blessing we were being given and were excited. From the beginning, we and others felt this child would be special. His energy inside my womb was amazing. This is not to say that I believed I carried the next savior. What I have come to understand is that many special people are being born into the world at this time of change. He is just one of them. He is coming to be our teacher and guide. This we knew and looked forward to.

I refer to our child as "he" all through this writing. It is only in hindsight that we are able to do this. You see, he carries with him the medicine of coyote – one of the reasons for his middle name. In Native American stories, coyote is a trickster. From the time of conception, I had a "knowing" that I carried a female child. I had no doubts. Other intuitive people, including Tim, felt the same. The pendulum even said girl. I felt just as strongly the knowing with my other two children and was right both times. We were very surprised when he was born. We have come to believe that Niko is strongly in touch with his feminine side. This would account for the confusion.

This vision comes to me: In the Spirit world the Creator saw the need for one who would come to the world in this difficult time of great change, when the cycles were moving from one of focus on the physical, material, individualistic world to a more spiritual, sharing, community-based one. Spirit needed someone who was loving, nurturing, and intuitive. "I will go," came the voice of one who had already lived many lives and therefore had much wisdom to share.

"This is good. You are to be born into a family with parents who have these same qualities. You will guide one another as you all walk this Path together in the time of change. Bring the message that though it may seem that the world is ending, it is not. Not in the sense that people believe. Instead, it is a time of cleansing where the Earth and its people must go through the fire to be reborn, remade into something new. They need to see that this is an opportunity, not an ending. This you must help them understand."

"I will. Thank you."

With those words at the moment of conception, Niko joined us and became an integral part of our family before we were even aware that he was there.

The pregnancy went great. Aside from a little heartburn, I felt wonderful. I had forgotten what an amazing experience it is to be pregnant. It was so awe-inspiring to realize that as a woman, I carry the creative power of the universe. I hold within my body the ability of life-giver. What a gift! To get the opportunity to feel another being moving and growing inside of me is more special than I can describe. I often prayed: "Thank you, Great Spirit, for giving me this opportunity once again. Help me to be worthy and to always remember to listen to this child and honor him, knowing that he is a gift from You as are all children. Aho."

We spent the months before Niko's birth reading a lot of material on natural parenting and birth. We saw a midwife who taught us much of what we would need to know to birth at home. Through her we gained confidence in my body's ability to know what needed to be done. She explained how this knowledge is an ingrained, natural process. Only in recent years and in "civilized" countries is it believed that a woman needs doctors, medication, and a hospital to give birth. The "primitive" cultures know better. They see that it is a natural event, that women are born with the knowledge and ability to give birth.

Our original plan was to build a wigwam to be used as a birthing lodge. We did build it, but it never got used.

We were fortunate to have friends who followed the natural approach to both birth and parenting. Dylan and Elizabeth birthed both of their children at home unassisted. We learned from them firsthand about attachment parenting. This encompasses many of the techniques we had already decided to use including co-sleeping, baby-wearing, elimination communication, breastfeeding, and more. We also planned to use cloth diapers, not have the baby circumcised if it turned out to be a boy, delay vaccinations, and eventually homeschool (or unschool). Through our friends' loving guidance, we got to see firsthand what attachment parenting is all about.

As the time for the birth got closer, we spoke to our midwife about the possibility our child could be born at Burdock, an annual sustainable living gathering we planned to attend. It was to take place the week of his due date. She gave us the name of a midwife in that area, just in case. We received permission to deliver at Burdock, if it worked out that way. We also talked with three women who planned to be there and had experience with birth, through being educated as doulas, having their own children, or both. With their help, we felt confident to birth our child even without a midwife. Elizabeth was one of these women, along with her friend Michelle.

Though we built a lodge at Burdock and had everyone there, Niko had other ideas. It wasn't time yet for him to enter our world, our lives. So we returned home to rest and wait.

Dylan gave us a call the next day, asking if we wanted to stay at their place, about two hours from our home in Poland, Maine. They said they would be honored to assist us with the birth. So we repacked and headed to their home, knowing we would be in nurturing, loving hands. I could not think of any place I would feel more comfortable birthing our child than with the two of them.

We set up our tent in a field behind their house. In the evening we would sit and talk around the campfire. In the four days that followed, we enjoyed their company as well as our alone time with one another as we waited for the first signs of labor.

Michelle needed to assist with only one more birth to get her certificate as a doula. Since she was camped out there with her family for the summer, it worked out well for all of us. She would assist Elizabeth with the birth.


On Sunday Dylan and Tim decided to have a sweat lodge ceremony, hoping to call Niko forth from my womb. According to Elizabeth, that is how she went into labor with her daughter, Sky. As it turned out, their intuition was right on.

Though many people feel it is dangerous to go into a sauna or sweat during pregnancy, there is no threat as long as the mother listens to her body and that of the life within her. I took part in sweat lodge ceremonies throughout the pregnancy with no problems, leaving the lodge whenever I felt our temperatures were going to climb too high or we couldn't take the heat.

As we stood beside the fire in the waning sunlight, the energy shifted to excitement when I announced that my water had broken. They went into the lodge to finish the other half of the sweat, praying for an easy and uncomplicated birth and healthy child, while I walked around waiting for contractions to begin. My oldest child, Colton, soon arrived. He and I sat by the fire talking while everyone else went to rest before labor started.

What an amazing feeling to experience the pains of bringing a child into the world. I am by no means saying that I was strong about it or didn't do my share of wanting it to be over. I got whiny, and whimpered at times over the 12-hour labor. Yet, through it all, I loved the fact that I could sacrifice in this way. Through experiencing the pain, I could be the life-giver! In this society we are taught to be afraid of pain and to do whatever we can to rid ourselves of it. Instead, the key is to accept and integrate it. Tim likened it to the way sun dancers give of themselves and endure great physical pain to pray for their loved ones.

During those first contractions, it was just Colton and me. My firstborn son was such a strength to me as we began the journey into labor and delivery.

As the hours went by I felt exhausted and worried about the length of the labor. It had only taken a few hours with my other children. But Elizabeth and Michelle were very encouraging, always knowing what to say and when to have me switch to a better position, talk to the baby, or refocus by looking into Tim's eyes during a particularly hard contraction. They were our angels as we labored from about 10 p.m. until 10 a.m., when Niko was born.

I was so relieved when the urge to push came on. I began to bear down to help Niko down the birth canal and into our lives. It took longer than it should have for several reasons.

Once his head was out and Michelle checked him, she found the umbilical cord was around his neck. Inserting her finger to gently remove it, she almost cried: Niko took her finger in his little hand, which was resting on his shoulder.

That is what had made the labor so long. His arm was sticking up, slowing his descent. Once Michelle realized this, she was able to carefully help him take his hand out, followed by his arm and shoulder. Once that was done, one more push brought him entirely out and into our arms.

At the moment of his birth, I was squatting in Tim's arms. We realized later that Tim was standing over the altar to the lodge. What a blessed place to enter the world. (Because of this, Tim would later decide to bury Niko's placenta under the altar, making that place even more sacred to our son.)

During the labor and birth, coyotes were singing in the background – another reason we chose that as his middle name. The scene was beautiful. Niko came into the world immersed in the natural world, coyotes singing, moon bright in a clear sky, fire crackling in a field upon Mother Earth's breast!

After the delivery

We were laid out on blankets by the fire. Niko was put on my chest. As we waited for the placenta, Niko nursed for the first time. I saw what a gift it is to know that my body can give him the perfect food. We bonded as he nursed, joining me with the ancestral mothers of the past.

Tim was right there through the whole birth. He was such a strength for me, not to mention what a blessing it was for us to be able to birth our son together in this natural and beautiful way!

Though I was in and out of awareness during those long hours of labor, there was much going on around me. In addition to Elizabeth and Michelle, who were actively helping with the birth, there was also Dylan, who performed some shiatsu on me to relieve back pain and took pictures. Michelle's boyfriend, Matty, sent energy and took photos once Dylan left to tend to the children. By the time Niko was born, their children, four among them all, had come to join us. It was such a special blessing to have them all there to share the experience.

The delivered placenta was kept attached until it stopped pulsing, thereby giving Niko all of its healing qualities. I was advised to rub in some of the vernix, as it was so good for his skin and contained nutrients his body could use. Michelle and Elizabeth administered herbal tinctures and teas to strengthen me and speed my recovery.

Niko and I dozed on and off all day as people came to admire him and check on us. Over the next three days they cooked for the three of us, nurtured me with herbs and sitz baths, and checked Niko to make sure he was healthy and eating well. To say that our family was well nurtured and cared for would be an understatement.

That evening, my other son surprised us by showing up. We received another blessing by getting to watch Randy hold and welcome his new brother into the world.

It just goes to show that it is better that Spirit decides how and when our children are born. We had planned for two different possible births, one at home and the other at Burdock. But we never could have dreamed of it being the wonderful, amazing experience that it turned out to be for all of us.

Thank you, Great Spirit, for knowing better than us how to orchestrate the most blessed, perfect entrance into the world for our new son. We will do our best to honor You through recognizing the precious gift we have been given. We ask that You help us to remember to always see the gifts and lessons that Niko comes here to share and to do our best to guide his Path as he walks this journey called life.


Watch the video: My First Pregnency, Delivery And Labour Story. Child Birth Story. Indian Vlogger Mahika (July 2022).


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