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  • Writer's pictureclairemariemiller1

Erin & Emerson: A Birth at Nurturing the Mother®

Erin emailed me in August of 2009 to say she would be my demo for my upcoming Nurturing the Mother® Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage workshop in Madison, Wisconsin in February of 2010. My long-time professional association, AMTA, had invited me back to teach again. I was honored. The first workshop I taught for them was Integrative Reflexology® in June of 2008. It brought a big smile to my face that Erin was claiming her place as my demo so far out from the workshop date. I told her, “Absolutely! You are my pregnancy massage demo.”  

Heading up to Wisconsin in February might not sound like fun. For my husband, Sun, and I, it was an opportunity to enjoy one of our passions - cross-country skiing. We met through cross-country skiing and we both loved the opportunity to ski whenever we could. That winter, Sun was taking a workshop with Will Allen of Growing Power in Milwaukee at the same time I was teaching at the AMTA conference in Madison. We were booked at a B&B in Wausau so we could ski after our classes. The winter 2010 Olympics was in Vancouver and British Columbia that year. This was going to be an epic trip of all our favorites - skiing during the day and watching the Olympics at night. 

The Wisconsin AMTA conference had packed attendance. Erin was also attending the class, and came up to me and reminded me of my commitment to give her a pregnancy massage. She told me that she told her baby she could not come until she got her massage from Claire. Talk about feeling honored! Erin’s due date was close and baby had cooperated and waited.  

There was so much fun at this gathering. On the first day, I gave Erin what I hoped was one of my best pregnancy massages. Day two of the workshop was when all the pregnant moms come in and get a practice massage from the therapists who are in the training. Erin came up and asked, “I am one of the practice ones too?”  

“Of course you are,” I told her. I had not really thought about it.

So, on day two, Erin got another massage. Later in the day, I was demonstrating the labor massage. Again, Erin was a willing demo. With her permission, I worked all the labor stimulation areas and points.  

The evening meal was with the AMTA officers and the instructors who were invited to teach at the conference. Erin was an AMTA officer, so she was there with us. Everyone chatted and enjoyed the meal, except Erin. I was noticing the changes in her facial muscles and wondered if she was having contractions. On the way out of the dinner, I caught up with her and asked how she was doing. She said, "I feel like someone is dancing on my cervix”. I commented that labor may be beginning. 

It seemed all those massages were well-timed. 

The plans were made, the daddy was called in, and we parted to head back to our rooms. I told Erin, if she needed me, to call me in the night.  We were all staying at the hotel where the conference was being held. At about 6:00 AM, I got the call to come to Erin’s room. She was pacing, contractions were getting closer. Some back massage, some labor dancing, some words of encouragement, and by 8:00 AM, Erin and her hubby were off to the birth center. Luckily, it was only a short distance away.  

After they left I went back to Day 3 of the class, focusing as best I could on postpartum massage. The call came in at noon. Erin had naturally birthed a girl, Emerson. The cheers shook the halls of the hotel! What a gift to be part of this really fun birth story. Dramas that we see or hear surrounding birth may be replaced with natural, supportive, and community-centered births. Emerson was an AMTA community birth.

Today, February 22, is Emerson's 14th birthday!

Happy Birthday Emerson!

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