Hi, I'm Krystal.
I'm the mother of five awesome children. I'm a writer, freethinker and insatiable learner. I'm also a professional artist specializing in henna and pregnancy art. I've been deeply interested in all aspects of holistic and natural living for many years. I've lived in Central Texas for my whole life, the last six years of it with my True Love.
Each of my children's births have taught me very profound things about birth, life, respect, choices, and of course--empowerment (or a lack thereof). My experiences have given rise to a deep passion for empowering other women, to awaken them to their own innate potential for joy, personal power, and trust in themSelves.
My first birth took place when I was only 18, scared of just about everything, and feeling immense fear. I didn't know the first thing about babies, birth, or even my own body--but I knew I didn't want to have anything done to me that wasn't necessary. That single-minded objection led me to find a stand-alone birth center with midwives. I had a peaceful, gentle birth amidst friends and family. After that, I felt grateful and lucky--but not exactly empowered. I had only built a new construct of fear around my ideas of birth. I knew it didn't have to happen with drugs and doctors, but I still had a lot of "mental baggage" about how my body worked, and what was or was not possible.
My second birth was, reluctantly, a hospital birth. I had another drug-free, "normal" birth (whatever "normal" is defined as), but there were parts of the experience that left me with some regrets--even though I had another healthy baby, and by all outward appearances I had had a good birth. There is a taboo in our culture, against women speaking out about their feelings in situations like these. I "should" feel lucky, or grateful; I "shouldn't" complain; I "shouldn't" feel this or that way... I pushed my feelings aside and focused on the culturally appropriate gratitude I was supposed to be feeling instead...but a seed of discontent had been planted.
Almost five years later, I was pregnant again--and I KNEW I wanted a homebirth. However, there were no midwives available to me at the time. Desperate but driven, I started researching unassisted birth. This concept gave me more hope than a typical hospital birth did, and so I prepared for UC, both emotionally and practically speaking. At the last moment, full of fear, stress, and what I later easily recognized as transition-labor, I ended up going to the hospital. That experience was one of the worst, yet most defining, of my life thus far. I suffered both emotional and physical abuse at the hands of medical "professionals" who were supposed to be "helping" me. Yet I had had a "natural birth"! Shouldn't I feel glad? The hospital staff treated me as if I should have felt grateful to them for "saving me" from my homebirth plans. I left that hospital a broken, wounded, profoundly-damaged human being.
I wanted to put that birth experience behind me. I didn't talk about it. I tried to distance myself from what had happened, even though it would all come rushing back to me in excruciating detail when I'd let myself stop and consider it.
When I found myself expecting number four, I was excited, because this was my chance to finally have "the perfect birth" (whatever that means!). This time, I knew I would have a homebirth, and I did. I had a great birth, an easy recovery time, and a perfect healthy baby--again! But I still carried scars from the past. The trauma of my last birth shadowed over me, in the depths of my mind. Even though I couldn't change what had happened before, and I'd just had a perfectly lovely birth that I hoped would "displace" that memory.
Finally, I discovered that I was expecting one more time--a fifth baby! I searched my heart and mind, and decided that this final birth experience could be an opportunity to regain trust in mySelf--my body, mind and spirit. Trust--that I had wrenched away from me during my 3rd birth. I knew I had to do a lot of inner work in order to prepare for this last birth experience, if it was to be everything wonderful and healing, like I knew birth could be. I realized that I had to write down the story of my 3rd birth. I needed to relive it in order to release it--and grow from it. Pain, uncertainty and fear crept up on me again and again as this pregnancy went on--and I addressed it bit by uncomfortable bit. I faced my fears instead of fueling them, and I owned my pain--really stepped in and experienced it fully. My fifth birth proved to be exactly the healing salve that my consciousness so deeply needed.
I am so full of gratitude for all of my birth experiences--yes, especially my 3rd one. Negative aspects of anything are necessary and helpful, because they throw contrast on the positive aspects. I have learned so, so much about mothering, birthing, choices, trust and fear in the years since I was a teenage, first-time mother, and I am continually in awe of the transformative, inspiring power that birth has awakened within me.
Empower birth, empower yourSelf!
You can learn even more about me, and also read my birth stories, at my personal blog, Aiming Toward Joy!