April 22, 2008 10:47 AM

Motherhood seems to open the door to a secret society, and celebrity mothers are no exception. Singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco shared that she felt the shift in how the world sees her and her relation to other parents with the start of her pregnancy with daughter Petah Lucia, now 15 months.

Being a mom seems to have changed the way the world sees me more than the other way around. Being pregnant really shifts your relationship to society, and then walking around with a baby shifts it again.

I love the feeling that I get from other parents — women in particular — of being a part of the club. Club Sacrifice, you might call it. It’s cool to have camaraderie, warmth, and openness with strangers. I wish that dynamic was more prevalent in general, but I am grateful to have it now.

Having chosen a homebirth for the arrival of Petah in January 2007, Ani discussed her experience. She previously said that she believes birth is "the epicenter of a woman’s power;" here, Ani, 37, expounded on her statements and delved deeper into an explanation of her beliefs.

I was in labor for 43 hours. Pushed for five hours. It was brutal andscary and prolonged, and if I was in a hospital, they would havedefinitely cut the baby out of me. I thank the goddesses that I was athome with patient midwives who knew how to go the distance. The memoryof pain always recedes. The memory of triumph does not.

Click below for more on Ani’s homebirth experience and her thoughts on ‘performance anxiety.’

I would definitely choose a homebirth again despite the fear mongeringof this patriarchal society, which convinces women that they areincapable of having babies without the intervention of men and theirmachines. I look at societies where women are marginalized andoppressed their whole lives (even covered head to toe in tarps!) butare still in control of birthing practice, in a whole new way now. Imean, who is really more advanced?

To take birthing out of women’s hands and deny us the continuum ofeons of wisdom and experience is to eject us from the very seat of ourpower. I believe that women in hospitals are prevented from being ableto have normal, healthy birthing experiences because of theintimidation of being on the clock, being pressured to take drugs tomake it quicker, being inhibited in their movement and activities, andalienated by a sterile, fluorescent lit, feet-in-the-air typeenvironment.

You know the classic “performance anxiety” of not being able to peeor poo because somebody’s watching you? Multiply that by a million! Acervix is a sphincter after all!

Then to add tragic insult to injury women are numbed through theirgreat moment of revelation. I believe the act of giving birth to be thesingle most miraculous thing a human being can do and it is surely themoment when a lot of women finally understand the depth of their powerand connection to all of nature. You think it can’t possibly be done,you think you can’t possibly take the pain, and then you do — andafterward you look at yourself in a whole new way. If you can do that,you can do anything.

Check out the books on this subject by Ina MayGaskin. She’s one of my great heroes.

Source: Venus Zine

Thanks to CBB reader Stacy.

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