Sojourn Magazine, Fall 1999, Volume 3, Issue 4 

Spiritual Midwifery 
an Interview with Cindy Carmichael
Cindy Carmichael, photo provided
Years ago, in my early twenties, I attended Lamaze classes in Washington State with a friend and her husband and supported her through the birth of their third child. I was so amazed by the process that when the baby was born, my mouth just hung wide open. My focus was still physical. I wasn't yet aware of the spiritual dimensions of birth. 

Meetings with God 
While still in Washington, I met Shirley MacLaine. My dad was doing an appraisal on her house, and I went with him. She had recently written Out On A Limb, and was telling me about it. She said, "This book is really wild." I said, "I'll have to get it," and she gave me a copy to read. In the book, she talked about an out-of-body experience she had in Peru. It sounded like something I'd like to do. 
   Months later, I found myself really unhappy in Washington. I knew I was working toward something, but I didn't know what. I tried a few metaphysical paths, but they weren't fitting me. One night I thought, "I'm going to try to have an out-of-body experience." I lay there on my bed and focused all my energy and attention on the middle of my head. I thought I would pop out of my head, but all I did was create an incredible headache! I did this three times. I focused so hard. I tried, and tried, and tried, but nothing happened. By the third time, my head was hurting so much that I said, "Oh, God, forget it." 
   Then suddenly, with my eyes closed, this gold light came. It was so incredibly beautiful. It spoke to me and said, "Hi, Cindy." I said, "Hi, who are you? You're so beautiful! Are you God?" And it said, "Yes, I'm God." I said, "Can I touch you?" God said, "Yes." I reached out and put my arm into the gold light. This was with my eyes closed. Later, I realized I was having my out-of-body experience and didn't even recognize it. I was touching the light. My arm was in it. Then everything just melted, and this incredible peace filled me. I asked, "Can I come all the way in?" God said, "Sure, come on in." So I stepped right into the gold light. Peace filled my whole body--my physical body and my spiritual body at the same time. I asked, "Is it okay if I sleep here tonight?" The light, God, said, "Sure." I curled up in a ball and went to the outermost edge of the gold. I was thinking, "I don't want to disturb God. I'm just gonna take this corner over here." So I went to sleep and had a most restful sleep. 
   I couldn't wait to go back to sleep the next night because I wanted to see if God would come again. God did come, for three nights in a row. When I woke up on the third morning, I heard a voice in my head that said, "You can change everything and move to California." I said, "Okay, I'll do it." Then everything just fell into place--boom, boom, boom. I just did it. 
   I went to Sacramento looking for a place to live, and landed in a town called Carmichael. There I met a woman who'd had a few readings at the Berkeley Psychic Institute. One day I told her, "I'm kind of interested in this." I ended up studying there. I learned that everybody has psychic abilities and that I could strengthen and develop mine. 

Spiritual Pioneers 
   When I finished the clairvoyance training, I entered a spiritual midwife program through the Aesclepion Healing Center at the Marin Birth Center. The Birth Center's slogan was "birthing spirit and body together." We aided parents in connecting with their child's spirit, and in bonding during the pregnancy. We also did hands-on healing and counseling. Then, when we attended the birth, we connected with the spirit of the child. 
   When you attend a birth, your own birth memories are stimulated. Therefore, in our training, we also worked to clear out our own past traumas. Getting to know oneself is essential to becoming an effective spiritual midwife. 
   The group of women who pioneered this program belonged to the Church of Divine Man, which is part of the Berkeley Psychic Institute. They felt it is natural to greet the being as it's coming into the body. In the beginning I was scared because I didn't know what to do. But I did it for five years, and I loved getting up in the middle of the night to attend births. I was doing court reporting at the same time, and anytime I had a conflict between attending a birth or taking a job, it always worked out. At the Birth Center, the regular midwives felt that our work--meditating, and focusing on the spiritual realm, and clearing out any negative energy that came--made it safe for them to do their work. 
   Some of the parents didn't want our services, but others chose the Birth Center because of them. Some moms wanted communication during labor about what we were seeing. Others didn't want any communication, just support and to hear about it afterwards. Some didn't have any idea what we were doing, but they didn't mind us being present. For the majority of births to which we were invited, two or sometimes three spiritual midwives would attend. We also went to lots of hospital births. 
   Once, in the Stanford Hospital, three or four of us were in the room while a woman was in labor. The energy was so noticeably different that the nurse walked in several times and said, "What are you guys doing in here? Whatever it is, you need to market this." Once a pediatrician came in and said, "Whatever you're doing, we could use you down the hall." They were going from room to room. After being in a room that was hectic and chaotic, they'd come into our wonderful space. They could tell the difference, and it was fun for us to get the feedback. 
   We followed the birth all the way, from the moment the mother went into labor. We had a great system. One person was assigned as the "birth buddy." She would call the mom and talk with her once a week throughout the pregnancy. She was the one closest to the mom. Another person would be a "mama." She would stay home and do phone calling to make sure we had all the shifts covered. She would also watch the energy from a distance. As a group, the spiritual midwives would set a goal for each birth. We would check in on the birth energy around each of the pregnant moms, and ground her birthing space with a lot of energy work. 
   We had a class every Friday night, which I taught for two years. Our pink book contained the names of the women who were going to be delivering. We would say a little bit about each person; then whoever felt the most resonance with them would be the birth buddy. We would meditate, look at the energy and find a color focus so we would all be in synch. Much of our work was done months before the actual birth. We also set an overall goal. For example, if the energy was too serious or somber, we might set lightness or amusement as a goal. Other times we'd ask to get more in touch with our female creative essence. There are a lot of different ways to work with spirit, and of course we worked with the tools we had. Although we didn't consciously bring angels in, they were always present, singing. We could see and hear them, some more than others. Now that I've worked with a lot of angels, I focus on them more. 

Judgments and Traumas 
During one birth, there was classical music playing, candles lit, and the whole atmosphere was beautiful. I was sitting in the birthroom meditating and talking to the baby, saying, "Oh, how wonderful, you're so nice." I was speaking to him using these fluffy words, and he yelled at me. I heard him clearly! He said, "Do not talk to me that way." I was taken aback. I said, "What?" He said, "I am not that fluffy image you're talking to me through." He was a go-getter type. You know, one of those kids who can really control their parents. He showed me what he was like. I had never had this type of experience before, but I said, "Okay." Then he told me to leave because I wasn't neutral to him. I was in too much judgment. I was thinking, "What do you mean? How can you be like that?" I got up and walked out to the front room--really quite confused about this. He told me that until I became neutral to how he was, he didn't want me in the room. I ended up going to sleep on the couch. I later woke up, feeling a shift in the energy. Another spiritual midwife came out and said, "She's just about ready to push, do you want to come in?" I said, "All right." I could tell I had gotten over a bit of my judgment. 
     Earlier that day, I had been swimming and tried to hold my breath from one end of the pool to the other. Half way through I popped out of the water because I couldn't hold my breath anymore. I repeated this about five times before I realized I had a past life where I drowned. I thought, "That's nice, I'll just forget about that!" Then I was called to go to this birth. But I hadn't cleared that memory. 
   When I woke up and went into the birth room, I asked the baby, "Is it okay if I come in?" He said, "Yes." I went in the room and the mom was squatting to push the baby out. The baby's heart rate was dropping, and the nurse started to panic. She told the mom, "You have got to get this baby out now." The mother pushed the baby out, but I could tell immediately that something wasn't right. He was all floppy and couldn't anchor into his body. I told the other spiritual midwife to call John Fulton, a bishop in the church, and ask him to look at the situation from a distance. John is very psychic. Meanwhile, they grabbed the oxygen machine and brought it over. The nurses were working on the baby boy, but he was not responding. 
   I sat down, started meditating and clairvoyantly saw what was going on. The next thing I knew, I was in a space of oblivion. Things were very weird, and I was so far out I didn't know where I was. Then Dawn, another spiritual midwife, came in. John had told her that this baby had drowned in a past life, and that every time he tried to anchor in his body, he thought he was dying. That brought me back to my drowning vision from earlier in the day. My experience matched his drowning experience, which had a lot of charge on it, and I forgot what I was doing. 
   Dawn and I immediately sat down, went into his third chakra and pulled out the baby's trauma. The nurses were still working on him. Suddenly the trauma picture left. He hooked into his body through the third chakra, and simultaneously spit up the liquid from his lungs. He was fine. Later, when his dad was holding him, he asked, "Do you guys want to see him?" As I looked at him, his eyes were open wide and he said, "Thank you!" It was very clear. It ran right through my body. I said, "Well, you're welcome." It is so awesome how babies can talk to you through their eyes. The look they give you is the greatest reward. That particular birth was intense for me, but was so wonderful in the end. 
   One mother was triggered by a past life in which she had died in childbirth, and she knew it. I was holding her leg, and she was pushing hard. She was screaming bloody murder. I looked right into her eyes, and she looked into mine. Knowing what was going on, I held the focus with her: "You can do this." And she did. Afterwards, she told me that the feeling of dying was so strong that she thought she was actually going to die. 
   Together, we held the intention that she would make it no matter what. And that's what she did. She blew right through the death picture, and afterwards her energy changed. She was an electrician with a very male energy, but after her baby was born, her energy was so motherly, so female. She was ecstatic to be a mom. She would walk into the Birth Center and just glow. 

Mother Mary 
At another birth, I walked in at the point where the mom was pushing. She was using a special method of breathing that she had learned in Breema bodywork. I'd never seen anybody look so peaceful. She was sitting up on some birth cushions, and the whole energy in the room was so peaceful that I just sat there and cried. 
   A week later, at the postpartum checkup, I happened to be at the Birth Center. My friend Elizabeth Carol was holding the baby. She has a strong connection with Mother Mary. My cheap little Vivitar camera was loaded and in my car. I had never taken any pictures My friend Elizabeth Carol was holding the baby. She has a strong connection with Mother Mary.the whole time I had been a spiritual midwife, but a voice in my head said, "Go get your camera." I went and grabbed it, and took several pictures of Elizabeth Carol holding the baby. It took me a full year to get that film developed. It sat on my counter until I finally looked at the roll one day and said, "I wonder what's on this." 
   When I got the pictures back, I said,"Oh, my God. Now doesn't this just fit?" My dad, who is Catholic and really into Mother Mary, saw the image and said, "Oh, my God!" The picture shows Elizabeth Carol sitting on the couch holding the baby, and Mary's energy is behind her--pink-orange with some blue in it. It looks like a statue of Mary wearing a cloak, with her head slightly tilted down looking at the child. You can't see her face, but you can see the shape of the cloak, the head and the shoulders in outline. 

A Double Blessing 
I'd like to share one more story. I was at the Birth Center and was feeling very stimulated by a problem I had been having with a particular member of the church. Every time 
he walked in the room, my body would go into fear mode. I don't know if this was due to a problem with male authority, but this guy would just look at me and put me into my stuff. I was in this dark interior space, thinking I was the worst person on the planet. I was sitting on the couch outside the birth room, meditating and crying. 
   I didn't know the mom, who was a Mexican woman, but her family members were sitting with me in the waiting area. As I was meditating, a bright green being came into my view. I could see her clearly--a bright green light with a feminine tone. She said, "Cindy, I'm just about ready to be born; can you move that black energy out of the way?" I said, "What?" She said, "I'm just about ready to be born. Can you move that energy out of the way? I don't want to come through that. I have a female body and that energy will harm me." I said, "Okay." So, I started to move the black energy out, though at the same time questioning the whole thing. 
   I could hear other beings saying, "This is her karma. She has got to deal with this." This concerned me, so I said, "Wait a second. What is it about your karma that I'm interfering with?" She said, "Trust yourself. This is not my karma. I have a female body. This energy is going to hurt. Look what it did to you." I started bringing in gold light, but the beings started talking to me again. They were telling me not to do it. I told her, "I'm not going to do this, because I don't want to interfere. I don't want to take on any karma. What I'll do is I'll just watch God do it." That was okay with her, so I said, "Okay, God, do your stuff." 
   The gold light came in, and the darkness couldn't penetrate it. It couldn't even be near it. I could hear the mom pushing in the birthroom. I watched as the green light merged into the gold, traveling down the gold, and pretty soon the baby was born. I thought, "I wonder if it's a girl." She had so firmly told me she was a girl. Just then the midwife came out with the baby and said, "It's a girl." The parents named her Esmerelda, which means emerald green. I thought, "That's beautiful, because that's the color she is." Her energy was bright emerald green, which is a healing color. 
   Awhile later, the midwife handed the baby to Kim, another spiritual midwife. After holding the baby a while, she said, "Here, Cindy, you hold her." I could still feel that dark energy on my left side, and I thought, "I want to hold her, but I'll make her cry." She said, "No, you won't! Hold her." I reached for the baby and she started to cry, but then she plugged my heart with that golden energy. She ran it through my whole body--the same energy she was born in. She was melting me. Another spiritual midwife wanted to hold her, but I said, "No way, not until this kid's done giving me this healing! This is the most incredible one I've ever had." Kim said, "She's healing your heart." We were all psychic, so we gave ourselves permission to say things like that. It was quite profound, and I thank Esmerelda for showing me the light when I was in the dark! 

Just Do It 
I want to teach and create a birth-support team to continue this work. When I was doing a meditation a year ago or so, I kept hearing, "birth, birth, birth, birth." I said, "All right, if I do this birth thing, I want to know whom I'm working with." All at once, that gold energy came in--in the form of all these women. They had on long robes and gold bands around their foreheads. Pools of water were everywhere, and Greek temples. Some of the women were familiar to me. The energy was so high that I jumped off the couch and said, "okay, okay, okay." They said, "We want to help you." One said, "We've been waiting for you to make the commitment. When you make the commitment, it will unfold." 
    I replied, "Okay, but I'm not going to do this on my own." All these angels came, and they said, "We support you. Just keep going. The way will unfold . . ." 

Cindy Carmichael spent five years training and volunteering as a spiritual midwife at the Marin Birth Center. Her passion is in celebrating and welcoming spirits as they make the journey through birth. She is currently coordinating a spiritual midwife class in Sonoma County. You may contact her at 253-761-2851 or email if you're interested in the spiritual nature of birth! 

 Butterfly Woman  ~  Cover Artist: Flory Chowe  ~  From the Editor  
Rivers of Time  ~  Spiritual Midwifery 

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