Ecstasy and Loss: A Birth Story

Trigger warning: this story includes stillbirth. If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced stillbirth and need additional support or resources, please visit

I became a mother 33 years ago, with the beautiful homebirth of my daughter, 4 years later I gave birth to twins at home again with 2 incredible midwives. During labour I recall a moment of fully surrendering to the power in my body and allowing the dance of birth to fully play out, as my son, my firstborn twin, began emerging from my body. In those moments of full surrender I experienced an exhilarating orgasm that reached to my fingertips, my body felt so aroused and electrified – it was a defining moment for me. I wanted to soak for ages in that bubble of sensuality and bliss, in that raw moment of humanity of giving birth to feel so amazing and full of pure pleasure was just incredible. It wasn’t too long before I felt the waves of contractions coming as I needed to birth my next baby, unfortunately as time revealed my second twin, my daughter, was stillborn. I was in no-mans-land, how do you process this, how do you hold a baby that is not alive, what do you say?

What do you do? So, so many questions! I have pondered many times about telling my story, how can I tell someone that I experienced an orgasm with childbirth, like, who does that? And who wants to hear about a stillborn baby? But I cannot tell one story without the other, as its part of the whole experience for me and for too long I had suppressed sharing these birth experiences with anyone.

For many years I have wanted to tell my story to someone who would totally understand and “get it” and finally I knew that person was Debra Pascali-Bonaro. When I shared my birth stories with Debra in Bali, I have never felt so validated and heard before, it was such a beautiful moment to share together and will remain very special to me forever. Debra affirmed my experience, with celebration, gentleness and so much love and understanding, and it was such a pleasure to feel that I could honour the truth of what happened in those raw, pleasurable, heartbreaking, and desperately sad moments in my life.

Women need to talk, we need to tell our birth stories – about our pleasure, about our pain and loss, we are vessels of wisdom, comfort and understanding – storytelling helps other women feel ok and gives them silent permission to tell their experience – the rawness and vulnerability in the beauty of birth is real and talking about it is validating and healing, all wrapped up together.

For help and resources visit

Claire Wyborn, LCCE, Birth & Postnatal Doula

Claire is a Melbourne Childbirth Educator and the Co-Owner of Childbirth Education Australia.

She is a qualified and active Doula, constantly expanding her knowledge and understanding of birth, with different skills and workshops related to women, pregnancy and birth. She is also a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, which has provided her with an incredible resource of information and access to evidence-based research that is often hard to find amongst all the material “out there” related to pregnancy and birth.

Her own births included 2 incredible homebirths, sadly, a stillborn, and by choice an elective cesarean. She knows pregnancy, labour and birth comes with many mixed emotions, and it is her goal to help normalise this experience, and support families to make the best decisions surrounding their care and birth options.

Learn more about Claire