Some years ago, I came across this picture on the internet. My fascination with water-birth in the ocean was growing, and there was much talk in the birthing community whether water-birth was safe after all. So I printed the photo and put it in a frame on the wall. The woman on the picture radiates such serenity and seems to be totally present in the moment of deep contact with the newborn baby, who has an extraordinary energy expressed on the face. It certainly took water-birth way beyond birthing in a pool at home.
A couple of years later in 2010 I was invited to speak at the Midwifery Today conference in Moscow. I was excited to go, looking forward to meeting some of the pioneers of water-birth. The talks, the personal stories and films stretched my mind into a new and larger perspective, and opened my understanding of water-birth.
Coming out from the room for a break after an intense presentation, my eyes catch this fantastic exhibition of birth pictures, that appeared on the wall. To my amazement I see the photo I had downloaded amongst other photos from the same ocean birth. I went to the beautiful woman who is presenting the pictures asking her, who is on the photos. ”It is me”, she says. So I tell her how I came across her photo, which was now hanging on my wall. We talked, and she gave me the book with all the photos from the exhibition including ‘my’ photo. The book is called ”From Moscow to Goa” and tells the journey and story of Natalia giving birth to Anna. I am so happy to have met this very special woman face to face. One of the apparent coincidences life is so full of.
In the process of finding photos, when we were working on our new website, the idea turned up to ask Natalia if she would give us permission to use her photo on the front page.
To our great delight she kindly agreed to have her photo on our site. Thank you, Natalia, Alexey and Anna with much love from Marta
The photographer is Alexey Sargunas. The photo shows Anna Sargunas and Natalia Kotlar. Anna was born in the Indian Ocean in May 2007. Agonda village GOA.
Natalia Kotlar lives and works in Moscow. She heads the Center for Parental Culture “Our Stork”. Natalia has 5 children and two granddaughters who were all born in water.