I am sitting here with a heart full of gratitude for the amazing friendships I have in my life. I have always been rich in the quality of people I have around me. The other greatest joy in my life is my children. My niece Tallula, and my kids are much older now than in these photos, but the rainbow over our barn basically says it all. I am blessed.
Since I shared my son’s auspicious 9-11 birth, giving us all hope in the darkest hours, I figure I will talk about my daughter today. I think I was able to give birth naturally because I never doubted that I couldn’t. As a pre-natal yoga instructor, it was my job to teach woman to prepare their minds and bodies for the birthing experience. But nothing in life prepares a woman for that kind of pain. Well, actually for those of us with bad menstrual cramps we get a bit of a warm up for the marathon. But even then, the comparison is like the difference of shitting a plum to shitting out a watermelon.
There are as many birth stories as there are women. And I honestly have no judgement on women according to their pain threshold or their decision to take drugs during labour. I do however, have a lot of grief over the system that our culture supports and allows to happen. Fear is such a powerful force, and many women have been brain washed, or are too afraid to speak up and say that their opinion and choices are more important than their doctors. Although there are MANY wonderful doulas, midwives, nurses, OBGYNs, this is a male dominated system. I mean the actual system is male, the environment of a sterile, bright hospital room, often with strangers coming and going. Each of us deserves to be surrounded by whatever we find nurturing. Many birthing centers and birthing wards have progressed, but there is so much work yet to be done I think.
I considered becoming a doula myself because I feel passionately that one of the greatest losses of our culture is how we are brought into this world. I have seen people in my years of going to spiritual workshops, get healed from a lifetime of insecurity just from how they were brought in, especially those who were pulled out by forceps. Imagine how hard that must be to be floating around in pure contentment and comfort of the mother’s womb and heart beat, and then have cold metal forces clamp your skull and tug you out into a completely alternate reality.
I believe that when we are carrying life within us, a new consciousness inside of our bodies, growing every day, that we are more tapped into the spiritual realm. Just ask a pregnant woman about her dreams.
I chose to have my second child at home. My husband was still commuting all the way form NYC to where we live in upstate New York. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning, called my doula when my contractions were close together which was almost immediately. Sati was born by 7:30 a.m. and Daryl was on still on a bus on his way to us. We were all washed up and ready to be cooed over when he walked in. In some ways it was perfect. As deep as I had to go to find my strength with Kai, the only thing that kept distracting me was the completely helpless look on my husband’s face. I was worried about Him worrying too much about me.
It is important to communicate with everyone who will be involved in your birth and then be ready to throw out all expectations and plans out the door.
Here is the advice I gave to two of my friends. My friend Mimi asked that all of her friends write down a birth blessing for her son and another friend Sunrise who I was closer to at the time asked me if I had any advice I could give her about her friend’s labour that she would attend.
for Mimi and Matthew:
may the Great Mystery that I call God, that I call Creator, and who I refer to as the Goddess…May this Great Spirit of Love and Compassion cradle you in all of your days. May you open your hearts that you too may speak to her and ask her for strength on the day of your labour. I know you. I know that you are the type of people that want peace on Earth. Here you have your opportunity to bring your child into the world in peace. And you do that for love. May you go into that pain, and yes labour is very painful, and know it’s nooks and crannies. It’s light and it’s dark. For you will never forget the day your child is born into this world. One small sacrifice for your child. Mimi, the growth you experience from this is profound in so many ways.
If the pain does become unbearable and things don’t go according to your vision of a gentle labour, you have to be willing to give this up. Sometimes as mothers, we have to choose our own welfare to protect our children and this will make sense to you in the future. You have to be willing to give yourself that same loving compassion and forgive yourself if ultimately you can not bear the pain.
There is a chance that labour will over take you. But I know how strong you are and how supportive Matthew is. So, in my heart, I believe that everything will be as it should for all of you. And in the end, as important as the labour part is.. in some ways it doesn’t matter. For it is the end result that is the most important. You will very soon be holding in your arms new life. You will both find as parents new wells of love that you never knew even existed. Even people such as yourselves who love so whole heartedly.
I call upon God to bless you. Look at me here now and see my friends the beautiful couple. Bless them and look over their well-being.
I usually keep this kind of thing under wraps. Although I am getting more comfortable with myself the older I get, and so better at allowing my freak flag to fly high.
It sounds weird, but I hear this voice, well, it is a voice in my head, but it clear and it seems to come from somewhere outside of myself, or possibly it is from the deepest inner regions of my more pure mind. It is usually when I am either mowing or gardening that I hear it.
Anyway, I was out in the garden just now and it wanted me to remind you to tell your friend not to be afraid to speak to her babies while they are in utero and being totally honest with them.
the conversation I heard to them went something like this
“I can’t imagine the world from which you come..the deep and pure soul that is housed in your tiny body which I have been so blessed to carry inside of me. This world on Earth is beautiful as well, but this human kind that you are becoming sometimes operate form a place of fear. You don’t have to learn about that for a long time, but it does exist here. And that is why you will be coming into this world, the way you will. I have my own fears about this, because all I want is for your good health. Our society which you will soon become to know, sometimes uses certain medicines that aren’t the nest for us, but this is how we live. Hopefully, things will be different for you when you grow up and have children of your own.
I don’t want you to sense my fear, and I will try my best to be brave. We will be together in a new way very soon and you know that I love you ,Daddy loves you, Grandma and Grandpa, and all of your family waiting to meet you, love you already.”
So for what it is worth, you don’t have to share this with your friend, or do anything with it, but it is out there, and the babies know and understand….
Sunny told me that the birth went well and I ended up getting shout out in the birth video. But I hope all mothers to be will inspired to allow their LOVE to overtake their Fear and go into the pain of natural childbirth if they can, and forgive themselves if they can’t. And as a metaphor for birthing dream as well, let us step out of fear and into love.