It was fear that appeared in the window of my pregnancy test. Those two little lines represented the parallel that my life was running at that moment. In an instant I saw all of my hopes and dreams dashed and a new path carved out before me. I sat in the public toilets in Byron Bay and choked down the tears and looming responsibility that those two lines threatened me with and then I pulled up my big girl panties and I ran as fast as I could. I ran all the way to a grassy little hill and cried until I couldn't cry anymore. I closed my wet eyes, took a deep breath and placed my hands to my belly. Hello you......and then I was really in trouble. Fear was replaced by an ancient love. I already knew this little speck of shared reproductive juices. Her imprint had been lying within me since my beginning. It was if she had been echoing in my bones this whole time and like a powerful mantra,, had manifested itself into life. This manifestation came from the vibration of years of daydreaming, reckless love making and perhaps a little destiny. She was now submerged in her own watery universe, dividing, multiplying and changing. We were both changing. She into her physical form and I into a mother. My old self was slowly dying and I could hear the chain rattle in my inhales and exhales as I somewhat clung to my former life. But, I was excited about the birth of a new me.
Over the next few months my belly swelled, as did my day dreaming with my daughter. I would smooth my hand over my full moon round stomach and imagine I was caressing her sweet little head. I ached to just kiss those tiny toes that wriggled under my rib cage and prodded me awake in the depth of the night reminding me of her presence. Pregnancy is like one big acid trip. You float between moments of absolute euphoria, seeing colors, nature and people with new eyes and cosmic connection, then without warning you can be thrust into facing some deep dark skeletons which you have to deal with in order to melt back into a sublime state. There is nothing like pregnancy to hash up all those suppressed emotions and memories and to be made to shed them like an old skin before birthing a new one. And if you don't deal with your stuff during the generous nine months you are given then be sure it'll well up in birth and beyond.
During my labor with my daughter I had all sorts of denied emotions come up. It was like the more my hips and cervix expanded the more my embedded emotional dust got disturbed. Perhaps that why I opted out of my home birth and opted in for a spinal block. Numb the pain, oh god numb the pain. Numb the feelings, just numb everything. Yes said the doctors and yes says society. Suppress, deny, do not grieve, do not see the death of self as a rite of passage into birthing a strong grounded mother. I flipped the bird at vein chilling sedatives and detachment with the birth of my son. I stood bearing into the floor with bare feet and calling upon the millions of woman who had birthed before me, my birthing ancestors, to send their love and strength my way. Every contraction was met with a deep spiraling inside of myself. I can still see the place in my mind I went too. It was far far away, a small place that was filled with light and a glowing orange within its center. It was only in this place that I could handle the intense energy of my labor. Although I had wanted my husband to be my main form of support it was my mother holding me that felt most right. Draping into her arms and giving over the energy of my contractions to a seasoned birther and the woman who gave me the gift of life was one of the most poignant moments in my existence. It was like the contractions surged up through me from the earth, into her and then back into the earth. She was my copper wire, conducting all that power. Perhaps in that moment she became a new mother too.
I always liked the Christian notion of being reborn. But, I feel this does not happen once. We are constantly reborn on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis. Sowing our seeds of intention, shedding, hibernating and springing forth into a new life. I am not the mother I was four years ago or even a week ago. Its futile to think that this life is stable, we are constantly changing and evolving. Its merely the question of how do we flow down lifes river?
My birthing and motherhood experiences are shaping me in a way that I could not have fathomed. It is not what I thought and I have grieved those lost expectations. I am also not the mother I thought I would be. I'm weak in the areas I thought I was strong and strong in the areas I thought I was weak. I love it because I get to be creative and to be in touch with my inner child again. Birthing into motherhood has been a swirling pot of love, connection, dirty laundry, sleepless nights, loneliness, playing in imaginary castles, a lot of time outdoors, a lot of time indoors, a flow, a change, a constant rhythmic change consisting of high notes and low somber tones. In becoming a parent I have learned there is a constant teacher-student exchange. While we are mentoring our children through life we are also being taught by our greatest teachers. We grow and learn beside them. Welcome our babies to the world but do not forget to honor the birth of the mother.