Thursday, November 18, 2010

I want to start this post off by saying how personal decisions about your body, your health, and your family are. I want to say that now, because I'm about to speak very frankly about something that is very personal. I simply want to share my beliefs that have stemmed from my experience.

I have been on a journey.

I cannot say where I went, because I do not know exactly. I only know it was further than I've ever been. It was darker than the darkest night, and brighter than the brightest sunrise. It was quieter than the most empty silence, and louder than the roar of the ocean. I cannot tell you where it was, because I've never been there before, and I can't go back now. But the journey itself has changed me. I am different.

Childbirth is a natural thing. It's something we are meant to do as animals. But as creatures with more awareness than most, we experience childbirth more acutely. Childbirth is a rite, and a ritual. It is primal, exhilarating, beautiful and simple.It is something you cannot know until you have done it. It is something you cannot appreciate fully if you are not allowed to experience it to it's utmost. The fog of drugs, the beeping of machines, the bright sterile lights... they interfere with the magic within. The amazing goddess of our bodies is best seen in the quiet shadow, the sacred space. Not interrupted or interfered with.

More than just a baby is born during an uninterrupted birth. A woman is born, reborn, and changed. Most of the time a woman comes out the other side as a mother... a reinvented version of herself with a new focus and a new life. I have had the unique experience to not come out the other side of the birth a new mother... the baby was born for another family, and in this moment another woman is experiencing that rebirth. Yet I was still changed, still reborn.

I wish that words were enough to describe the transcendence that is felt after laboring naturally. I have such a stark comparison between my first labor, and this one. The first is the epitome of medical interventions that went very wrong for me and my baby. This birth was a perfect contrast. It went exactly as I wanted. I was able to wear what I wanted, eat and drink what I wanted, move where I wanted. Beyond all that... my body was allowed to do what it needed to do. And when it slowed down, natural methods were all I needed to speed it back up again. I was guided by a wise woman who kept me and the baby in perfect health throughout, so that I could focus on what I needed to do.

In the darkest moments of my labor, I found pieces of myself that I did not know existed. I had no idea the depth of my determination, the power of my mind, and the strength of my body. If you had told me what my labor would be like beforehand, I don't know that I would have gone through with it. But in the moment it's the only choice you have. I don't know how many times I thought I was at the end of my rope, that there was no more to draw from... and yet I'd weather another contraction. I'd make it another couple minutes.

A baby was born that day... but so was I. My new life, my new start, my new self. Everything that was pointless, petty or angry just fell off in those hours of quiet and dark. It didn't matter. Why hold onto anger or betrayal? It didn't help me through those lonely hours. Only the good helped me through. Images of my daughter, my new house, and my family. The bad just weighed me down.

I have emerged from this experience changed. I wish for every woman who chooses to have children, this opportunity to learn about herself. You cannot know until you've been through it. You cannot understand the depth of your magnificence unless you test those waters. I hope that women begin taking this experience back from the medical world. That they are strong and brave and choose to revel in their godliness.


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