I was the Doula at the birth of a baby boy just before the Summer Solstice. He came out with such an explosion that he sprayed me with his mercy meconium fluids upon entrance. I laughed because I knew better than to wear my pink wrap sweater to a birth. He was 40 weeks + 6 days and came out communicating clearly to his nineteen year old single mother.
I knew the first time I met her that she would birth naturally. Behind all of the shame, cultural stigma and teenage low self esteem, she spoke to me with such maturity and wisdom that she shed light on my life challenges. She was beautiful, carrying her baby in belly with such ripe beauty worthy of a painting, yet she could not see it. She was worthy of Queendom, the way she stepped into her being with her birth.
He was beautiful. Eyes black with soul presence, and black hair visible as he crowned at her gateway.
There was just a slight hesitation of her body as the anterior lip of her cervix was all that prevented her from full expansion. Her midwife worked her magic as the nurses and doctors observed with awe and curiosity.
"Push" we both said as her contractions rose and we anchored her feet on our hips. "Hold your breath, tuck your chin down and push!, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -- exhale and again" She was so strong, so beautiful.
I felt it in my bones when the last centimeter of her cervix opened. The sound that she made dropped her being into another realm, this was the moment of her total surrender. That sound that says I am open, I am raw, I am scared, I am at my limit. This is the point where a woman is faced with her brick wall - and she has to kick it down.
I held her gaze strongly and told her to "find a vision, focus, and push your baby out" Two pushes later she did. No drugs, 2 1/2 hours in the hospital and both she and he were born, or as the Buddhists say ; continued.
I had been with her for fifteen hours at that point, minus 4 hours that I went home to cuddle and love up my son. It was a beautiful labor. She danced a gentle dance of resistance, hoping to stay just on the outside of 'raw town' but by six centimeters dilation she realized that there was no way out except to travel through.
For most women labor follows the same physical and emotional pattern.
0-3 cm - Manageability yet slight terror and denial of the reality of what lies ahead
4-6 cm - Emotions start to arise surrounding this responsibility of birthing. Anger surfaces, frustration
butts in, resentment and sadness settle
6-9 cm - The level of endorphin's rise in the body and your mind begins to leave this world and merge
with the world in between, where you and your baby travel together until birthing. Surrender is required.
9-10 cm - The fall through. The bottom opens up and you realize that you have to let go even further, while at the same time bust through your wall and find the strength from your bottom - your
root - and push through, push out in order to push yourself and your child IN.
As soon as baby boy arrived her face was soft like dew on a flower petal. She had reached the meadow and there is nothing but elation and joy there. They were reunited. I saw clearly that their love was a love returned. He thanked me, and the love he already had for his mother was humbling to witness. Did I love like that? Could I love like that?
She gently pushed out her placenta, and once again I saw her bravery as she reached out to touch and explore it as the midwife presented it to her. She reveled in the vessel that sustained her son's life for the past 9 months. Feeling fully connected to it, herself and her son her instinct to touch it was natural and refreshing to see. I knew from our early meetings that she would fill my heart with hope and determination. I have learned a great deal from her.
I kissed baby boy goodbye, kissed mama with love and admiration and hugged the midwife, both of us in gratitude for a harmonic team experience and I left the hospital smelling the air differently as I always do after a birth.
I promised my son I would buy him a watch... I still had fifteen minutes before the store closed. One left on the shelf. I was starving but fatigue was fogging my ability to decide on what to eat. I made it home. Cuddled my son to sleep, fell into a bathtub, and crawled into bed... so grateful.
"Welcome to the world I can't promise it's a good place
welcome to the world I can't promise it's a cool place"
- Ziggy Marley - Welcome to the World -