"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." - Friedrich Nietzsche
It's been nearly 3 years since I lost my big brother, since my family and I gathered around him, just waiting for him to go. We waited for 12 hrs. Excruciating pain, agony, despair.. then peace as we felt him pass through us. A heavy weight lifted. A heavy weight we were carrying for 8 days after an accident landed him in a coma that he would never wake from. That was the hardest thing I had ever done. Little did I know I'd be doing the hardest thing again, one year later.
In the wake of my brother's death, I found myself pregnant with our second child. I was flooded with emotion and questions.. How am I going to do this? I can't even take care of myself, I can't do laundry.. I can barely get out of bed.. I can't even play with my 2 yr old daughter with a smile. Life is too hard. I can't do this. Do I want this? I'm a horrible mother.
I was suffering from severe depression, I felt as though I had lost my mind completely, not understanding the awakening process I was experiencing. I even tried admitting myself to the psych ward at the hospital. The suicidal thoughts kept taunting me, they started to feel welcoming after awhile. Death felt nice, easy, painless, free. It didn't scare me. I was so ill, the morning sickness was intensified by my grief, which also intensified my concern for my unborn child. Is she suffering through all this? Is she feeling all this pain? How will this affect her? I began to feel guilty for my own suffering and that I was the one who was carrying her.
It wasn't until my husband and I found our midwives when things started to take a turn. We both grew up with the conditioning of western medicine and never planned for a home birth. Saying goodbye to my brother changed me, it woke me up to the natural way of things, I wanted to experience birth the same way I experienced death. After working for 36 hrs to get our sweet Layla here, my labor came to a complete hault. Oxytocin shut off. Contractions stopped. She retracted. It would be an entire week before my labor would start up again. That week felt like years. I knew I was being tested again, by forces of the unknown and the universe. Even with the fear that was brewing, I kept a stillness inside of me. Trusting that there was a reason why she was making her entrance this way. Trusting nature. Trusting her.
I didn't understand this at the time, but labor rings truth inside of you. It wakes up old traumas and forgotten memories resurface. I had buried demons, demons of severe abuse. Demons of a lifelong self hatred, eating disorders, anxiety and fear. Trying to birth a child naturally is almost impossible when your soul needs birthing, when wounds need healing, when your younger self needs a voice. Finally, after another 40 hrs, a total of 76 hrs! she swam to me. I pressed her against my chest, the early morning light through the window made her glisten. Otherworldly. I couldn't believe she was actually in my arms, healthy, alert and smiling. At home! Just like we dreamed.
I needed to share my story, I hope to inspire and remind others of their own strength and power. Love and light.
To Cathy, Sara and Christine, we couldn't be more grateful and honored to have had you as our guardians during this time. Thank you for holding space for our family... for all the sleepless nights, yummy food, tears, laughter, ultimate compassion and selflessness. The work you do is truly remarkable, needed. Peace on earth begins with birth.