In the adolescent years of my life it seemed as if the ‘no trespassing’ sign that should’ve been hung around my neck was invisible. Vandals and thieves seemed to have found the young temple that was my body and picked through what they thought should be theirs. At twenty one, I birthed my first son. The on-call staff the night of my son’s arrival hissed doubts and fears into my ear. I was told my body couldn’t. I was told my body wouldn’t. I sneered back between gritted teeth and waves of power that my body can, That my body WILL. And that it will do so without their synthetic assistance. My first son was born at sunrise, all 7 pounds and 14 ounces of him. He entered the world after a small moment of dystocia and limpness that sighted fear into the staff and, in turn, myself. I harbored fear for nearly two years. The pregnancy of my second son was, in retrospect, filled with constant manifestation of that fear. I was scared, anxious, rage filled, tired.
My pregnancy made me fear that another “failed” and stressful birth was on the horizon.
In the new hours of July 19th, at a desperate 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant, my water broke while laying in bed. Worried I would experience another 14 hour lapse between ruptured membranes and labor starting, I tried to rest. Waves started crashing over me within twenty minutes, intensifying to the point of being unable to speak and losing my stomach in just under an hour’s time. I alerted my midwife and birth photographer that they should make their way to me. Shortly after, I woke my husband to fill the birth pool. I rocked and breathed silently through every contraction. I waited ever so impatiently for my midwife to arrive so I could get into the tub. Once she arrived and I climbed in, an overwhelming peace took over me. I experienced a small break in my contractions before they returned with intensity and pressure.
My midwife let me know that, due to my silence, I would have to talk to her about what I was feeling so she would know what was happening. I reached inside on myself and felt that my son’s head was just one knuckle deep. I held my hand up to my midwife, indicating that he was just barely an inch inside me, and she nodded. In that moment, the adrenaline of the end of transition helped my lunge forward and push my son out. I remember thinking “I just want him OUT! I am SO done being pregnant. I want him OUT.” With just three more contractions, and less than 3.5 hours since that first wave, he came out swiftly. No shoulders sticking. No limp limbs. He came out roaring. He came out looking for me. And he found me. Not just my wondering eyes, not just my smiling mouth, not just my breasts… he found the pieces of me that had been stolen, broken, and lost.
So I leave you with this wisdom; do not fear what life is going to bring you next. Instead, allow it the opportunity to heal you in ways you never thought possible.