I remember it so clearly….when I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby, I thought I surely could not get any bigger. But it was not time yet, so I waited. When I was 9 months pregnant with Jess, I thought I would pop and pondered how this watermelon-sized kid was going to make it to the outside world. Then, overdue by two weeks and carrying an almost 10 pound baby in my belly, I was in despair because I would have to be induced.
My then-doctor gave me grave news; if I were to allow the baby to go any more than two weeks after the due date, I would most likely wind up with a cesarian. I didn’t want that, so we scheduled Jess’ birth for January 26th. I remember awakening early that morning and showering, feeling in an altered state and as if I were preparing myself for some ritual sacrifice. I was so scared, having never been through the birth thing before, and having no mother there to lead me through with grace and wisdom.
Jess’ birth was hard, very hard. After almost 12 hours of labor, we came through a bloody initation; it wound up being a medical menu experience that disempowered me and left me broken. Thank goodness Jess made it through.
The second time, I was going to have it very differently. When I was pregnant with Aidan, I sought out a midwife and chose to have the birth at home in the water. My body sought out tribal music and walking barefoot on the mud. I heard the voices of spirits on the wind and spoke with the swaying trees. The parts of my soul that had been fragmented by my prior birth experience were calling to come back home. Aidan’s birth was shaping up to be an experience of healing, of coming back together, of integration.
But when Aidan’s due date also came and went, and I was sure I could not get any bigger, I panicked. This baby was almost 10 pounds, too, and my midwife felt cautious about letting me go too far beyond his due date because of the traumatic birth we went through before. She talked with us about options, each a progressive level more invasive. She wanted to ensure success, but she also wanted to honor my soul healing process. She told me not to worry and to wait a little longer.
This wasn’t what I wanted! After the traumatic birth experience with my first baby, I wanted a sweet, perfect, healing birth for my second! I wanted to be in charge, I wanted it better, I wanted to be in control!
I remember one day as I waddled around the house; Jess was napping, and I had a few moments to myself. I sat down in a rocking chair and felt my worry consume me. What was wrong with my body that it couldn’t let go of my babies on time? Why was my body reluctant to release these children into the world? Couldn’t I trust myself? What did this all mean?
I found myself rocking gently, and started to cry. As I breathed and allowed each tear to drop, I found myself repeating a quiet mantra, “Let go”. I felt a wave of worry rise up to the surface, crest, and then flow out of me, and I came to rest inside. When the next wave of powerlessness and anxiety came to the surface, I cried and repeated “Let go”. I went through this cycle at least 4 or 5 times. As I softly rocked and wept, I released my fear, over and over.
It wasn’t easy, but it helped me come to peace about how it wasn’t going to be the way I wanted it to be. Aidan was not coming on the timeline that my mind desired. I would have to let go and trust a Larger Logic.
Aidan came two weeks after he was due, too, with a little help from my midwife. We wound up doing a cervical sweep, a gentle use of her hand in the mouth of the cervix to break the web-like strands and give the cervix the message that dilation was to begin, the least invasive of the helping methods she could offer. I went into a picture perfect labor and was allowed to experience birth the way millions of women have before me, without medical intervention. Aidan was born after only 4 hours of labor. It was a magical and healing experience.
I am thinking about this now because I am having a similar feeling these days of being overdue and so ripe for the picking……but no birth yet. It is odd to feel these feelings so acutely when I have no baby in my belly to explain away my feelings! It is more of an inner birth, a soul birth perhaps, that is unfolding inside me. The birth of a new life? Yes, that’s it. The vision I have been holding so close to my heart for many years is about to come to fruition, and it is almost time…..almost.
I have spoken with many people who feel so ready for a new life to be birthed; some of us have been working on ourselves for years in anticipation of the coming age. Healing our old traumas, releasing past wounds, learning about and expanding our consciousness. We feel SO ready for this birth. But it has not been quite time yet….until now.
The “new earth” many of us have dreamed of may not look like what we wanted it to look like. And the journey to get there may not be the “love and light” journey we imagined. There is a larger life force in charge, and it wants to do it right. We must trust the intelligence that guides life to continue. Life has a vested interest in expansion, and we are part of it. Life is living through us, not the other way around.
I felt something in the last couple of days, something akin to the cervical sweep that my midwife performed to aid my body in letting go of my second baby. A larger, universal wave of assistance perhaps. And now I feel as though the last stages of a very long labor are about to begin.
If you’d like assistance in your birth, I am a spiritual midwife! Schedule a session with me for gentle, kind and respectful support and facilitation as you become your greatest self. xo Licia