The birth story evolves every day of our lives. It changes and morphs and it facelifts, changes clothes, speaks in different languages, it dances, marches and scampers. In my life it whispers to me lessons of the everyday, the bigger and the smaller. This story only comes from you, and your child and just like in life, you can receive insight, you can be witnessed, but the story is fully our own. This is why (in my opinion) I find importance in sharing them. They tell a living story, not just a moment or a day in a life, but Life as it Is.
Wounds have been reopened. And I feel them deeply. I don’t suffer within them or wallow. I don’t complain. I am grateful. They heal and reopen often. But I don’t want wounds to be my guide. Nor do I want my wounds to be the bonding force between me and you. Please no. Wounds might draw us together, but let’s know the time when we can connect because there’s something more; personal celebration or the fact that we both love wearing our hair messy and can’t get off the dub reggae via Pandora. Whatever. I don’t want to attract people because of my pain. Period.
Saying that. My preface of sorts.
I remember when their hands were all the way up me. I say they, but I am sure it was just one. She was posterior. And in some circles of training, posterior babies don’t make their way out easy. So what you do is go up there and internally rotate the baby and bring it down. Well this made her fly out. My fibers split open to my ass. It hurt worse than any moment of labor. She was pissed when she came out, though silent, I could still tell. She was my child after all. But I didn’t know why, not then. It took her a long time to breath. Her nailbeds were pink. Lovely rosey cheeks. She was fine. But the breathing thing can scare a caregiver. Can scare anyone. Her dad and I were sure she was ok, though, this was spoken through our hearts. And she was. After she kicked away the oxygen masked and kept grabbing at the aspirator tube to yank it out of her mouth, we were pretty sure she was fine. She still wasn’t really breathing and we all begged her too, rubbed her , sang to her, named her. She would gargle and make little whimpers like she just MIGHT come into this world. But she wanted to stay in her own world, just for a moment longer. Or two moments. And now I think: Of course baby, take as long as you need, you’ll come to me when you are ready. But then I thought: BREATHE!!!! PLEASE!!!! GOD DAMNIT BREATHE!
Her daddy walked outside with her. He introduced her to our dogs. And to the sky and the early morning sun. And the busy Los Angeles street we lived on. He told her that she was here now and if she needed, he would give her his life so she could stay. She took her first breath. And then another. And then the big cry came.
This was an hour after the birth.
They, my gracious and beautiful midwives, apologized to my girl and to me. They should have known she was okay by her coloring. It was evident she was going to be fine. I appreciated, and still do, how dedicated they were to their role. They showed me that they knew what they were doing and if they couldn’t do it, a doctor would be called. But in frantic moments of that very final stage of labor, after the mama and baby come together, I felt rather helpless. I felt like I had all she needed, and she wasn’t in my arms.
I don’t wish it any other way. Not in the least bit. This was Mia’s story. It still is. As a matter of fact recently I began to realize how connected she still is to that story. My daughter Mia is the definition of willful. She “needs” me to literally pull her from one situation to the next. Transition cause her great grief, mountains of drama. She stops breathing when she cries. She turns completely purple. Refuses to let the air come or go. Recently her dad and I have become aware that we practically YELL at her to BREATHE when we see this happening. We look her in the eyes and say “take a deep breath, let it out, BREATHE MIA!” and through her sobs and gasps for air she looks at us and says: I WILL WHEN I AM READY!
Oh. Yeah. I see. Of course you will. You will when you are ready. I can’t force you to breath. I tried that once before. Her birth, a foreshadowing? Perhaps? More likely a continuous gift for me to remember that I need to let her come and go when she is ready, trusting her, that indeed she will breath when she is ready. She will do it all when she is ready. My hands don’t need to get all up in her life and PULL her out.
Some of the thicker-headed ones of us (ME!) need that story to draw from. Do I wish I could just be that mother to her all on my own? Sure, but at least I am not learning it from a parenting book which is telling I better start giving more Fish Oils and a stricter bedtime. I am learning from the roots of her life.
(the less interesting yet practical information here is that my following 2 daughters were posterior as well and were completely left alone to come out of me. The labors where short and normal and each of them actually came out of me “sunny side up”. My pelvic formation obviously keeps them posterior for safety and easier birthing for me.)
This is why birth matters. No, it doesn’t matter how. Or where. Or what music is playing in the background. There is no right or wrong! It just matters. Period. It matters because it begins our narration for life. I believe that narration holds information for the rest of the story to unfold. This is why it’s sacred. This is why it’s transformational. Not because it happened in a particular way, not because of the outcome even. Mia’s story was told to me and I didn’t even get it then, but six years later, it’s a tool for me on how to parent her, it’s really a tool for me to remember how to live. I sometimes forget. So I reach into the storybook and go all the way back.
Today my birthstory is this. How is happens it happens. I wasn’t able to go to my midwifery training today. My sitter was unable to sit. It was a fluke. I was totally sulking. I tried to even bring the baby to class, which was received well, but as you can imagine….an excited 2 year old is distraction when we are trying to learn acupressure points. I quietly excused myself.
Well so I could sit and read Jamberry Jamberry and Whose Baby Am I? to her all morning (the other girls did have childcare, just not the baby). And gorge out on this delightful little mix of brown rice puffed cereal, brown rice syrup, sunflower seed butter, pumpkin and hemp seed, coconut oil, all mashed up and then spread out and refrigerated.
It was so I could write this. And sit quietly while she napped to bleed and bleed, reminding me that now is not my time to hold life, but to offer it up instead.
Some life, from me to you. Can you feel it? Please, feel free to send some back.