This past week, I’ve been reflecting on how close this moment is for me. I’ve been more purposeful in taking time to connect to my son and the idea of becoming a mother again. The truth is, I’ve struggled with feelings of disconnection towards this pregnancy. Maybe it’s because of the timing – getting pregnant so quickly after feeling like I just found my new purpose. Or is it because of the feelings of guilt I have – changing Zoe’s world so soon into her young life. Did I give her enough space with just the three of us? Maybe it’s because we still haven’t settled on his name. Or, perhaps it is because I spend so much time (gladly) helping doula clients, parents in childbirth classes and laboring moms at the birth center, that I tend to get caught up in their journey – so much so that I often forget that I’m on the verge of this transforming introduction too.
I’m thinking about that instant when I’ll first meet my son and what it will be like – when I’m exhausted from the work of labor, when my body is shaking with endorphins and adrenaline, when my entire being – mind, body and emotions have waved their broken flag of surrender. Where I’ve reached the undeniable sifting every woman has in the midst of birthing her child – thinking I cannot do this anymore but knowing I must. And then, with the relief of morning’s light after a long night, and with the poetic richness of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the strength of my heart rises above the weakness of my physical body …. and he is born.
I feel my child leave my body – his tiny fisted arms thrust outward as his lusty cry breaks through every other sound in the room, my arms reach out to hold him as my body softens from relief. He is lifted up to my chest, and I look into his face for the first time. Oh, hello little one, so you’re the one who was fashioned inside of me. Even though you’re brand new, and I’m just now setting my eyes on you, I have to say my heart has known you all along.
If time stood silently still you would see the bright flash of a woman crossing an intangible threshold – becoming a mother. Once more, familiar but entirely new again. Birth is a rite of passage each time a woman experiences it. In the past year, I’ve witnessed this passage many times. Every time I see it I stand back with reverence. With deep, quiet awareness I know I must do this with the approaching birth of my own son. I realize birth cannot be approached with guilt and it is not inconvenienced by time nor is it found in simple emotions of the soul, but rather and I must come towards it with the grace of surrender, the trust in something greater and with humble, outrageous love.