I know, blog entries that are titled under hopeless cliches should be categorically avoided. But in this case it really does apply and if, as they say, every stereotype holds some grain of truth, well then I think every cliche must also have a truly fitting occasion.
I am a fortunate soul for any number of reasons. Instead of indulging in an endless list of why my life is so great though, I would like to focus on an event that realized my life’s true purpose, fulfilled my deepest dream and changed the course of my life irreparably all in a matter of moments; I became a mother.
First a little bit about the lead in:
I am one of these freakish women who enjoyed being pregnant. Really! Being my first child, I had only myself to take care of and therefore indulged in naps, books, 10 hours of sleep every night without even the slightest hint of guilt. I had everyone warning me that as soon as I became a mother, there would be a violent end to all of these pleasures, so I dully took advantage. Being a dance and fitness instructor by profession, I remained active continuing to teach and dance until week 38. Granted, by the end I wasn’t doing too many jumping jacks, burpees or grand jetes but I felt like I was taking care of myself, and remaining strong and fluid, which I am convinced helped with my amazing labor and birth.
Yes, I am also one of these insane women who actually enjoyed their labor and delivery. I took pleasure in visioning and then realizing my dream birth. I have known for many years that I wanted to give birth in the privacy and comfort of my home, and through diligence, co-research and (I admit) some nagging, my partner came to see the benefit of home birth as well, and we decided to go for it. Assisted by an incredibly gifted, experienced and wonderful midwife named Rozie my husband and I prepared to welcome our son into the world, in peace, without drugs, and on our terms. I have never felt so empowered and deeply connected to my sense of self. It was the defining experience in my life thus far.
In line with this vision, and how it was actualized, I will not describe my delivery of our son as painful, tortuous, unbearable or any of the other adjectives that so typically accompany birth stories. Yes, it was intense. Yes, it was consuming in some moments. The body sensations were certainly strong, and there was a moment or two where I felt blown away by the power of the life-force coming through me. “Pain” for me holds such negative connotations though, and I would feel dishonest and just wrong describing any element of the labor or birth in negative terms.
For me, birthing was a deep meditation; a communion with some essential current that courses through a laboring woman. It was true woman’s work. I felt my body and breath and mind and spirit working together like a finely calibrated, powerful vessel. I found myself knowing exactly what to do, even though I had never done anything like it before. Yotam, my partner, was exactly in the right place at the right time, flowing with the birthing energy that we had created together, in the security of our home. Rozie was a strong pillar of support, there when she was needed, and silently present when she saw that we were in a good groove on our own. It was mighty, and powerful and just felt right.
I delivered our son 30 minutes after dilating fully in the warm, relaxing waters of a birthing pool, with the encouragement and support of my husband, my mother and my midwife. While I only entered the pool for this very last stage (it all went so quickly! fortunately the pool was ready just in time) it gave me exactly the added boost that I needed to bring our baby into the world.
Our son came gently into the world, in his own time with his eyes open, pure, naturally, and with abundant love. Taking his tiny, purple body into my arms and hearing his first breaths of life convinced me that this is what I was made for. I know now that being a mother is my true purpose in life, and this defining experience serves as a momentous juncture, from whence I set onward to the rest of my life, as a mother.