I am astounded to see that I have not written a blog post since March! Life is so full with a little one. I have REALLY been wanting to write since Birch’s birthday. And now I celebrate my own birthday a week ago and reflect on the year that has passed.
I hear so many women say, “As time passes, you forget about labor, you forget how hard and intense it was.” I have not forgotten. I worked on a woman today who was just on the verge of going into labor, and she asked me about my birth. All she had to do was ask that question, and I felt like it was yesterday. I could feel the contractions in my cells. I could feel how sometimes I felt like I had a handle on them and I could channel the whole universe through my body, and other times, they felt so intense and I could not align my breath the way I wanted to, and in those moments, I felt like, “This is it, this contraction is going to end me.” But it didn’t, because I hold, as my client called it, “The Woman Card.” No one can take your woman card.
My woman card in that moment of my life said that I am strong enough to be as raw and vulnerable as I have ever been. To soften into the rhythm of life. Motherhood has done that for me, it has softened me in a way I did not know I needed. Between losing most of my blood supply in birth and breaking my foot when Birch was two and a half months old (on my 33rd birthday) I have been humbled. I continue to be humbled, and I continue to soften into what is next, and open to deep trust.
I have more gray hairs now than I did. I found a tick on Birch when he was 19 days old. That was the moment I realized that though part of my journey on this planet is to be a steward and protector for this being who has chosen this earthwalk with me as his mama, I actually cannot protect him from all that I want to. It was one of the first moments (since birth, of course) I had to let go of control, because I had none. I have none. Only trust and faith. Trust that I can guide him and support him and teach him how to take care of himself in this crazy world. Faith that with all this love and support I give him, he will make good choices and be a good, loving person who does important things in the world.
When he was about a month old, I remember walking across the street in Northampton, and seeing one of the homeless people who is often out on the streets. This time seeing this person who I have seen so many times, I thought about him differently. I thought, “Where is his mother? Does she know he needs help? Did he ever get the mothering he needed?” And right there in the street, I started to cry, because I did not know if this man ever received the mothering he needed. And then I cried more for all of us who did not receive the mothering we needed. And then I felt deep gratitude that I am blessed enough to have the opportunity to give that mothering to this sacred being.