17 Years Earlier (Excerpts from the Birth of Tariana Jade)
Today is my 3rd baby’s birthday. She is 17 and drove me home tonight. She is just as beautiful today as the day she was born. I have a ritual of sorts to go back on the birthdays of my children and re-read my account of their births. Many times I share the stories with them on their birthdays. This morning I have reread the Birth Story I was prompted to write by my midwife, Jeanette Breen, following the home birth of Tariana Jade. It is a beautiful memory. As I read through the tattered and torn pages I am touched deeply by the connection I was offered especially at the onset of true labor and during the heightening transitions of the birth. I am learning from my insight and recollections that the unbelievable and magical event of birth puts us in direct connection with the great big Universe. The experience of life inside my belly has been a blueprint for life itself. My experience during the birth of Tariana, and all my children has afforded me the opportunity to witness life full scale, complete with it’s most intense version of challenges and struggles balanced by the most gracious example of beauty I have ever known. I can relate my thoughts during my labor to the entire journey of my life and I am awed at how the event of birth can exemplify the whole. To follow are direct excerpts from the written story I wrote 17 years ago. I realize that these moments of thought and experience during my labor could simply be applied to my life as a whole. Rereading it today has shed new light.
“… its amazing how even after my 3rd pregnancy I put so much reliability into the due date (future thoughts robbing me of present thoughts) which has come and gone…I fight to ignore the outside influences that hinder my optimism. I am not amused by past due date horror stories”
(Even after 2 weeks of false labor, when the first real contraction occurred this morning I just knew this was it. Instinct? Feeling? Knowing!)
I kept my knowing private, soaking in the beauty and truth of it all until I was ready to share. Shortly thereafter, Galen (5), Dreya (3) and Greg le, my husband, left me alone to carry on their day. I decalred to no one but myself “I am completely free”.
“When a tinge of concern presents itself I try to crawl back into my own womb and remember that nature will prevail and destiny will run it’s course”
Time completely disappears and it’s significance becomes meaningless. My memory is confined to the present.
“I call mom and speak to Galen (5). ‘I am having contractions’ I tell him. ‘Do you know what that means?’ ‘Yes.’ He replies. ‘ The baby is ready to come out’.
“I still have no plan of delivery. I don’t care. I trust that I don’t need one.”
(I decide to journey the .3 mile trek to mail a letter in the mailbox. It brings my contractions closer. I knew it would. To get to the destination I have to endure the challenge, though I can also embrace it. I stop. I breath. Continue. Repeat.)
“It is becoming more difficult both mentally and physically to focus. I am charged, however. I will have another child by tonight”
Greg arrives home. Jeanette, the midwife, arrives shortly after she is called and informed that the contractions are close. The kids and GG (my mom) follow a while after. I am 8cm dilated and I am not surprised. I’m thinking “if I reach really deep I’ll discover things I never knew I had in me”
“Although it’s still me and it appears that nothing has changed, I know something is very different. I realize that the climax of the journey is unfolding and I have the leading role.” I want the kids to be here. I am certain. A little concerned, though confident in this ‘no-planner’.
(I go into the shower. This is good. Even if it is not I have been scripting it for the last 9 months and I believe that it is. Clothes and modesty are a thing of the past.)
Sometimes I want to give up the job though I realize it is mine to conquer. Getting in the tub sooths me. I want it to be this easy though the hurdle awaits nonetheless. I feel naïve asking Jeanette questions. I’m trying to let go and seek the answers from within.
There is no progression so we must try different things. We move on to the birthing stool. Dreya stared on in anticipation waiting patiently in her pink sunglasses. Galen offered a play by play to GG who was waiting in the living room as I alternated between the thoughts “I can” AND “I can’t”. And then Jeanette’s voice of reason: “I think you’re going to have to work a little for this one”. I verbalized my desire to quit. I thought about giving up. I realized on the deepest level that I needed to push through.
Just when I thought I was going to break in two… there was the crown. Time to slow down and embrace. The head was out. And moments later we learned it was a baby girl. And Dreya counted… “1… 2… 3.. girls” and the JOY triumphed the struggle! My gorgeous little miracle. L-O-V-E.