In the peace of the waxing moon -
soft, hazy and almost full -
I remember this night.
This long night
three years ago.
I was like that sky lady
and as ready to fulfill her eternal promise.
Labor pulled me in,
its strong tide unyielding -
To a place beyond...
a place I had never been before.
There was nothing else for it
but to continue
Pushing and pushing and pushing
until I cursed,
until I roared,
until my legs trembled,
until my veins burst,
until my eyes filled with red.
Hour after hour after hour
you inched into this world
Slowly, with ineffable steadiness –
like you already trusted me,
like you already trusted yourself,
like you already trusted life,
How did we do it?
it was impossible –
I was a warrior.
I was a fearsome goddess.
I was that great sky lady.
And through it
I was made ready
Our daughter turned 1 last Friday. As much as it's been a celebration of this wonderful milestone, it's been an anniversary, too. What a monumental, life-changing event her birth was for me.
I wrote my (/our) birth story when she was still only a few weeks old, the memory still fresh in my mind. I needn't have worried - her birth has become an integral part of me.
Instead of sharing the story as I recorded it then, this is my experience seen through the affirmations I was given for her birth. It's a powerful story.
Blessing for all mothers, all babies and all births.
I love you with my whole heart, for my whole life.
More about my birth:
As we approach my daughter's 1st birthday (and the 1 year anniversary of my initiation into motherhood), I find myself engulfed by thoughts of pregnancy, labor and childbirth - much as I was at this time last year.
The final weeks and days of my pregnancy were a potent time for me - yes, sometimes a roller coaster of emotion - but filled with the overpowering sense that I stood on the edge of a precipice, about to step off into the much-longed for and wildly unknown world of motherhood.
My blessingway ceremony, which I write about here, was the turning point in my emotional and spiritual readiness for birth and motherhood.
At this time last year I was eagerly awaiting the birth of our daughter. The labor and birth - not to mention finally getting to meet her and hold her in my arms - occupied my entire being.
The blessingway or mother blessing the dearest women in my life held for me was the turning point in my emotional and spiritual readiness for birth and motherhood.
You can read more about my own blessingway here and the special birth affirmations here.
It wasn't until after I gave birth that I fully understood their powerful beauty and truth. I hope you treasure these words as much as I have.
I am a willow tree,
Strong, yet fluid
I can bend with the wind,
but my roots are tough,
Opening to birth my child
is flowing with the wind:
from a soft and gentle breeze
to a stormy gale
back to a soft and gentle breeze.
My body is strong, but flexible.
It is my friend, it knows how to open.
I am a friend to my body
eating well, walking, and loving myself.
I shall birth safely, freely, openly . . .
among my loved and trusted ones.
I am the willow, flexible
endowed with the power of surrender
to the wind rustling through my leaves,
My roots reach deep into Mother Earth
Anchored in Her strength
I bring forth life
From the book Joyful Birth: A Spiritual Path to Motherhood
by Susan Piver
The path of motherhood has a beginning but no end. It’s constantly changing and constantly challenging. Along the way, we encounter our personal limits over and over. We fall in love over and over. We ride the sharp edge of hope and fear. On this path of discovery, as on any spiritual path, our pretensions are shattered, our minds are blown, and our hearts are opened. We cry, we laugh, we bumble around and make countless mistakes. Through it all, we are gently—or abruptly—poked into greater honesty, loving-kindness, and understanding. It is a truly joyful path.
The memory of my children's birth has become a talisman that I hold in my heart as I journey deeper and deeper into motherhood. For these moments come again in every mother’s life—the times when we are asked to walk straight into our pain and fear, and in doing so, open up to a love that is greater than anything we ever could have imagined: all life’s beauty and wonder, as well as all the ways that things can break and go wrong…Again and again, motherhood demands that we break through our limitations, that we split our hearts open to make room for something that may be more than we thought we could bear. In that sense, the labor with which we give birth is simply a rehearsal for something we mothers must do over and over: turn ourselves inside out, and then let go.
A Prayer for One Who Comes to Choose This Life
by Danelia Wild
May she know the welcome
of open arms and hearts
May she know she is loved
by many and by one
May she know the circle of friendship that gives
and receives love in all its forms
May she know and be known
in the heart of another
May she know the heart
that is this earth
reach for the stars and
call it home
And in the end
may she find everything
in her heart
and her heart
A Labor Prayer
by Donna Wilson
Dear Father, thank you for this new baby.
Would You protect and nurture this baby
and bring this pregnancy to full term.
In labor, would You remove all fear
and replace it with faith and expectation.
Please give those attending the birth
wisdom to take the best care of mother and baby.
Please let this baby be born normal and whole,
healthy and strong, and at home
with no complications with baby or mother.
Father, thank you for hearing my prayer,
for I pray in the name of Him who is called
Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
that I was pining for you,
my dark haired daughter.
Can it truly be one month already
since the midwife's voice
rang out in the darkness of a long labor, saying
"Reach down and grab your baby!"
And that's when we finally met.
It was the most incredible moment of my life.
You came into the world quietly,
tiny and pink and utterly perfect -
still curled in upon yourself
like a tulip in early spring.
- - - - -
Is this how our life together will be?
Day spinning into night and night into day
as you slowly unfurl
into a magnificent blossom?
I hope so.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.