Monday, October 31, 2011

Giving Way To Birth, . . .Before Silas Was Born

Before Silas was born, . . . .

It's hard for me to think of where to begin with this story. To just go into the details of his birth or just describing the events the day Silas was born feels like to little. There is so much more behind the story and leading up to the birthing process. From the moment I found out I was pregnant again, I began preparing for birth. A lot of this pregnancy was about facing my own mortality, looking at death and really letting go and accepting what life has to offer.

After my mom died a year and a half ago, life turned a different color for me. Everything became sharper and more vivid, I realized what was important in my life and I learned to let go of a lot of things that didn't matter. I grew up in a way that I needed. I felt pain I had never felt before. It was the hardest experience I ever went through, and I still grieve for her. At the same time, my mom's passing opened up an opportunity for me to learn about myself and grow in a way that I couldn't have done without experiencing her loss. I am grateful for that.

When I found out I was pregnant again in Febuary, the close experience I had with losing a loved one sent me into my own tunnel of fears and insecurities. Two years earlier, when my daughter was born, I had an innate trust in my body, I "knew" I could birth her. I wasn't afraid. This time was a completely different experience. Looking at death so closely, seeing my mom's body after her death really hit home to me how we are literally here one moment and gone the next. I was afraid of dying.

In the last months of pregnancy, as I got closer and closer to the birth of Silas, the fear of dying during or immediately after labor became stronger and stronger. I actually remember at one point saying to myself, "If I make it through this birth, all bets are off, life will continually surprise me with it's own path and I have no control over it." In some way, I needed to experience this birth to firmly remind me that I am powerless over life and death. That I don't get to make that decision. That life will take me where I am meant to go.

The days before Silas arrived, there was a letting go. I remember feeling more at peace. Whatever was to be would be, and by then I was feeling so uncomfortable in my body, that I was ready to face the challenges of labor. I had an amazing team in place, each of whom I loved and trusted. There was a part of me that was worried that any fear that I had left over would hinder my birthing process and make it more difficult. When in fact, I learned, that it was only during the process of birthing, that I was actually able to really let go into my fear, feel it fully and release it.

My daughter's birth was about being present and not having expectations. My son's birth was more about accepting "what is", making room for "it" in the present and not judging myself for whatever I was feeling. I am incredibly grateful to have had such wonderful birth experiences, each with their own challenges and most of all moments of pure bliss. Birth can be that as well as hard work and painful. Giving birth was transformational to me. I am incredibly blessed to have been able to experience it fully not only once, but twice in my life.

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