Today I am having contractions less than 10 minutes apart. They are wonderfully grounding. I feel more connected to my vajayjay than ever before. Every rush I feel begins around the cervix and then expands to the entire uterus, like a warm embrace around baby. The brillant design of it feels outside myself, yet I know this is the me I am just less familiar with. This mystical, luminous, prolific, willowy me I want to know more about.
We don’t know when baby is due. July 13, June 30, June 11 are all decent possibilities. We’re leaning into intuition at this point. The midwives, our doula, Thomas and I. Wondering daily. When I started pre-labor nearly three weeks ago I was agitated by the contractions and a percieved lack of ‘progress’. As I look back over these weeks, especially since I stopped working, I recognize that progress needed a larger lens. The spiral is evolving. It’s not linear and it’s not circular it’s progressive. And today is just the most active day thus far, but may not be the end either.
This is my second pregnancy. I thought it would be easier. Now, as I near the end, I wouldn’t label it as easier… something closer to expansive. It literally opened me, grew me up, pushed all previous definations and limitations out the window. The first trimester took it’s toll in physical sickness, making me question my resolve for this choice. The second trimester spread wide open mental and emotional patterns that kept me small and afraid. The third trimester insisted that I surrender addictions to perfection, success, expectation and planning.
What I learned in all of this is that there is no one solution or practice to help change yourself. Nutrician, exercise, mental affirmations, prayer, being with nature, and tending to healing old wounds all intereact with one another to create opportunities for transformation.
One example, I was around 37 weeks, my belly was cramping after a long walk, a yeast infection was at it’s peak, I was constipated and had hemorrhoids. My water intake was low, meditation felt foggy that morning, I was angry at my job and the disgraceful maternity leave standards the USA has.
I threw myself on the bed, exhausted…. and sobbed. I shouted into the pillow: “I fuckin’ hate this! What is it that you want from me!? I surrender! There is nothing more I can figure out or fix. Please God, angles, guides, ancestors…help me…help me…”
And the answer that I heard was an invitation to simply let go.
Let go of the idea of having to heal the yeast without drugs.
Let go of the desire to start labor by walking 2 miles a day.
Let go of the anger around policy and fear about finances.
Let go of judging your meditation.
And most of all…stop pooping so damn hard!
I started to breath slower then. There was a moment of deep insight on the current level of resistence between my mind and body. This conflict was creating misery. Yet it didn’t have to exist. I could give the mind a back seat to this rodeo and allow the body to lead.
But the truth was I (my mind) didn’t trust my body. That’s why it was so challenging to let go. It didn’t feel simple at all. I had to pick at it, a little bit at a time, everyday. Some days meditation helped. Other days I couldn’t quiet the mind for 5 seconds. Some days a slow walk in the park was the perfect calming balm, other days it felt worse than gym exercise. Some days I felt organismic devouring the organic watermelon and strawberries, other days all I wanted to eat was Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream.
In the midst of it, I thought I would see progress as a committed exercise plan, or weight loss, or emotional stability. None of that shit ever showed up. But I do recognize progress, it just looks different.
- I honor water before I drink or bathe.
- I breath with contractions and welcome them as the energy wave it will take to reveal my baby to me.
- I talk to the earth with my barefeet on the ground and hands touching trees.
- I sing songs of forgiveness to my vagina.
- I ask for help much more frequently from those around me.
- I recognize the brilliance of timing that is beyond my mental comprehension and perspective. Yet somehow is deeply, deeply known.
So perhaps this is the most significant learning: how to shift my primary self-identification from soley my mind, and be more inclusive of the other forms of me: body, emotion, spirit. This requires my mind-self to humble itself and admit it doesn’t know and it doesn’t need to be the one to figure it out. This requires my body-self to purge previous negativity stored throughout itself as destructive bateria, cysts, fat and pain. This requires the emotional-self to examine the need for self-protection, passive agressive anger and shame so that they can align back into a natural state of ease, joy, and love. This requires my spirit-self to communicate to the all aspects of me insight into the larger perspective, the deeper reality, the formlessness of all of this so that we might dance in the pure exesy of it all.
With this self idenity I feel expanded. I feel comprehensive. I feel aligned to a child-self who knew all this before having to list it all out. And to the anscestors who lived within this knowing in balance and harmony. Perhaps it is a result of our ‘modern’ culture that praises the mental-self above all others that we create these psycological personality disorders that are so out of wack. Where ever it came from, it will be an ongoing journey to reach for inclusivity and balance. Perhaps that’s exactly what this pregnancy was meant to deliver to me.