Wild Flowers…

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It seems like time stood still for this moment…look at those eyes, staring into my soul, this photo will never grow old…”We see you Mama,” they seem to say…forever etched in my heart, forever in a day…I promise I have pictures of almost every moment in their lives and I treasure them. Some pictures seem to speak out loud when Eye look at them and this is one of them. “Mama, I want to wear my Fall vest!” “This necklace will match my shirt”…Oh, yes, I smile about each moment with precise recollection…My soul is filled with sweetness, like wild honey in my favorite mug of tea…they know me like no one else and I love them like the precious flowers they are…blooming so tall and strong.

I listen when they tell me things…they are wise old souls even though I am the Mama…I learn from them as they teach me…

One day, we will share stories together when they are all grown up and they will feel different then…those same stories that I tell at their request…like my mother does with me…she becomes so animated at what she remembers and what she’s seen in her lifetime. And that is how it goes…share and remember, keep the memories alive and pass them onward so that they will always know how much they are truly loved…

The balance of motherhood

“Motherhood is a sacred dance; a second chance to see the purity in our being.”~Lisalotusqueen

I am not my past mistakes…Lately, I have felt the need to resonate with this mantra when I hear my ego whispering in my ear, “Haven’t you been down this road before?” My spirit counteracts this energy with “you are not who you used to be; “you have grown and are still growing, like a beautiful flower.”

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As mothers, we are caretakers, matchmakers, lovers, creators; we can do so much. But, we are also prone to being “superwoman” during our journey as mothers, needing to take care of everything at all times. I had chosen this way of being and did it effortlessly, or so I thought. I was burning myself out and didn’t even realize until the signs became loud and clear.

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Growing a tiny human as a woman and then growing that same child as a mother is one of the most misunderstood yet amazing feats ever taken in life. I have caught myself feeling overwhelmed at the prospect before me and became doubtful more often than not. “You are such a wonderful mother, your children are so sweet, you are doing a great job!” Those are strengthening words to a mother but if she doubts herself, they won’t matter too much. I have felt unsure often, but I thrived off of the peace I felt within, knowing I was doing my best. It has been easy most days, but difficult as well. I felt the need to hide my tears; I’m not supposed to cry about this! I have this motherhood thing down like a science…and I do, I know how to expertly care for my children. I love them endlessly, I feed them healthy foods so they can grow big and be well, we head out to the park for hours of play, and we read bedtime stories almost every night. But what about the times when I don’t have a quick remedy or I feel uncertain? I realized the best thing I could do in those moments was allow my children to see me in my vulnerability. When we can reveal that side to our children, the connection we have with them is more genuinely felt. After all, don’t many children readily express their emotions with us on a daily basis without any inhibitions?

My children have seen me grieve, cry, laugh and even be scared and I’m proud to say that. I’m a human being first and foremost; with a range of emotions and imperfections. I used to think that somehow I had to push all of that under a rug for their sake, and I have, many times. I wanted them to know that I would not fall apart, I would keep it together, even if I had to pretend for a while. Their peace of mind was extremely important to me and still is. But what we forget is how resilient children are, we really don’t give them credit for the tenacity they possess.

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My children know and sense the protective lioness energy in their mama, but they also know that I have been weak. So on Mother’s day, I salute us and send precious love to all mothers on this unforgettable journey. We are stronger than we know but it is also okay for us to express our emotions. Motherhood seems to be under-appreciated in the West, and it is pretty evident. We have to jump through many hoops when we begin wearing that title, and why? We really thrive so much better when we have a sense of being; of community that upholds us in our role as mothers and encourages us. The dance of motherhood is a sacred dance, we see our children through many stages in life; infancy, childhood, adolescence and finally adulthood. We do all of this without clear guidance as to what to do in each stage; we learn by trial and error very often. We are unique, extraordinary and amazing women to be able to balance all of that and more. Motherhood is undoubtedly one of the greatest mysteries of life. Relating to our children in all stages of their lives as we enter different stages in our own lives is a testament to our depth and capabilities as mothers.

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“Mother Love” by Artclee (DevianArt)

Birth memories…

“I loved her the moment I laid eyes on her; I wanted to hold her close and breathe her in.”

…She was such an intense little newborn, with a lusty cry, almost like a lion cub…my sun girl…dark hair covered the nape of her neck; I felt so magical about her and knew instantaneously that she would have this hold over me. Her name means “the Creator is beautiful”…I knew that my body had to heal but also that she needed me. Upon getting her home, it was like “what do we do now?” But she let me know and we slowly fell into a rhythm…I was thankful, truly.  She latched on perfectly when I began breastfeeding. I felt kind of emotional about my delivery, but feeling confident during breastfeeding somewhat superseded those thoughts. Time truly healed my spirits and watching how beautifully my baby girl was thriving gave me so much peace.

“Was there anything I was afraid of?”

When I think about my first birth experience, it was like there was a loss of control over the situation; my birth was in “someone else’s hands” and I felt very vulnerable being in a hospital setting to have my child. I remember how I felt emotionally, I was VERY nervous and my temperature had slightly risen. My contractions were gaining momentum and I was feeling weary and unsure. The energy from my nervousness was felt by my baby and when my water broke, it was not clear. A c-section was in order not long after; mostly related to concern over my baby’s heart rate, meconium in the amniotic fluid and “distress”. What was about to happen? I had not imagined that I’d have my baby born via a c-section. Everything was so sudden, I was scared as hell, yet prepared to do this and move through. I didn’t know what to feel at first about having a c-section and honestly after I saw my baby, I knew that she and I would be like two peas in a pod… Still, it would be a long road to recovery. The healing process was no joke…dealing with major abdominal and uterine surgery, and caring for an infant is a reality for many new mothers. Though I was thankful we were both okay, I did not wish to go through another c-section in the future…and so learning about a VBAC would be my next journey.
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A few years later; I was expecting my second baby and feeling more confident in my choices about how this birth would go. It seemed that when I shared the fact that I had a C-section with my first child; that I was automatically a candidate for an indefinite hospital birth and possibly another c-section; neither of which I desired. Hope came in the form of a midwife that some of my close friends had used for their births, she was spoken of highly and I definitely wanted to connect with her.

I felt confident with her when I met her and knew that she’d seen many babies come into this realm and her calling was to be a “gatekeeper”, a midwife. She had faith in my ability to birth my baby naturally this time around; something I wished to at least try. I wanted to have a clear mind on what would be taking place; I began comparing birth books that I read; my interests piqued from “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” to books written by Aviva Jill Romm and Sheila Kitzinger; women who spoke openly about birth, not to mention “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin.

“I was about to embark on a new adventure as I planned to tread the waters of “natural birth”. I would be giving birth at home…”

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I remember the day like yesterday, being surrounded by my loved ones, and feeling reassured that every contraction was bringing me closer to seeing my little one. I remember how we prepared the room in which I would be laboring, I remember our trip to the store to gather the supplies we would need for my home birth. It was surreal; I couldn’t believe the moment had finally arrived. I remember the joy I felt when I went to the bathroom and noticed my mucus plug becoming “unplugged.” My contractions were coming but were not as intense yet, so I had some energy to rely on for the real work I had to do later. My midwife would not leave my side, she watched me as I walked around, ate, took a nap, laughed, bounced on my birth ball and then later; as I sighed. Doubt started to creep in right around the time the contractions were beginning to reach their peak, but I knew I had to stay with this energy… My beloved doula, a very close friend of mine who also had used the same midwife, rubbed my feet, she hugged me, and she asked me what I needed. I tried to keep a sense of humor, laughing with everyone when I could muster the strength to…I smelled food cooking in the kitchen as I walked around, now feeling the depth of the contractions. It was a beautiful day in March and I needed some air, and many a walk did I take that day. There was a lot of leaning and squatting…I wanted to get things moving, subconsciously I was accessing my inner power! I loved how I was working with gravity to assist me in labor; I was proud of myself. My midwife listened to my baby’s heart beat, she checked me, but not often, as she knew I was progressing well. I tried to rest in between contractions but it was not as easy or seemingly possible. However, I caught a few moments somehow…My tolerance for pain is not weak in the least bit, but this pain was overwhelming after a while. I also began feeling the baby moving down more, especially after all of the walking and squatting I had been doing. I knew that it was getting real, I was about to go to the point of no return. I started to become nervous, yet felt ready to experience this birth. I sat up in bed and listened intently as my midwife looked me in my eyes and calmly told me my baby was coming. She had tuned into me from the beginning and could naturally sense my hesitance…Her encouragement and the fire in her eyes was reassuring in the ways that I needed. I began feeling the desire to bear down, like an uncontrollable force had overtaken me; I felt my womb working to help my baby come forward. I actually was excited at the prospect of pushing during my contractions, working with them instead of against them was quite inviting to me…I sat up, my red flowery dress falling around my hips and released the energy needed to push. I felt the most indescribable feeling ever; my baby emerging from within. I paused between pushes, my midwife sitting in front of me and my partner next to me. She looked down and said she could see the baby’s head. I honestly can’t remember if I reached down to touch; but I knew I was close to delivering as I could feel the unmistakable “ring of fire.”
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For a split second I was in a state of ecstatic bliss and pain at the same time if that makes sense; I attempted to go within the blissful feeling but it was so subtle and just like that…I heard her cry and knew… the last and final push, I gave my all to and out she came. I felt so light; literally. I had another little girl; My little moon, her name means “heavenly child, wreath of flowers”. She had the biggest eyes and they looked me over and took me in just as I did with her. My midwife weighed her using a spring scale and she was 7 pounds even. She looked at me and said, “she’s a beautiful baby, mommy”…I smiled and felt the love in her words; her congratulations to me… Big sis came in the room after having not seeing mommy for a bit and we cuddled together, this was what my home birth was like. I would not have traded this for the world.

I’m in awe of the journey a woman can have during her birth…we have what we need. No woman ever forgets how she gave birth, how she felt, what she envisioned and her memories are part of her journey.

Listening to our inner voice is like having an internal compass, we just have to pay attention and follow its lead…since when has it ever been wrong?

Such is the case with our birth experiences…
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“I feel a little heart beating now, outside of my womb, yet still next to my heart…

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