Birth is a powerful force, uncontrollable and raw. It brings us into our most primitive, simple forms. The design of our bodies, the synchronicity of our composition. It is a compact, intense and potent experience…our whole life collapsed into a single moment. The moment we become.
Become a living, breathing expression of our soul.
Become a mother, the soul inexplicably and forever tethered to another in the most cosmic and physical sense.
I have spent many years searching for the latent and omnipotent meaning behind this soul-altering experience. I have also been searching for something. A lost part of my spirit.A way to turn ON the dead parts of me that I have shut off and let die.
I have been aching to define it, give it words, give it LIFE…give birth to this need for the something I can’t even outline.
Recently, I have been drawn into working as a doula… a woman who is hired to support a mother during labor and birth. I have moved into this work with a powerful sense of purpose…there is something here for me to learn.
I need to be here, doing this.
Getting into the work has been exhausting. Emotionally and physically draining, and challenging my patience and communication skills constantly. I teeter on the edge of quitting, turning tail and running, cutting the stress and expectation and difficult relationships loose and being freed from it all. But I stay. Because there is something here, in this work.
Something that I am meant to do.
What is it? What is birth meant to teach me?
Why am I here, stroking this woman’s hair, rubbing her calves, holding her IV pole as she paces the halls? What is it that I am seeking in this experience of long sleepless nights, emotional moments of doubt and fear, wading through another woman’s wave of self doubt and desperate yearning to hold on? With each experience, the answer takes shape, the formless longing inside me tightens… infinitesimally more defined, sharper than before.
I am seeking Spirit. Connection. Life. Force.
And it is here. In holding this woman’s hand as she allows her body to open wide. In laying a cool cloth to her forehead as she surrenders to the powerful force that is turning her into a human portal. In holding her foot in one hand as I look right into her scared eyes and tell her to let go. Release. Allow her baby to move through her open body and let her go.
What is life, but a journey that opens you…sometimes slowly, almost unnoticeably, bit by bit, and sometimes with a force so overwhelming it brings you to your knees?
What are we doing here, in this moment, but surrendering? Giving over our need to control, beat it into submission, fight it off, this unrelenting force that is our life unfolding… the more we struggle, the more it hurts.
Change can be painful, transformation can be excruciating. But there is no other way.
There comes a time in labor where the mother may beg for help, to make it stop, for rescue from the power that has taken her body over. There is nothing to do but move through the ache of opening up, being vulnerable.
“Welcome it,” I tell her. “Invite it in. It is changing you… and this change is necessary. It is how you will release this baby, give her life.”
What is our purpose here, but to cut the cord of all physical and binding attachment so that we can nurture the spiritual connections that remind us of our true nature…our oneness, our wholeness with all that is divine? For this beautiful baby to become, she must be released from her mother, and breathe a separate breath. It is the only way to experience true unity of family… father, mother, baby.
I watch a woman become a mother.
I observe a man become a father.
I see a new life Become.
And I witness the Divine.
Within my spirit, I feel a knowing begin to take shape.
Birth is God, expressed. It is Life, compressed. Love, manifest.