Growing another human being requires transformation: mental, physical, and emotional transformation. The thing is, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the physical transformation, that we forget to focus on our emotional state. One of the things that fascinates me about the pregnancy journey is the subtle internal transformation that occurs. We go from looking outward to looking inward. All of a sudden the journey is not just about us and our exterior environment, but it is also about us and our interior environment.
The knowing that another human being is present and with you at all times, is both fascinating and eerie. Certainly, there is the excitement that one might experience in the last weeks of pregnancy, upon having the belly stretched so thin that your babe’s hands or feet might be seen. Your belly might take on odd shapes, you might begin to gather a sense of what position your baby is in based on where she kicks, or you might feel her head low in your pelvis, pressing on the pubic bone and reminding you, that she is on her own journey. Just as you journey inwards into the depths of your soul and your emotional being, she begins her journey outward into the climate that exists beyond the confines of a uterus.
I read a lot throughout my first pregnancy. It was my first, after all, and I had the time! But what I didn’t have was the wisdom of having crossed into labor land and having journeyed through birth. I didn’t have the traveler’s wisdom and I sought out all the gurus for answers: Ina May Gaskin, Pam England, and Gurmukh Kauer Khalsa. I even read “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer. I welcomed the stories of women birthing on the “Farm” as they were described by Ina May. I considered the emotional dissonance of women experiencing a Cesarean birth that did not plan for or desire one. I considered that I might feel out of control in labor, that I might succumb to suggestions that didn’t fit my birthing preferences. I had a lot to think about, but that was all that existed. Thoughts. I had no tangible experience and that fact in itself, was unnerving, raw, and liberating at the same time. My story was a mere whisper on the wings of a Monarch gathering momentum, passion, and direction.
There were so many possibilities. I envisioned my birth experience in a certain way, yet I knew that the story would not be mine alone. The story was also his. My son had a story to tell on his journey from the inner cocoon that involved transformation and my story was incomplete without his. Together we entered labor land. Together we entered the unknown, fueled only by snippets of wisdom, whispers of advice, and a vision that was in flux.