It is a cold and blustery night here in Montreal...the wind is howling and the windows shaking. But my night was cozy, safe, and warm. My younger kids, my husband, and I got to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the birth of my buddy Iggy. He is a child who draws a lot of love to him. It warms my heart to no end to see him thriving in every way. I feel blessed to be part of his life. Birth can be such a fiercely bonding experience, and Iggy's parents and I are connected for life after a 4 day labour and a vaginal birth after 2 previous C-sections.
What can a woman endure, let me count the ways! I don't think I've ever met someone in my entire career who worked so hard to birth a baby...not just throughout labour, but prenatally as well. Natalie dedicated herself, body,mind, and spirit, to creating space, to healing, to accepting whatever Birth was going to give her. As feared situations arose, instead of shutting down in resistance, she dug as deeply as she could to learn what was to be learned, and used those lessons to heal. She owned her birth so powerfully by the end, that when a young doctor, who had no idea how much she had truly gone through already, came in and said, "well, we might have to Section you because you've been such and such amount of centimetres for such and such a time," she laughed from deep in her belly. Not in mockery, but in mastery. Her birth shed light upon some of her biggest demons and she conquered them, very likely permanently. She knew there was nothing that was going to come up that she couldn't deal with. And not only did she own it, she loved it. In our culture of high drama which thinks a 24 hour labour is something to emote complainingly about, Natalie looks joyfully upon her birth experience with love and gratitude. To be grateful for 4 days of gruelling labour (we're not just talking about the kind of contractions that you can distract yourself from) because of the things it taught you and how it healed you is probably one of the most beautiful examples of living in grace I have ever seen. No WONDER Iggy is such a special kid.
It's important to celebrate fathers as well. As we looked over the photos from Iggy's birth tonight, his mother was obviously a Goddess, moving that baby down with everything she had. But I need to give his dad Adam serious props, because he had to get his head around all the crazy belly magic and the secret witchy workings of we women in the birthing room. This kind of intense work, the kind only those who work a lot with Birth energy really understand, can make a man feel pretty isolated sometimes. Those photos,however, revealed a man incredibly loving, pouring all his energy into his partner, into his baby, protecting them with all his intention. As scared as he may have been at times with such an arduous journey, and despite how many difficult decisions he had to think about, unsure of what and whom to trust, he allowed himself to be vulnerable, and chose to allow the womens' work to unfold. I have profound respect for how he held that space, even when he felt broken and perhaps nothing like the strong, intense man he is. He had to endure some seriously challenging emotional and spiritual labour pains in order to birth himself as Father, as that is what Birth demanded of him too. And he did it spectacularly. Where and how I ever received such a privilege, I'll never know...but I got to witness it. And hold it. And tonight, I celebrate it. Chin chin, my friend.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, IGGY! I love you.