Imprints: Her Timeless Way

“Imprints” is where I share little snippets, flashbacks, and memories of the holy work I’ve been honored to partake in as a doula.  These are experiences that have imprinted my heart.

Some of these are bits from birth stories or letters to the babies.  Others are the visions that come to me randomly throughout my quiet moments and remind me that we are so succulently alive.  And so perfect.

*****************************************

{From a previously published post in 2009}

The phone call and calm message from her husband at 5:45 am.

Early morning on her due date, walking into her spacious home. The light pouring through the windows. A midwife curled on her couch, smiling and at ease. A hug and kiss to her cheek. “Have you heard about the news? About the baby?”, she asks. In a split second I wonder if baby was born before I got here and I give a confused look. “The baby. MY baby”, she coos as she rubs her belly. Drawn in breath of excitement, another hug and kiss to her cheek. “Number 10. What a blessing”.

In the birth tub, I kneel and smile at her. Her dreamy, heavy eyelids open and reveal ocean eyes. I notice her dimple and her perfect smile. “You are beautiful”, I say. She breathes silently and steadily through contractions. She is ancient, timeless, a didgeridoo, a harp, a gong, soft chimes.

Her mother meditating in the backyard, in lotus position.

Her head nodding and throat purring as I softly massage her neck, shoulders, and back. “What a gift she gives”, my mind says as I think about her graciously allowing me in her most holy birth space. I feel unworthy and utterly okay with it.

Her husband’s wide, eager eyes and soothing spirit. His hug that draws me in, the unspoken words. No need to speak them. Her drinking carrot, apple, and beet juice because she knows her body needs nourishment. Gulping it down, then ack ack ack’ing with her tongue at the aftertaste. This makes us giggle in sympathy. She doesn’t complain.

Softly spoken, as if treading on sacred ground “I am so tired. I don’t want to do this anymore”. There is, wisely, no real weight to her words. She lets the water float them away. An acknowledgement “Your body will provide. Just take a little rest now”. The stillness of her mouth during contractions, as she leans her head against the soft sides of the tub. Her smooth brow. Her delicate hands and simple, clean, clear fingernails . I imagine them caressing her baby soon. I imagine them as mother’s hands.

Her mother, husband, midwife, and I applying counter pressure to her hips and lower back. I snap a photo of hands upon her body. Powerful. We do it alone and yet with others, this birth thing.

Hours later, we offer to leave her and her husband alone for a bit to give them space. She opens her eyes, looks up at us sadly and says “But it hurts when you don’t push on me”. We stay.

The blood from my womb, the tiny seed in her belly, and the mama birthing her baby. It strikes me as poignant, three women in various stages of reproduction and life.

Later, we do leave. Hearing her long, progressive, controlled, awesome moans all the way into the kitchen. The sound of the power of her body, the sound of her baby descending. Upon our return, seeing her husband in the pool with her, supporting her hips and back and encouraging her with confidence.

Noticing the small reflection of her breasts just above the water line, of her husband, and of the side of my face in the blue-clear sides of the pool. Trying to figure out a way to snap a photo of this, but not wanting to disturb the peace.

Emerging from the pool, about 7 hours later, to change positions. “I’m so tired and I want to lay down but I don’t want to lay down and have the contractions slow down”. The battle of the rational mind vs. the primal mind again. She begin to moan her way through contractions, still keeping a steady pace with her breath. Calm and focused. Art in motion. Energy channeled.

Watching her, in a Zen-like series of moments, standing nude by the bed, slowing and rhythmically spiraling and rocking her hips and she holds her belly. Feet firm on the ground, tiny body and strong legs supporting a succulent belly. Her eyes flutter close and she is calm as a dawning morning. It appears she feels no pain, no discomfort. I see her connecting deeply with her baby. She seems blissfully unaware of us in the room. I want to leave her alone but also want to capture this moment of her larger-than-life beauty on video. I resist the urge to do either.

Her remarks that she keeps visualizing the birth goddess statue from “The Timeless Way” video and it reminds her to open. Yes, she is doing this the timeless way. More grunts emit from her. We all pump our arms and silently mouth a “Yeah!”.

On the toilet, we hear a splash. Her water breaks. And then the familiar “Uhhhhgggggghhh” grunt. Yes, yes, yes. That bag was bulging and now baby’s gonna fly down the canal, I think.

Her energy and voice shift intensity, and she can barely catch her breath at times. Sitting on a birth stool, she grasps the front handles with her hands and points her toes with contractions. He sits behind her on the tub, supporting her back. Excitement builds. We see her yoni bulging.

“Feel your baby!”, the midwife suggests. “Noooo”, she breathes, so caught up in the intensity of her work. She is urged to feel again. A hand reaches down to her center, her face lights up, choking back tears and laughter “Oooohhhh, my baby!” We all have a catch in our throat as tears well. His eyes are a bit red and he smiles through the salty tears.

Switching positions so he can see baby emerge, I press on her lower back and grab a video and still camera. Not being able to see baby, I rely on the midwife’s cues. Dad is nodding his head excitedly as he sees baby coming down and out.

Suddenly hearing “That’s baby’s head”, I switch the camera on, slip off my position on the tub, and begin filming. Sure enough, baby’s head has crowned and is emerging.

Squatting and leaning over, videotaping baby’s head from behind and under the birth stool as her head is fully emerged, waiting for mama to catch a few breaths. The closest I’ve ever got a video camera to a baby’s head; a first peek. Amazing. The room is quiet and soft and still. Baby’s head slowly rotates and she pushes.

Midwife guides Dad’s hands down around his baby. Out she slips into his waiting hands. Baby is brought to her chest and her smile is a million miles wide.

An uncanny peacefulness still blankets the room; so hushed and beautiful and perfect. “I did it! We did it! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it did it”, she sweetly chimes as she strokes her baby girl’s fresh, blood-covered body. I love when they say this. It gets me in the heart and gut every.single.time. It is one of the many treats I am lucky to experience. I cherish this, the mother-speak.

Stepping away, not too long after we’ve cozied them all up in bed. Giving them room and time to get to know one another in this realm. Hugging the midwife. Thanking her.

Coming back into the room before I leave and kissing mama on the forehead. I am so proud of her.

I still don’t know the stats (weight and length) on baby. I know her name.

A goddess. Siduri.

And her mama birthed in her own timeless way, one that is wound in the ancient memory of our DNA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s