“You are the only one who can make it happen for you. Others can support and encourage you, but you have to find the energy and power within in order to step into the center of your own life and take charge.” – Lynda Field
Birth is an invitation. During labor, time and space are no longer relevant. Minutes are hours and days and lifetimes…
You exist as a portal between two realms. The spiritual and the physical world unite within you. It’s always been this way. That power has always existed inside you.
As your body opens, everything shifts into alignment with your spirit. Everyone in the room can feel the energy change. They follow your lead as you guide the way into the deep. You are the trailblazer. Even though you’ve never been here before your body knows the way.
Birth brings us to the end of ourselves, to the bowels of our being. Not one of us discovers the depth of our soul in the same way. And when we think we’ve pushed ourselves as far as we can go, we dig just a little deeper. One last time. To that final place. Where we find the light within that no other person can show us. Where we literally birth ourselves anew.
The work of labor and delivery most simply put is to ‘open’ and to ‘let go’.
Labor is an opening and birth is a letting go.
What makes this process so different for each woman is what they’re opening to and what they’re letting go of. I’ll give you a hint, it’s rarely the baby. By the time labor comes around, most women are well acquainted with the idea that their baby will soon be here. Instead, the baby acts as a tool or a catalyst as the mother grows into herself and prepares to be born anew.
Some mothers open to the unknown. Some open to receiving help. Some open to their own courage. Some even open to the reality that they’re not in control, no matter how bad they want to be.
Similarly, mothers experience a letting go of exactly what is needed for their own birth to happen. Some let go of self limiting beliefs. Some let go of fear. Some let go of unhelpful but well-ingrained thought patterns. Some let go of the wheel…
Women labor and deliver not just in their bodies, but also in their minds, in their hearts, and in their souls.
I came across this poem about birth on Instagram. If anyone knows the original author, please comment below and let me know! It’s so beautiful, I had to share…
“In case no one has told you…
the journey won’t make sense until you’re on the other side
While you’re walking the path
Doing the holy work of birth
Sweating and swaying and swearing
You’ll be so deep in it
So consumed by the sensations
That you won’t be able to see the end
Or even the progress you’ve made
You’ll feel lost at points
Grasping at some sense of linear time
At a roadmap you can follow
At a finish line you can see
And coming up empty handed
Minutes are hours are days are lifetimes are galaxies
Each contraction takes you deeper
And it’s impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel
When you are the tunnel
And the darkness
And the whole entire planet
hurtling through space
And those electric candles and twinkly lights that you put up to set the mood
Seem so silly now
as you’re being tossed and turned
Moaning and panting your way through
But then you’ll emerge
Tidal waves of joy crashing over you
Triumph and deliverance
Pride and peace
And a love so expansive
Your heart will explode
And it will all make sense
You will see how your journey
Was written in the stars
That you were never lost
Every moment when you thought you couldn’t go on
Was simply a stepping stone
On your way home
You will see
that your magic mirrored the universe
That you were one in the same
birthing new worlds
Power and beauty in ecstatic motion”
“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”
—Barbara Katz Rothman
It’s important that we pay attention to what’s showing up for us during pregnancy and birth. Even while trying to conceive. The journey of motherhood is a spiritual one first and foremost. As we begin this journey, many things rise to the surface within us. Examples might include; finding our voice, setting boundaries, learning patience, trusting our gut, standing in our truth, surrendering, or receiving help. All things designed to better equip us for the other side of birth.
See, where there is birth there is also death. And as the Mother, you are no longer who you once were. You can never go back to your old self. That self has to die in order for this one to be born anew. And with that birth, everything shifts. Your perspective. Your priorities. Your relationships…
Resistance to this transformation can be painful. It’s better to honor and trust the cycles of life. To surrender to what is. More to come…
I’m over five months pregnant and have been doing a ton of research on all things labor, delivery, newborns, and motherhood. But there’s one area in which research is lacking and that area is called, “Matrescence”. The term was coined by Dana Raphael, Ph.D. (1973) and it remains a largely unexplored area of study. In fact, I conducted a survey on my social media pages and 82% of women (mostly new mothers) had never even heard of the term!
In short, matrescence can be likened to adolescence. It refers to the process of becoming a mother. The developmental passage where a woman transitions through pre-conception, pregnancy, and birth, to the postnatal period and beyond. It recurs with each child. Of course, we all know that during pregnancy a woman’s body is changing rapidly and inside a tiny life form is taking shape to be a completely unique and individual human being upon birth. But what we often forget is that the woman herself is also changing rapidly and taking shape. Not just in a physical sense, but in a bio-psycho-social-political-spiritual way.
Yes, the mother gives birth to a child. But the child also gives birth to a mother.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said it best, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
I’m currently working on a series about Matrescence, including a poem, which will be the first of its kind. I can’t believe no other artist has delved into this topic before! I hope that you’ll stay tuned and share this information with the women in your life. New mothers, expecting mothers, and women who want to be mothers. May we all be comforted in knowing that we’re not alone.
You’re born alone and you die alone. You can’t bring anyone into this world with you as well as you can’t take anyone out of it when you go. It is your journey alone.
Yes we meet people along the way but it is only two lives running parallel, not intertwining. Enjoy these experiences but never believe you were born for someone or meant to be with one individual person you’re whole life because quite frankly, you will be sorely upset when reality comes to light.
A close friend once told me that finding someone you love is like finding a beautiful wild flower. We want to pick it and take it home with us to keep, but it soon looses it’s glow. It wilts and becomes unhealthy and eventually dies. To truly appreciate someone we love, we must allow them to flourish and grow in their environment. Visit them in their beauty but not displace them…”