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The biggest lesson I learned from my 41-hour home birth.🐍
Two beaches and a magical cave.
It was the dark quiet of Saturday night, and I was full of anxiety, overwhelmed by not only the gnawing pain of my cervix expanding millimeter by millimeter with each contraction, but a simultaneous sciatic nerve knifing its way down my left leg through the duration of every surge.
It wasn’t the pain itself I was anxious about.
It was that I had no idea how long I’d be in labor.
And more — what I’d heard my midwife say about the two main reasons in her practice for hospital transfers: maternal fatigue when the labor’s too long, and fetal heart rate distress for the same reason.
I had one big goal for my birth: to not step foot in a hospital.
I didn’t want cold linoleum floors under my feet, wires on my body, beep beep beep, what the fuck is that sound?
I didn’t want strangers in and out of the room checking me during the most intimate experience of my life.
I didn’t want to have to write up a plan and emphasize again and again, This is a physiological birth. No medication. No intervention. Delayed cord clamping. Slow it all down.
I didn’t want to pack a bag.
I didn’t want a time limit.
I didn’t want to be viewed as high risk at 36.
I didn’t want to have to put my baby in a car seat mere hours after he was born.
I just wanted to moan and groan and scream and weep in my own damn bedroom with my husband at my side and nothing but a single candle light.
I wanted the birth altar we prayed to for weeks watching over us.
I wanted our dog Rajah in the room, or at least in the house.
I wanted the smell of homemade matzo ball soup wafting upstairs from the kitchen.
I wanted to be tucked into bed when it was all said and done, and rest there together as a brand new family.
I wanted familiarity.
I wanted full trust in my body.
I wanted freedom.
So there I was, 30 hours in. Just me, Seann, Rajah, and our beloved doula Mo.
Our bedroom was as quiet as a cave. Beeswax candlelight dancing in front of our pussy shaped amethyst. Sheer red curtains drawn. Dark, drippy, sacred.
Every few minutes I’d signal with a small wave that it was starting again. I’d say in an emphatic whisper, “leg!”, which meant for either Seann or Mo to put pressure on my thigh while I inhaled as deep as possible, then groaned the pain out loud but gentle.
After each wave of agony, I’d pass into an exhausted sleep. A sleep that felt like eternity. Like hours. Like a massive lake at midnight in the middle of a starry savanna.
Now this — this, surprisingly, is where the anxiety came in.
“Shit!” I’d wake up whispering. “How long was I asleep?!”
Mo would look at me in a dream state and whisper back, “You’re doing great. Just keep going.”
I’d look to Seann and he’d nod his head, “You’re right on track. You’ve got this.”
But I needed to know…
Were my contractions spacing out?
Was labor slowing down?
Was this whole thing taking way too long?
Would I end up on those linoleum floors with strangers in my sacred portal?
Of course, I couldn’t say all that. My words were mostly gone, as often happens in labor.
So my anxiety gave way to tension. And the tension increased the pain. And the increased pain eroded my faith.
No matter my deep breaths.
No matter how much I had prepped.
There I was, in the thick of it. Suffering.
“I can’t do this. I can’t do this.
How much longer? How much longer?”
“You’re doing it. You’re doing it.
You’re getting closer. You’re getting closer.”
It was then, at my wits end, obsessing over time, anxious — almost panicked — but with no escape plan to let me off the hook, that I had an encounter with my Soul’s truest power.
A vision came of a memory.
Me and Jodi in 2017 at Windansea Beach doing an Oracle Walk. An experience where you ask a tender question, and then let nature talk. In symbols. In signs. In messages from the divine.
We had wanted to know if or when or how we’d live in the same place again, commune as village. We both did our walks, sensing for the way nature wanted to talk to each of us. Came back and decoded the messages. Landed on the same essential thread.
Trust the timing. This isn’t in your control. Something bigger is at play. Some day. Somehow. Some way.
So as an act of faith, we wrote “trust the timing” in the sand with a seashell and then stood there.
Moments before, the shore had washed over that exact spot where we wrote our motto. But as we stood, time continued to pass and no wave crashed onto that spot… for a whole 35 minutes. Our jaws dropped.
The message couldn’t just be theory. Nature wanted us to feel it in practice.
I remembered that moment and my anxiety cracked. Whole body weeping quietly, passionately. Seann & Mo in sacred witness of me. I whimpered and sniveled through at least three long waves of surging pain.
All I could say was, “Jodi.”
Then I conked out. This time, I went deeper in. Dream state. Sacred space. Soul power place. Again.
Another memory surfaced from a more recent Oracle Walk with Seann.
The foggy beach of Mendocino on our Babymoon.
The hidden 40 foot deep cave I was inexplicably drawn to that day.
The moist cavernous portal I crawled through on hands and knees.
Dripping cave water raining down on me.
Sublime mysterious ecstasy.
And the cellular remembrance of the Timeless Cave Woman.
The one who’d given birth through all of human history in secluded chambers of the earth.
A small fire.
A trusted companion or two.
Only the wise ones would do.
A dog keeping guard of the entryway ensuring any threat to the Dreamtime stay far far away.
I remembered that day and that woman. Her dirty fingernails and feral smell.
She wasn’t fearless. She knew the risks. But she was certain.
Even when her doubts tried to swallow her whole, she would stay in that cave and do what she knew she could, what she knew she must.
Visited. I was visited by the Spirit of Trust.
Not just any trust,
but trust in the power of timelessness.
The all natural drug of Super Presence.
I welcomed her in like my missing Wise Woman.
And together we traveled the remaining 11 hours of my labor not in a pain-free state, but in a suffering-free one.
In the end, 8 ferocious growling shouts and our baby crowned his way out through my magical bloody roots. Pool full of iron red and specks of opal womb water. A starry canvas of the infinite.
Together, tethered still by our cord, we crawled our way out of the birth tub into bed.
Weeps of love. Awe-struck smiles. Wow, that was fucking wild.
Noah did the breast crawl up my body. Found his new Source.
An hour later, all the blood from the placenta fully transferred to his body, we tenderly cut the cord.
So, my dears.
The biggest lesson I learned from my 41-hour home birth?
Our obsession with controlling time kills the vibe, cues the suffering.
Counting the minutes, instead of living fully in it.
Needing to know when, instead of devoting to how.
Projecting into the future, leaving the now.
Looking for a way out, instead of dropping down in surrender.
Trying to avoid future disaster, meanwhile, our fixation is courting it faster than we know.
Whether you’re in the preconception process, looking for that perfect partner, trying to get your money in order, or tending to your womb…
Or in the conception portal with a 12 pack of pregnancy tests, ovulation strips, and anticipatory, vulnerable stress…
Whether you’re pregnant counting trimesters… When will the nausea end? The kicking begin? The day finally come for me to enter my birth cave?
Or you’re postpartum up at 2am feeding (how many more minutes?!), or your baby is teething (how many more weeks?!)
… There is Always Something to be impatient about.
Always something that arouses your doubt.
That makes you want to shout to the gods, “When will this end, so the good stuff can begin?!”
I know you know this sister...
But the Motherverse (like life) is always a both/and.
It can’t be about getting to the other end.
It has to be about letting go of when.
And instead, embracing now.
Finding your yes to exactly what is, including your growling knifing sciatic nerve pain. Your negative pregnancy test… again. Your 12th night in a row with no more than 2 hours of sleep at a time. Your extremely adorable baby that won’t. stop. crying.
After the Timeless Spirit of Trust birthed through me with my baby, I knew I couldn’t continue living in my old ways. Especially when it came to my work.
I knew I was called to let go even more.
Of linear markers or sensical order.
Of the highly strategic plan.
I knew I was called to drop deeper in – to desire, to faith, to a wild vibrant yes.
And that’s how I came up with this. MAGIC 4X: Entering the Motherverse edition.
I wanted to do magical rituals, in magical places, with magical people, for magical causes. And I wanted to do them with beloveds also traveling through this initiatory, life-changing portal.
Beloveds seeking community, coven and council around their engorged tits and their hazy minds, their vulnerable doubts and their uncanny faith.
Beloveds seeking ritual and ceremony to commune with their Souls, to integrate their most embodied Mother Power.
Beloveds who trust the miracle of their bodies, the fierceness of their spirit, and the natural divinity of birth.
Beloveds who are craving to live beyond convention, beyond systems of fear and domination over their bodies.
Beloveds who’ve been through some shit and came out / are coming out on top of it, wilder and wiser, longing even clearer.
Beloveds who KNOW they were born for this. To Mother. To Mother their kids, to Mother themselves, to Mother each other, and to Mother the Earth — into a radical nourishing future.
Wanna be together in a time beyond time?
With the Spirit of Trust as our guide?
MAGIC 4X. Big Island. Sept 19-23rd. All inclusive retreat at an off-grid jungle sanctuary. Plus virtual 1:1s and coven calls before and after. $4444, with payment plans available. $111 from each participant donated to the Hawai’i Land Trust.
Click click. Venture in.
With so much love,
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