The Birth of Freedom
The Birth of Freedom
As we walked her backyard of wild grown flowers and greens, she pointed to the areas she dreamed her labor would take place; dreaming of the perfect breeze and pre arranging the visions of a new birth experience. We built trust. Together, we were a team with a vision to overcome the traumas of her previous birth story. There were moments of hope and confidence accompanied by the pause of fear and anxiety. We laughed. She cried aloud as my heart held her pain in silence. She shared her most intimate feelings, truths, and space with me. We connected. I wanted nothing more than to empower her through this journey and to give to her the best possible outcome. If I could have hand delivered her perfect journey; if I were capable; I simply, would have. I wished her patience, acceptance, and inner peace. During our meetings her son danced around with excitement. I watched and participated. I was in awe of his own “Freedom”, his wisdom and the unconditional love he selfishly gave away.
The journey was not easy. The days continued to pass as this life grew inside of her. There were aches and pains far beyond her physical body. There was also a beauty and a power that could be felt in her presence. I wondered if she was aware of it. I hoped she would discover this magical energy she possessed on the day her journey to labor begin. This was more than an attempt to have a VBAC. It was more than the uncertain acceptance of becoming a mom again. It was more than an attempt to lessen the grief of her preexisting trauma. It was all the above and it was more.
The day came her body would expel this life. I received the first notice by text, we exchanged information and affirmations. It was a beautiful summer morning. Shabbat Eve. I gave a heads up to her midwife and I eagerly awaited for the call to join her. Later in the afternoon, I arrived. The door was open for me, I was welcomed. She sat in a towel, on the couch in Sukhasana. I sat beside her only exchanging breaths and a warm embrace. Labor was imminent. Her son was checking in from time to time between his giggles and play. “Mommy, I love you; just breathe“. She moved from quiet poses, to active sways and squats, I followed her lead. I made her snacks. I made her smile through her grimaced face. She drank; she voided. Showered. Sweated. Bled. Moved. Stretched. Her cries began to escape from the place she held them inside. She looked terrified. She looked strong. She rested. We played music, we dimmed lights… repeat. Into the evening we contacted her midwife and we drove to check on her progress. Her labor was active, it was progressing. Her labor was challenging, it was long. With more work to do, we picked up a birthing tub and went back home to set it up. Relief. I hung over the side into the water elbows deep. My chest met the water as she pulled into me. She clung to me with desperation in her grasp. She squeezed. She begged. She surrendered. She fought. She held back. She let go. The night passed into the early morning hours. The energy around her was thick. Palpable. Her midwife arrived. 8cm. She continued, I kept close to her, face to face, head to head, arms intertwined. She pleaded. She continued. Relentless. Company arrived. The energy shifted again.
Transition. Out of the tub and onto her yoga mat. She practice with fierce determination. Hands and Knees, Down Dog, She looked to par, a warrior. Posed. Pressure increasing. Her voice escaped in a chant. “I can do this, I am doing this”. As she repeated her own affirmations out loud, I expanded. I believed in her. All along I believed in her. Now, she believed too. I was in awe. Transformation.
The birth was not intended for home so we decided to travel to the hospital in the midst of this beautiful chaos. She grunted, she bared down. She was ready. The shift was drastic. There were bright lights. There was a disregard for her privacy. The attempted management of what to do felt like a jerk of force, for me. I could only imagine what she was going through. She was instructed to lay in bed and not to push. She moved from the toilet into the bed, the nurse assessed her. 8 cm. Her midwife entered a moment later. She was complete. Her body contracted. Her baby moved into sight. I held a wet washcloth above her eyes and confirmed the finish line was only a few pushes away. She held her breathe. She sighed. There was silence and then there was a wail of new life. She did it. Bearing witness to this transformation is something I will never forget.
The birth of Arya Freedom opened the gate to some of the hardest days of her life. From the first few nights to the next few months she still ran, frightened, trying to escape. We talked. She shared, I listened. I learned. I shared, she listened. She sought support. She prevailed. I hold her in my heart as I held her in my arms on that summer night. Forever connected. Freedom revealed.