On the night of December twentieth I had a strong desire to create. So I sat down and started werking on some new pieces for the lunar hustle come back. I went for a couple of hours but started to tire about 1230am the following morning. I got up and went to bed. As I moved to complete my bedtime rituals, I felt a heaviness settling deeper into my pelvis and I wondered if you were telling me something, telling me to get ready, you were on your way. It was 130 in the morning when I felt my first contraction. Your energy was starting to surge, awakening my womb for preparation. After an hour and three contractions later, I woke up your father. The rest of that night was spent walking, meditating and sharing visions of what was to come next.
Daylight rolled around bringing the love and magic of our doula Sumayyah. We spent the afternoon hydrating with a concoction of coconut water, grapefruit slices and chia seeds. Your energy got stronger. Eventually, we went for a walk by the lake where we ran into Francis, another beautiful warrior womyn in our lives, we all decided to indulge in some bomb Indian food at house of curries. After more time was spent watching the sunset over the lake, we came home, your energy continuing to grow. Surprisingly I was able to get a couple hours of sleep in between contractions.
As the night turned into day, your force grew with the rising sun and I kept thinking about the surreality of it all, you would be earth side soon.
You started your story on a holy day, shared with the new moon and the winter solstice. Both offering time to set intentions and create visions of the magic we want for our lives. It was the twenty-second of December, my grandmothers birthday and I could feel her presence with us. The power of your ancestors helping to move us forward, closer to each other. Sumayyah came back with the morning and the day was filled with meditation, focus and a constant upward surge in your movements.
We hit what they call “active” labor around 8am…the contractions were about five minutes apart, soon to be three minutes apart. I was moving around the apartment. Rocking back and forth, squatting, thrusting, circling my hips, getting down on all fours…all trying to help ease you into the world.
Around 6pm it was time to go to the hospital. We started out and I thought you might be born in the car when we got stuck in traffic. But we made it and checked into triage, I was 6cm dilated and thought about the other soon to be mamas in triage and everywhere who were sharing this experience with me and that left me with the most beautiful visions of womyn and our children laughing and running and playing. Not having to worry about the poison of this system or the scars it leaves in our deep tissues. I had visions of you doing summer salts in the sunshine and chasing butterflies, making art together with sisters and community, celebrating your first moon cycle, smoking trees. My spirit swelled with these images. I was ready.
We were put into the delivery room and met the doctor who would help bring you earth side…she was…a bitch…but let’s not focus on the negative. She was a very small part of our beautiful experience. We set the room to make it as comfortable as possible. Yoga mat on the floor, yoga ball at the ready, LED candle lights illuminating the space we were about to make sacred. I had my stones and oils to keep me calm and centered. As time increased so did your attempts to wiggle further down. Nausea and excitement filled my body space. I was getting tired. Your father and Sumayyah kept me going. Kept me strong. Love moves and believe me when I tell you, I would have been stagnant without theirs.
Time danced on…it was about 2am, 8 hours since we got to the hospital, when I asked the nurse to check my dilation again. I was 8 1/2 cm now. I remember feeling slightly disappointed, hoping we would have been further along after so much time. But with the love of community and the power of the solstice, ancestors and new moon I was able to bring myself out of my head and back into my body. This was my story, our story and she was moving and progressing just as she should.
This is when the doctor came in; trying her hardest to scare me into unnecessary medical interventions. She was trying to convince me I couldn’t bring you earth side with my own power. You responded with a contraction that shut her up with a bye girl bye.
Suddenly it was about 6am, I was exhausted. Nearly ready to give up when I thought to myself; if it took eight hours to get from 6 to 8 1/2 cm, then I had to be fully dilated at 10cm after the four hours that just passed. Your sleeping daddy woke up randomly just as You and my body were letting me know it was time to push…so I started.
I gave my first push and my water broke…splashing on your fathers pants. The rest of your coming is kind of a blur of screams, movement and anticipation.
I tuned out all the sounds around me, caught in the rapture of my breaths and thoughts of you, but I’m told you came in to Maxwells this Womyns work and Lauryn Hills sweetest thing. I remember reaching down and touching the top of your head as you started to descend. I remember feeling what they call “the ring of fire” as the rest of your head pushed through my yoni and I thought to myself “now I just have to get the shoulders and you’re out!” One big push and you were here. It took all of twenty minutes. At 6:27 am I was looking down at you covered in all the fluids that kept you safe and warm for the past ten months and five daze.
Your daddy was crying and to be honest, I’m surprised I wasn’t. My tears came later, in that moment I was just looking at you in awe. Here you were, my daughter. 7lbs 10oz and 20.4in of magic blessed by new moons, winter transitions, ancestors, and shared birthdaze with warrior womyn. The air was thick and I felt overcome with emotions. They told me I could never have you, that you were not possible and yet I was holding you in my arms, nuzzling you against my breasts, and hearing your roars sounding our triumph. You were the most beautiful sight I ever saw. I felt like I could look down at you forever. Your dad cut your umbilical cord and that was it….we did it…the adventure of pregnancy was over. They told me I couldn’t carry you and I did. They said you wouldn’t hold out until after my finals and you did. They said we couldn’t bring you earth side without drugs and we did, while keepin it cute the whole time.
We are warriors. We are art and strength and life and sunshine and moonlight. We are so much, we are full, we are love.
Welcome to the world Lanita Renė…this is just the beginning.