#2. I ignored the contractions I was having because it was 7 weeks too early. It's false labor, I thought, surely. However, after 6 hours, when the contractions became more intense and regular, I thought perhaps a visit to the hospital is in order.
One stop in the ER and the Dr. on duty flipped the heck out and yelled at me for not calling my OB earlier. It’s not nice to yell at a pregnant woman; not nice at all. Panic escalated when the Er doc discovered that my baby was footling breach. Not only was he trying to make an appearance too soon, he was going about it the wrong way. And it hurt like a mother.
The operating room was quickly prepared and I was wheeled in immediately. The first incisions were made quickly. It was only at this moment that I discovered that I was allergic to the medication in the epidural. So I started vomiting on the operating table. Have you ever thrown up while lying down, strapped to a table? It’s not nice. For the next 24 hours I convulsed and threw up until there was nothing left to throw up.
After being in labor, having an emergency C-section, throwing up for 24 hours straight, rupturing the internal stitches because of said convulsing, I finally got to see Dylan.
They trapped him in a plastic, clear box that was mostly an interstate of wires and tubes. Somewhere in there was my little boy, bruised black and blue from the traumatic birth, barely breathing. Then they whisked him away by screaming ambulance to the Children’s Hospital Neonatal intensive care unit, 30 miles away from me.
So there I was. No baby and in the most pain I’ve ever been in my entire life. I couldn’t take strong pain killers because I knew my premature baby would need breast milk to get stronger and I didn’t want to transfer a morphine addiction on to him. Five days later I was released from the hospital, still unable to move and having to be transported via wheelchair. But I was finally able to see my baby.
Dylan spent 17 days in intensive care.
#3 From start to finish, less than one hour. I was sitting on the couch getting ready to watch the 10 p.m. episode of Law and Order. That’s when Evangeline decided to make an entrance. Not one to attract attention and drama, she refused to wait for the doctor to arrive, the nurses to be wearing gloves or the birthing table to be ready. She flew out like she commanded the world.
The nurse caught her with one glove half on, dangling from her hand. The Dr. never made it. Just for fun, we turned on the TV in the room only to catch the closing credits of Law and Order. I sat on the bed, my lipstick still perfect, barely sweating and holding the most beautiful girl in the world.
Two boys and girl was plenty; ideal really. So I scheduled a tubal ligation for the next day to prevent further pregnancy. That night, I had the most vivid dream that I should not go through with this planned procedure. So without a good explanation I called my Dr. and canceled the surgery. So…
#4 and #5 Twins. Surprise! I made one thing clear to my OB: No C-section ever, not after Dylan. I wanted to have twins naturally after a C-section. She agreed, under the stipulation that at the slightest indication of distress, I had to go to the OR immediately for a C-section. I agreed. Of course, I didn’t realize that this was a medical anomaly. So there were all manner of doctors in the delivery room. It was standing room only with residents and curious doctor-types scribbling furiously in their notebooks. I stopped counting at 17 people I had never laid eyes on before. Awkward.
Labor induced. Epidural painfully injected. No pain felt despite the wicked contraction levels. We played cards. They wheeled me to the delivery room. I pushed. A baby came out. That whole Jacob and Esau story where Jacob clutches Esau’s heal on the way out…that threw me a bit because I thought twins would come out together, like a package deal. Nope.
Wait. The contractions start again. Eleven minutes of pushing and Ethan makes his appearance. It was by far the most painless birthing experience I’ve ever had. Of course, they made up for that in the years to come. Have you nursed twins simultaneously? It’s acrobatic.
We love to share our birth stories. We love to recall that moment that we, as moms, were changed for the better. But it doesn’t have to stop there and it’s not limited to mothers.
It is imperative that we keep giving birth because in the birthing process is the summons to become and create someone new. It’s the pain and travail of releasing something on the earth that has yet to be seen that is the product of the creative union of our spirit and soul with the Divine.
Just because we may not be birthing children, it doesn’t mean we stop giving life.
To give birth isn't limited to the physical. It’s birthing a song, a poem, a painting, a concept, a philosophy, an idea. These small births give life to someone else, who drink it in as soul nourishment and inspiration.
We are created to give life. That’s what women do. We, created in the image of God who created, are made to create on unseen, universal levels. Our role is not limited to the birth of human beings, but to continue to open realms of creativity and thought, of exquisite beauty and curiosity, of compassion and strength, of symmetry and connected-ness.
Life makes us tired and we forget that we are strong enough. In the face of aggressive intimidation we cower and stop producing. We shut down the flow of life and light and only exist and maintain. Out of fear, we no longer express our gifts and the gifts themselves become to us a burden; a hope deferred. But we need you to produce what only you can. The world needs you, your family needs you and you need you to continue giving birth to that which is alive inside.
We were created to withstand untold levels of physical pain. However, this labor is not painful, it's restful. We create and manifest beauty because He lavishes it upon is in His presence. We will only know this intrinsic reconciliation if we sit at His feet in deep contemplation and rhythm, feeling the breath and living water rushing into us, overflowing, saturating. That labor is rest.
When we sit entwined with the Divine Union, we too have the mind of Christ. That is our birth, our transformation and renewing. It is the Mystical Union of Christ in us, and all in God. The beauty and mystery of the Godhead lives in us and in Him we live and move and have our being.
The extraordinary is a birth story waiting to be told. We are ever moving, ever creating, ever birthing.
"We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity... But if it takes not place in me, what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me."