Updated: May 7
Spring has already sprung and I am a little late on this share. But all blooms in its own time.
Keep scrolling for a story from an all night home birthday party, thoughts on being broken and whole, and a spring playlist to catch a vibeee...
This birth felt like a party.
I got the call around 1 am and started the trip out some winding roads towards Dripping Springs. When I arrived mom was in the shower. Dad seemed a little nervous and was finding little tasks to keep moving - heating up water for the birth tub, turning on soft red bulbs, lighting mom's favorite incense - a stick of nag champa. When she got out of the shower he helped her put on her socks and made her a cup of water with apple cider vinegar and Himalayan salt for electrolytes. Their older son was asleep upstairs and their golden-doodle stayed diligently close to mom. This was the first home birth for all of us.
The midwives arrived. All vitals for mom and baby were perfect, active labor was underway and contractions strong. We all found some ease. The midwives set up their gear and then went to the kitchen where they drank tea and spoke in soft voices while labor progressed. Mom put on some sunglasses, played music, changed from fuzzy robe to silky robe to fuzzy robe. Walked around, drank a smoothie. We gave massages. We laughed and then fell into silence as the contractions would rise and fall. It was our first home birth, but we'd all been at parties like this before.
Occasionally a midwife would hear a change in mom's labor sounds or a longer pause between them and she would come and just sit on the side of the room. The midwife sensed the birth tub was slowing down the contractions and suggested mom and dad lay down in bed and try to nap. We went out to the kitchen and the midwife told me she felt the contractions would get stronger if mom and dad were cuddling and alone in their bed with their smells in their dark room. It was almost 5 am.
After an hour we heard mom making long and deep sounds every 3 minutes. The midwife looked at me, "that's what we want to hear". Shortly after, mom was feeling pressure. She got back in the shower to gather herself together before pushing. She moved to the bedroom floor. To a birth stool. To the bed. She was pushing the whole time, but it seemed she couldn't find just the right place. It reminded me of the way animals walk around in circles trying to find just the spot to lay down.
Dad used a firm tone, said something like "it's time to do this!" and mom responded with some ferocity. Something like "you don't get to tell me when or where!" and then "I NEED PATIENCE".
We backed off and gave her some space. She found the center inside herself and moved to the floor standing up on her knees. The morning sun fell through the windows making the red lights soft pink and she pushed her baby into her arms...
Their older son woke up for school, having slept through the whole thing. He came down to meet his brother in their parent's bedroom. Peeking over the edge of the bed with their dog right behind him, also catching the first glance. Older brother picked the baby's name like it was nothing, and then went upstairs to play video games before school.
As I left around 10 am, I noticed a stack of mail on the counter. This miraculous thing happened in the same space as the most mundane. With all the other things you do at home, like sleeping or eating or having sex or paying bills. Maybe having a baby is more mundane than we think, or maybe sleeping, eating, sex, and stacks of mail are more miraculous than we give them credit for. Regardless, all of these things are always all intermingled there, at home, simultaneously miraculous and mundane.
ON BEING BROKEN & WHOLE
The concept of wholeness has shown up for me in client sessions and in my own life. Sometimes it feels like we need to be "whole" or completely healed before we can start actually existing in our lives, doing or having the things we want.
I think the secret is, that's bullshit. We're whole and broken at the same time. We have capacity for all of it.
I was invited to a friend's Passover Seder and someone shared these thoughts on wholeness that resonate this idea. Here's an excerpt:
Sayings of the Mothers
On this night of doorways, the bread of our ancestors waits on our table.
It is easy to think of this round flat bread as a full moon, except the moon was once part of this planet and was ripped away and the seas keep longing for it and leaping upward. The whole is already broken. The ball of the earth has its shifting tectonic plates, the skin has its pores where the air bores in. Everything whole in the world has an edge where it broke off something or was cut away. The bread we are about to break is already broken.
We want to think it and we are perfect, but the loaf is an illusion, a compromise with the shattering of light.
Yet maybe it's in slow breaking that wholeness happens. The bud of the apply tree fragments into beauty and the stem of the iris tears its way through the soil. The heart breaks as it grows. You could call that wholeness: the movement of life toward a fuller version of itself, the egg releasing its core into the world, the tree lurching its way toward branches.
Bless the world that breaks to let you through it, Bless the gift of the grain that smashes its molecules to feed you over & over.
Wholeness is not the egg; it's the tap tap tap of the wet-winged baby bird trying to get out. Break the bread at the feast of liberation. Go ahead. Do it. The whole is already broken, and so are you, and freedom has to have its jagged edges.
But keep one half for later, because this story isn't whole, and isn't over.
- Rabbi Jill Hammer
And a late playlist for spring...
Life has been soooo full lately, and the pace of this spring has been fast. So fast that I never got around to sharing these thoughts or playlist when I said I would...
But I'm welcoming feeling full of life. Playful. Blooming. Vernal. A lil sexy. Tis the season, and here is some music for all of it. Let me know what you think : )
Sending you love and all the good things,