In our world of attachment parenting, I find two types of mothers. One is the earth mother – she who is already connected to her spirit and power and already knows how she will handle pregnancy and parenting. The other is the one who needs a wake-up call – who has been riding along in the mainstream not even aware that she is caught in a giant destructive whirlpool. Not even aware that there are many other paths and many other choices.
I was the second type …
I read one book during my first pregnancy. I followed their diet recommendations and was pleased with my efforts to follow the rules. When I miscarried, I was caught totally off-guard and couldn’t believe it was happening to me. Grief was transformed into denial with pints of high-fat, high-calorie ice-cream.
A year later I became pregnant again. The pregnancy progressed normally. I took progesterone supplements to prevent another miscarriage but overall paid no attention to my diet; it hadn’t worked the first time, so why bother the second time? I thought about attending childbirth classes, but what was the point? A whisper of worry and fear was mixed in everything I did. I chose an all-female obstetrician practice and hoped to have a natural childbirth – that was the extent of my birth planning.
At 40 weeks and with no signs of imminent labor, the doctor ordered an ultrasound. After 20 minutes flat on my back for the procedure, I felt light-headed and dizzy but kept silent. I then was administered a non-stress test where I was lying partially reclined on my back. I continued to feel dizzy and light-headed. As I slowly contemplated asking the nurse to change my position, everyone came urgently into the room.
What I was experiencing physically and what they heard on their monitors was a clear warning sign — my son’s heart-rate was slowing and stopping. I was taken quickly to the hospital for a fearful but non-eventful four hours of monitoring and then a decision to induce “just in case”.
I had wanted a natural delivery but after 12 hours of increasingly higher doses of Pitocin and a vague but intense pain in my lower back, I asked for an epidural. An hour later, I felt some sensations in my lower abdomen. I asked the nurse for more medicine only to be told that the baby was crowning. I was totally unaware.
The delivery was a vein-bursting 45-minute marathon pushing session. Once born, he was whisked off to the nursery with my husband. I promptly threw up and fell asleep.
I’ll never forget the feeling of waking up, alone, and desperate for my baby. I called for the nurse to take me upstairs to find him. She moved so slowly. I became increasingly anxious; I needed to be with my child. The nursery attendant greeted me saying, “Glad you are here. He’s been fussing to nurse for a while now”. I was devastated I wasn’t there for him and yet amazed that I knew I needed to be with him.
The combination of the quick delivery, my son’s size, and the delivery position caused facial bruising which led to jaundice which led to daily blood tests which led to photo-therapy. My pediatrician told me to take off a day from nursing to help clear the jaundice. That advice did not feel right to me so I made my first own decision: I didn’t stop nursing as instructed. His bilibrubin levels went up. I got scared and did what I was told. His bilirubin levels went down.
I kept following directions – doing what I thought was needed to be a good mother. I followed the standard immunization protocol and had all the suggested doctor visits. I was able to deviate from public opinion in two areas — co-sleeping and nursing on demand. I changed pediatricians to find one who supported co-sleeping. I wanted a doctor who supported me rather than critiqued me.
Around the age of four, my son developed some sensory and speech issues exasperated by food sensitivities.
It was a challenging path … as a child, and as a mother.
But, somewhere along the way, another birth happened. What started as a small whisper grew into a joyous and adamant shout, saying “LISTEN TO ME.” My inner guidance made her voice heard. I realized I had been giving away my power. I realized, with an absolute heart-dropping thud, that mainstream doesn’t know the answers, and worst of all, it doesn’t know that it doesn’t know.
Somewhere along the way, I started hearing my own inner voice and somewhere along the way, I learned to listen.
Once I started listening, everything changed. I discovered so many worlds to learn from and embrace. My lessons have included homeopathy, energy medicine, and homeschooling. I am now very aware of food and environmental health. We have completely revamped our house and diet, removing all toxic cleaning supplies and switching over to an organic diet. I am using muscle testing, Allergy Antidotes™, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Family Constellations, and other forms of energetic healing. I birthed two more children, both naturally with a midwife and doula, one birth being a waterbirth. We use no allopathic medicine and my two daughters have never had any drug whatsoever. We are homeschoolers using a holistic approach that nourishes our souls and essence. I have undergone a profound personal spiritual transformation with incredible teachers along the way. I now choose support professionals who reflect our holistic lifestyle and I have dear friends who cheer each other on as we live bravely and consciously.
I am in the flow.
Thank you my firstborn for having the soul courage to call me to wake up. And I acknowledge myself as being willing to listen.
Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski