A Bloody Labor (Day) Story

Excerpted from Newsletter 9.7.20

“That was the most fucked up pain I’ve ever experienced in my life” I exclaimed, staring blissfully at my newborn.

I’d prepared myself for months with hypnobirthing tapes; dead set on the natural birth I’d wanted with my first child, but was denied due to scarring from a prior removal of HPV cells that left my cervix unable to dilate. 20+ hours of slow fruitless labor after my water had broken – sitting desperately but uneventfully in a birthing tub at the hospital – I succumbed first to the oxytocin to stimulate contractions, and then to the inevitable epidural to bear the ungodly fast and hard pressure of induced labor. My first son was born out of my completely numb body that had to be told when it was contracting and when to push. In love with my baby, i was also heart-broken; I wanted to feel the labor – to know exactly what was happening in my body. 

And so I got just that with my second child: I felt every single brutal, grueling, agonizing, exhausting, elating and transformational part of it; and it was painful – immobilizing, blood curdling, show stopping, earth shaking. But what hypnobirthing gave me was access to the truth: that my baby and my body were designed for this birth. So even as my husband ushered me to the car and I dropped to the cold dirty cement steps to breathe through a contraction. Even as I arrived at the hospital 9 mm dilated breathing the 3 slow deep breaths that got me through each episode of indescribable surrender to what felt like my complete annihilation. Even as I felt certain my body would rip apart from my vagina. Even with blood and poop and froth and more blood and more poop and more froth…I knew that I was designed for this.

So I kept breathing and pushing until his head burst through the ring of fire and his slippery body arrived – perfect. And I momentarily became Ecstatic Empowered Woman: united with and related to Every Woman and Every Mother. I was adrenalized and high. My husband fell asleep exhausted. 

And so today Labor Day 2020 I wonder in earnest: Is this heinously ugly, bloody, unfathomably heart-breaking threefold global pandemic crisis of climate, plague and hate exactly what we are designed to surmount in service to fully awakening our human purpose and potential? 

What are you laboring with?

What are you laboring for?

There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear