I can still feel it. It’s as if every room of my apartment whispered, “What if it was here?” or “What if she had her first cry here?”
My apartment held a glow of hollowed anticipation, lit only by my Himalayan salt night lights mixed with the faint glow of the midwives’ devices. Like a dream, my experience was spiritual, not logical. I could only feel the pressure of all my hopes and my budding daughter pushing against the time we were running out of.
I had been in labor for three days after enduring every single midwife induction method available to me. And now that I had, my daughter was nearly here even though my water had not broken. This was the “home birth” stretch. My body had been trained through yoga to find comfort during the discomfort. With each wave, I opened my body by closing my mind. Whispering to my daughter, I held her spirit close to mine as I knew she was feeling the same as me. Time didn’t exist for us — until my midwife said “Are you ready to push?” Willing my whole body to believe it was, it wasn’t. At 4 a.m. I stepped into the birthing pool of my dreams and was told I had dilated to 7 centimeters.
My heartbreak was replaced by surrender; I surrendered to what I thought this experience owed me. Entering a “transfer” conversation with our midwives, I was told my labor had stalled. My daughter was choosing not to turn. I had no will to fight this decision that surrounded me because I was still very much in an “outer-worldly” realm with no desire to leave. I watched, while I surrendered. My husband packed the perfect hospital bag without any advice from me. The ride was an epic adventure through the freeways with a panicked driver. I surrendered and asked my daughter to wait for me, to allow me to build up my strength because, as I told her, “I can get you here.” She heard me. We agreed to not have a single contraction in the car.
With the help of extensive home laboring with midwives, an empathetic midwife-centered hospital staff, a painless epidural, a two-hour nap and a no-holds-barred midwife who discovered my soul hidden beneath the heartbreak and evoked me to “push past this point!”, my daughter was born. It was a perfect birth. My daughter saved me from delivering a ruptured, disintegrated placenta at home. I avoid the “what-ifs” because I value the truth of what happened to me.
I do know that our deep mother-daughter connection is a continuation of our spiritual meetings. I healed from the idea of failure because I know God wants to delight us with divine happenings if we let go and surrender to what’s unfolding in front of us, at any given moment. When we can find grace in our disappointments, the whole world opens to us, yearning to hand us back beauty.