I have felt the spirit of my son with me for many years. Really it’s been since the day I met my husband. Upon meeting him I heard an inner voice say “This is your spiritual partner and father of your next child.” The interesting thing about this was that at that point in his life, my husband was certain that he didn’t want to ever have kids of his own. I remember consulting this oracle deck I had when first meeting him. When I asked about him I pulled the card “Son” which had an image of a little fairy boy on it and the message was something to the tune of “you’re going to have a son or someone you know will have a baby boy.” I thought to myself, “Hmm.. this card has nothing to do with this guy. I’m going to shuffle and pull again.” 2 card readings later, I had pulled that exact card 3 times in a row when asking about my budding relationship with my husband.
It was then that my spirit baby made himself known and continued to visit me in dreams and meditations. In these dreams and visions he wooed me, to say the least. Before I even conceived him, I was already in love. Years later in a ceremony, the Virgin of Conception came to me in a vision. She opened up her chest, pulled out a star and placed it inside of my womb. The star turned into my son and began to grow. I watched myself give birth to him and then saw him grow through all his phases while his eyes stayed the same- pure and bright starlight. That was the beginning of our conscious conception journey- preparing ourselves spiritually to open up the portal to receive our son.
About half a year before conceiving I was hit with an electric energy one day while sitting at my kitchen table. It was my son visiting me again. I began to channel a strong message from him about his name. Essentially he was talking to me about the divine “I am” presence that is in everything. He told me his name was to be Elijah. After some research I understood the name to basically mean “God is I Am.” I believe every baby comes with a unique medicine to offer their family and the world and I am certain that his name is part of his mission.
Now Elijah is here with me in physical form and I almost can’t believe it. His eyes are pure starlight just like in my vision. His smiles light up my entire being and his presence brings me to my knees in gratitude.
The best thing I did during pregnancy was try my best to listen to exactly what my body needed and give it to her. This mostly looked like taking naps, lots and lots of naps. Even when I heard the other competing voice in my head of “you should be doing this or that” I decided to tune into the deeper voice of my animal body and give her exactly what she was craving, as much and as often as I could.
My body became my compass in this way and I listened deeply and followed her guidance. The experience of pregnancy felt deeply grounding and centering for the most part- an opportunity to get to know the primal part of me more intimately. I knew it would be that primal part that I needed to lean on when it came time to birth.
I also took my own “Birth like a Goddess Course” which includes hypnosis recordings that I listened to multiple times a week. This helped my mind relax so much around any fears or doubts that came up during pregnancy, especially those last couple of months. The course also includes rituals, which helped me to go beyond my rational mind and dive more deeply into my spirit and surrender into trust and faith.
I listened to hours and hours of beautiful stories of undisturbed birth through the Free Birth Society podcast which provided me with so much inspiration. I drank in the stories as medicine for my soul in a culture where fear is the main narrative of childbirth.
I took my prenatal care into my own hands and tuned deeply into my intuition. I prioritized my well- being and chose to receive regular acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage. I refused ultrasounds and other tests that didn’t feel in alignment with the highest good for my baby.
The reality is, I’ve been preparing for this birth for many many years. I remember immediately upon giving birth to my daughter beginning to think about when I’d do it again and how I’d do it differently. My studies as a doula over the past 8 years and the deepening of my connection to my inner wild and wise woman led me to the choice to freebirth or what is sometimes referred to as “unassisted birth.” This means that I chose to not have any medical professionals present at my birth- including a midwife. The only people present were my husband, my 10 year old daughter and a dear friend of mine who is a doula.
I chose to birth freely because I wanted to feel the force of the Goddess pulsing through me without any interferences or interruptions. I wanted to know her intimately, to trust her, me, my body, my baby, this life, the great mystery. I wanted my intuition to reign as Queen in my birthing space and to not be competing with a medical professional. I chose to birth freely because my spirit baby told me that’s what he needed – to not have worries or fears color his experience- but instead for us to lean into the pillars of faith and surrender. I chose to birth freely to give us a clean, spacious and trauma free start to our journey together. I chose to birth freely to give my 10 year old daughter the gift of witnessing a physiological birth unfold first hand and because I knew that the deep initiation into my sovereign power would serve me, my family and my community for the rest of my life.
It was a truly wild, primal and beautiful family-centered birth. My water broke around 7:15 am and I thought I had plenty of time until something would actually happen. I knew from experience and other women’s stories that it can take many hours until contractions come once the water breaks. I had been having contractions that would start and stop in the nights for about 5 days and at this point I was so used to it not being “real labor” that I think I was in denial. I told my daughter to go ahead and go to school and my husband to continue on with his day and we’d just see what would happen. It’s kind of ridiculous in retrospect because we were actually just hours away from meeting our baby but I really didn’t want people sitting around watching me and waiting for something to happen. My husband had a work call (he works from home) between 8:30-9:30 a.m and when 9:00 rolled around labor was suddenly on and STRONG. I was making silent motions to him to wrap up his call quick! I called the bus driver of my daughter’s school and asked him to turn right around to drop her back off. My good friend who was my doula was planning to come over anyway to give me a cranial-sacral treatment at 10 a.m. I called her to say that I was probably in labor so she could go ahead and come as quickly as possible.
In the meantime I labored alone at my birth altar. I hung a stretchy fabric from the ceiling and was pulling and hanging on that during each labor surge. I was sounding and rolling my hips and with each surge I would cry tears of joy, disbelief and ecstasy. I really treasure that hour alone that I had. It felt so special to completely tune into my body without any distractions. By 9:45 everyone had arrived. My daughter made me snacks and a rehydration drink. My husband lit the special incense we had set aside just for the birth and he and my doula cleared the space.
There were so few breaks in between the waves. Everything was happening so fast. My daughter was assigned the role of photographer and began to document the scene. I felt like an animal. I was making loud noises, opening my jaw really wide. I wasn’t thinking. I was present and grounded. With each surge I would stare at the different objects on my altar which reminded me to open and let go. I would roll my hips and hang onto the stretchy fabric and work with the energy. I felt raw and primal.
I think I was still in denial that I was moments away from meeting my son. My husband and doula had figured it out though and began to fill up the tub as I thought I wanted to have a water birth. I kept complaining about how it felt like with every surge I needed to poop. This was really just the baby moving down. I soon entered into “transition”- the phase of labor where most women say, “I can’t do this anymore.” While those words never crossed my mind, I do remember having the thought, “woah if this goes on a lot longer then I’m going to be really tired!” A couple of nights before I went into labor a good friend of mine had a dream that I had given birth at 11:25 a.m. standing up. I remember looking at the clock which was a little past 11 and thought to myself, “I hope she’s right!” I didn’t recognize any of this as transition because I was moving through the classic labor phases at hyper speed. From start to finish my active labor was only 2 hours and 18 minutes!
I soon climbed into the tub and had what is known as the “birth pause” when you’re usually fully dilated and you pause before you begin to push. Some women even fall asleep for half an hour (if they are in an environment that does not cause them to override this natural phase.) My birth pause was max 5 minutes though! During this restful pause my husband was pouring warm water over my belly and it felt orgasmically wonderful.
Then the baby started coming down and I began to lose myself. I was no longer rolling my hips, moaning and working with the energy. The only thing I could do was repeat “Holy! Holy!” and “Dear Goddess please help me!” The sensations were so incredibly intense! I didn’t actively push myself. Rather something from within was pushing for me. It felt like a freight train moving through me. It was wild and otherworldly and at the same time so incredibly primal. I genuinely thought I was being broken in half. I thought my ass was going to break. I experienced the “ring of fire” which burned like hell! Funny enough, during this phase one of my very own hypnosis tracks came on in my playlist and my own voice was reminding myself to surrender and work with the energy.
My husband intuitively supported my perineum and my doula was OMing as he was crowning. This all lasted probably 5-10 minutes and then he was born! I ended up standing up and giving birth to him outside of the water at 11:18 a.m. (almost exactly what my friend had dreamt!) My husband and I ended up catching him together which was one of my favorite parts of the birth- no gloved hands as his first touch. My husband caught his head and I reached down to grab his body. Even though I thought for sure my butt was breaking when he was crowning, I didn’t even tear. Just a minor “scrape” inside. It was amazing. I was so excited to see it was a boy…my little spirit baby had arrived!! Elijah came out screaming and bright pink.
I soon climbed out of the pool and gathered with my family in front of my birth altar. I allowed the placenta to come on its own and I birthed it within 30 minutes of giving birth in front of my altar. I held my hand on my placenta in a moment of deep gratitude and felt a rush of energy shoot through me. About 4 hours later I did a cord burning ceremony with my family which was such a beautiful and peaceful way of releasing the placenta from his body. Then my doula made us all a placenta smoothie and also did some gorgeous placenta prints on big sheets of watercolor paper.
Amazingly, Elijah was born on October 15 which is exactly smack in the middle of my birthday- June 15 and my husband’s birthday- February 15. A true balanced Libra to bless our family.
After the birth I followed a traditional 40 day rest period where I stayed indoors and nourished myself and rested as much as possible. I did belly-binding, received a womb closing ceremony from my doula, did sitz baths, yoni steams and other self care practices that are perhaps details for another blog post. 🙂
This conscious, intentional family centered experience like this has filled me and my family with so much joy and I am deeply grateful.