by Shawna Emerick
I have just turned on my whale music. Yes, it is one of the things I wanted at my son’s birth. My awesome midwife commented, post birth, how she loves ‘Finding Nemo’, and we all had a good laugh!
Now I’m crying; the memory. As I write this blog, I knew it had to be one that was written. Bare with me, it’s not the birth story, though I would LOVE to share the whole thing with you! This is just a small portion to the story, and one that has changed my yoga practice forever, and that changed my life forever.
It was in the pushing. The deep, active, primal energy and action. It was in the pushing that the weird thing happened. Well, two really. Both amazing and strange.
It was in the pushing that I truly felt my back muscles. Everything from the rhomboids to the latissimus dorsi, from the erector spinae to the quadratus lumborum, I felt ripples. These were not just little waves of movement running down my back to my tailbone, these were gargantuan surges of tidal waves of life energy, prana. They were very much like feathers sporadically unfolding and pressing down the vayus (winds) of life force that were supporting the very life of my child to emerge forth into this world! They seemed, how I would later describe it to people, like the black wings in the movie ‘Black Swan’.
You must understand, I was on all fours at this time, and I knew, somehow, that this was not the way my son was going to be born. Things were progressing just fine, but something was not to the best it could be. Here’s were the second weird thing happens. Note, this is a little graphic, so, you can skip the next paragraph of you are squimmish about women parts, but know you needn’t be. This is all a part of life and knowledge of birthing.
My awesome midwife’s expertise and knowledge led her to support me in directing the energy to a more exact point. She placed two fingers gently inside my vagina and pressed up. This felt like a physical relief to me! And, it gave me one focused focal point towards which I could now direct the energy, the vayus, towards! Amazing! I asked for her to do it again, and she did.
However, after the midwife’s support, she said, “you must do this on your own now”. It was now in my hands. Digging deep within my body, my energy, my soul, my heart. The deepest I have ever dug.
But, I didn’t know what to do about my bodies position, I had been in about every other position imaginable, but the all fours didn’t seem like the place I was going to give actual birth. Then, my team of midwife, doula, and husband, helped me to turn. Laying half upon my left back, and partly on my left side body, they asked if I wanted to feel the hair! Yes!! I reached down and felt it; soft, wet, squishy, wonderful hair.
I pushed once more, and out he came! Like a gush, a swoosh, a movement of life into the world! Landing in the hands of my midwife to be layed upon my soft and squishy belly. Two hearts from within one body, to two hearts within two separate bodies, and yet still connected only for mere moments by the thread of life.
This entire experience, changed my body. Changed my life. And yes, I need more sleep, and would love to take a long bath, but another day! Today, I practice yoga and make my son laugh. Today, because of the weird happenings in labor, my yoga practice has changed. I FEEL more of my back! I FEEL more of my central alignment. My inversions are progressing faster, and yet, my back bends have diminished. I have some low back discomfort, whereas in the past I never did. I lay on my bolster in back bends now.
It is a new found connection to my own body, it’s changes, it’s newness, and it’s capabilities, that giving birth has opened to me. This is not to say you must experience natural child birth to connect closer to your body, no; this IS to say, that no matter what your experiences in life, whether physical, mental, emotional, they all effect us immensely. We just happen to have this awesome tool of yoga to help us process them, cultivate them, compost them down, and allow them to be the fertilizers to our Selves. Grow on dear friends! May you blossom into your fullness each and every day!