from the words of
It was the name that called to me - Birth Yourself Midwifery - and the picture on the website of a baby being weighed in a stork's cloth held by tatooed arms. The name pulled me in, the depth of its meaning and resonance was yet to be revealed. I reached out to Kelly.
I had let myself imagine what my ideal journey through pregnancy and childbirth could look like. What kind of support I would want, how I would want to be held. I heard many voices, some of doubt. Where could I possibly find that? Does that even exist? I heard more optimistic voices, too, and the voice of the dreamer, of course. I both could and would find it! And thankfully, there is a place where the soul speaks, that place is wildly alive inside of me. That voice reminded me that there is possibility for this experience that surpasses my greatest imaginings. And THAT IS indeed the place, the space, where my journey into motherhood unfolded.
In our first meeting, I confessed to Kelly how I trusted completely in the choice of pre-natal care from a midwife, and birthing at home. To me it felt like one of the most beautiful, natural, organic, and sacred creative processes that we have available to us as women. I know this and yet I still felt terrified of birth. In her relaxed, compassionate, confidence, she responded with something like ...that's a completely understandable way to feel. I bow to birth. It's a place where you are straddling worlds. Birth and Death... It was that moment I knew Kelly was our midwife. Magically my partner was in full agreement, ...she's our people...
With that calm confidence, from that first meeting, all the way through our last, she held that space, she stood in that place. That of Truth, of Paradox, and of Life's Great Mysteries. This kind of raw authenticity is what I crave in this life. Hers was magnetic.
In all of our meetings I felt seen and heard as a WHOLE Being. I never felt like I was on a clock. I never felt reduced to a chart to be filled out or a series of positive or negative tests. The quality of my thoughts or my self-care through creative expression and intimacy were no less important than what I was feeding myself, how much activity or sleep I was getting. She listened. She asked incredible questions, and often answered my queries both with her humble expertise in this aspect of womanhood, and sometimes with other great questions.
With her support, I followed the cues of my body, my heart, and my baby all the way through, abandoning ALL pre-ordained pregnancy "rules" and let the developing relationship and synergy of baby and me lead the way. She always made herself available outside of our appointments yet I rarely reached out to her because I could hear her wisdom inside me. We, as a team, had our finger on the pulse of the messy wonder of pregnancy AND the messy wonder of this life.
My trepidation about labor and delivery followed me all the way until the end, the final day, where I was literally crawling around on my hands and knees still proclaiming "I'm not in labor." Once she arrived, she danced through that night just as she told me she would and just as she had all along, Present and Hands-off. Another breath of paradox. I felt completely held and yet there was so much space that the experience was no doubt My Own. She allowed me to lead when that was appropriate, even wise, and she stepped right up to the places she knew were her domain. There were only a few moments throughout the process where I needed her in a way I didn't and couldn't have known that I would have needed her, and she was there like the Great Mother herself. Those moments are seared into my heart and soul.
Leading right up to the birth, during the birth, and in the immediate hours following our daughter's birth, Kelly shape shifted. Any hard lines between Woman, Midwife, Sister, Clinician, Mother, Master, Friend, Priestess, Teacher, and Grace were all blurred into One set of hands that held my partner and I as we ushered this Soul, Our Creation, Baby Luna, into this world.
In our first meeting she said, "I Bow to Birth." She repeated it a few times throughout the journey, and then, even in my very altered straddling the two worlds state, I watched her in her devotional practice, Bowing to Birth.
I am forever moved. I am forever changed. I am forever grateful. And I still did not know it yet on that day, but I am Certain now that I was in truth BORN on that day. Woman. Born.