She’s here!!!! Madrigal Luna b. 12/29 at 9:36 am. 8lb 7oz, 20.5in, pink pure perfect love.
The hell of the time before had been escaped. New fires were being prepared for my hardening. Before I felt them, for precious few days at the end of the hardest year I’d yet faced, I enjoyed bliss. The hospital was chosen. After countless phone calls from me and Mom, another hero of these stories, the doctor I wanted was approved at the last minute by the insurance company. Again my water broke and woke me up at about half past 3am. I didn’t have any kind of bag packed. I was in a simple, no frills state called survival. I was 70% relieved to be having the baby in a safe space and 30% frightened that having the baby in the hospital would put me in less control.
This is not the face of a woman dis-satisfied.
It was predawn and very quiet. I wanted to do as much laboring at my parents’ home as possible. Salamander and I had moved in after a cross country journey three weeks prior.
I got into a hot, relaxing shower so I could assess myself. I didn’t have a watch or someone keeping time, but I could tell what I needed. I had the confidence of someone who had given uncomplicated birth once before. I quietly woke my parents after the shower. I told them I didn’t need them to get up yet, but just to be semi-aware that things were happening. Sometime between 5 and 6am Salamander woke. He immediately set about needing my full attention. I, in turn, immediately set about getting the hell out of dodge. My dad was on grandson duty, my mom was the taxi and my right hand.
Some things were clockwork. The time of the water breaking was similar. My body’s habit of emptying itself of all contents happened again. (That seems like the most genius, sweet, monkey thing for a body to do. It’s all I have Real work to do, none of this digestion shit for me right now. ) Like the first time, I got out of the way and let the wise body do the driving.
We got in the van. There was a funny moment, about seven minutes in to the drive, where Mom had to pull over so I could continue said bodily evacuation. I was nervous and appalled that I had to be so exposed, parked in front of Dr Woods Guitar Emporium at dawn, but it was funny to be so nervous and appalled too. I had more important things to do, than worry about a stranger seeing my ass, or whatnot. Five minutes later we were checking in at the hospital. I was relieved to be there. Relieved to be in the care of my always capable and level-headed mom. Relieved to be wrapped in the psychic hug of the quiet, old town I’d grown up in. As we checked in a friend from school working her nursing/training night-shift caught sight of my mom and I. My mom chatted. I was back in labor-land again, so I smiled weakly, maybe.
They put me in a wheel chair and took me to the labor and delivery rooms. I was about three hours out. I had called my doula around the same time I had woken my parents and she was on her way, albeit from a sleepover holiday party in Michigan. The nurse who took me in, gave me a robe, helped me shower, relax, and warm up again. This nurse, who settled me in, had an English accent. That felt like a sweet, funny gift to me from G-d. It was ridiculously soothing, for utterly inane, Unitedstatesian reasons, and it just worked. My fears about laboring, and delivering naturally, in the hospital were quelled entirely. They were listening to me. My doctor and his staff had listened to me before. I wanted the bare minimum of “required” interventions. They monitored the baby’s heart and mine once, that I can recall.
I don’t remember a lot of the labor. I remember it going from dark to light. I remember walking and moving around the room a lot in search of the best positions. I asked my mom to push on my pelvis, which she lovingly did, though without much confidence in her technique. It was right about then, when my mom’s efforts were being outpaced by the depth of the labor I was in, that Kristy strode in.
My story of finding Kristy, and what she’s been to me, wants its own post at some point. Suffice it to say that I adore and admire her to the moon and back. In all reality, I hardly know any of the beloved women who helped me deliver my babies. In equal and more powerfully All reality, I love them like grandmothers, mothers, and sisters. They are part of my tribe and I’m honored by it.
Kristy came in and pushed down just like and just where I needed. I was within two hours or less and I Needed her the wisdom she held. She helped me go deeper into my body in order to open up and bear out. Things were getting heated and transition was coming. We all knew it. The doctor had been called. The nurses asked me to turn over, because again I found myself on hands and knees. I managed to get one leg on the floor. I then insisted strongly that I would not move further. I told them I didn’t know how to get onto my back.
With one foot on the floor, my knee on the bed, and my hands on Kristy’s shoulders I went into that transition space. Instead of a pit of emptiness and fear, I saw Kristy’s clear blue eyes. I will never forget her eyes because I don’t know that I have ever stared into someone else’s eyes at such an animal moment, so deeply, and without shame or affect. She told me I was doing it. She reminded me that the fear I felt would not stop me. She told me I was doing an amazing, beautiful job, and to breathe. I breathed. I felt the ring of fire this time and it was beyond beautiful. It was ecstasy. It was planetary, solar, flowering…
You know those amazing National Geographic documentaries where the life-cycle is captured on film and then sped up to rates that allow tiny human brains, and their time schema, to capture the AWE of it; the miraculous beauty, symmetry, entirety of it? That was me, and my ring of fire, and my connected doula from heavenly sisterhood, and her eyes, and my mom watching from the foot of the bed, crying, as the doctor strode in with barely one glove on his hand to catch my birthing daughter.
Higher than I have ever been before and higher than I have ever been since, that was the birth of my daughter. Total love. Total relief. Total safety. Total acceptance. Total joy. Not one thing dis-allowed. Not one eggshell under my feet. Not one chance of being left out, unloved. I had worried that being in a hospital would render me powerless against some medical machine. In fact, I had rendered myself powerless for the three years leading up to this moment. By leaving, I was beginning to pull myself out of the well I’d been living in and toward the light of my own fire and power.
Madrigal Luna. With so many names. Maddy Lu. With so much laughter. Lu Lu living a life that I am co-creator of and opening me up to see my center again. I will sing the names of you and your brother as long as the sun shines