Crossing into Mother.

Includes images NSFW. I believe that every time you birth a new baby, you cross over the bridge. It doesn't matter if it's your first or third or beyond. The bridge into motherhood is a birthing itself, and a new mother forms, is created and birthed out of each birth, each passage through the veil onto the other side of time.

I was stretched beyond, full of fear this time- of pushing, of letting go, of deep release through pain. The actual getting there was pretty divine. My labor was quick, full of love and laughter, and surrounded by sacred space that I had designed. But when it came time to push, I stood at my bathroom sink with my lover behind me, looked at myself to dig deep, and didn't feel it. The urge escaped me and never truly came.

My midwife said something to me afterward about how sometimes when you know it's your last, it's difficult to let go. I had felt that wall, deep inside my pelvis, a level that wouldn't release her from me, something I ultimately had to tear down with anger and determination and the pressured gazes of those who love me and depended on me to birth this baby. My body was holding her in, as if it clung to its own safety for her, leaning back into the trust of pregnancy and the reliability of her movements and life on the other side.

But when I reached down to receive her and felt with my hands just how close she was to me in every way, I knew I had nowhere else to go. And when I pulled her from inside of me onto my chest, I knew that we had both arrived.

I believe there's a place deep inside of me where pain and pleasure brew together to form magic and transformation. This is where my best, most strong and tender self buds forth from, where my children belong, where the compassion for my lover resides, and where a deep well of surrender and power is drawn from.

It is the place I cross into as Mother.

A heap of gratitude for Candice McIntosh, who assisted my midwife and took these deeply personal, treasured photographs. I'll hold them close forever.