"The simple act of consciously holding deep gaze with someone is a profound exchange of energy- in many cultures looking directly into someone's eyes is considered rude and intrusive. For me, it puts me right up against my impulse to hide, to stay small and unseen."
And hello, you evolving, integrated and bone-deep sister of a superpower, you. You are the force of nature I'm becoming, and I should have known better to trust you and to know that no matter what I did to control you, you'd come out sailing with your flag flown high.
You have surprised me in ways that have devastated others, and come to my door in your cloak of womb-filling fervor when others were calling your name.
I have staved you off, cried at your arrival as if I was on death's doorstep. I have drugged you, charted you, chanted your secrets, gleefully greeted your monthly reminders like May Day baskets on my front porch left by a sweet-hearted childhood best friend.
You have given me my greatest source of power and the sacred responsibility of these souls, travelled through the portal of my body, using you as their sherpa, to become the intoxicating babies and the wise, wild children in my life. You have made me Mother. You have created in me the power to bear that creation. You have shown me the everlasting cup of conception in all its forms, and I toast that cup to you now.
I never knew how you would transform in me. Yesterday, I handed this body over to the power of a man to put me under- consciously unconscious- so they could view my womb and clip the root for good. And already, you are knocking on that door, but in a different way. You are gently shifting me away from that focus and pointing me in a new direction. Forward.
So goodbye, Fertility of my youth. My creeping mistress, always surprising me with the positive pregnancy test (three times I did not plan you, and three times you delighted me in spite of me). And hello to this new, whole woman of creation. Creatrix. I bow to you.
I'm thrilled at what we're about to do together. Thank you for all you have given me, and all you've allowed me to do through you.
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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.