Birthing Myself As “Mother”

It was a lukewarm Sunday in August. Summer was waning into Autumn. I woke up at around 8:30 that morning to intense pain in my lower back. Twisting and turning on my bed, I tried to find a comfortable position so that I could melt back into slumber. Just the day before, I whined to my husband about just how painless my pregnancy had been. “Is this normal?”, I thought to myself. “Aren’t I supposed to be in pain?” It’s just like me to worry about everything.

My entire pregnancy had been a piece of cake. No vomiting. No agony. No illness. No Braxton Hicks. No fire crotch. Non of those pesky idiosyncrasies commonly associated with pregnancy were present. I had zero health complications. Minor food aversions, a weak bladder, sleepiness, some achy muscles, light discomfort in the third trimester and swollen feet were my only concerns. My olfactory senses were in overdrive; I could smell food and filth from miles away.

That Sunday morning, all the pain came rushing in like a tidal wave. It crashed into my sacral area, my pelvis and hips. “Just breathe”, I thought, but my body stiffened, and tears began to flow. The pain made me bow down to it. Surrender to its might. It was time for my initiation. A simultaneous death and birth. A death of my old self and the birth of my first child. The birthing of a new me.

We arrived to the hospital at around 9:30am. Counting the contractions as they ebbed and flowed. Taking my breath away as they increased in vigor. I groaned wild sounds. My cries communicated with my womb. Open the way! The portal is opening! My cervix was dilated at 5cm.

The deep sensations were sent through every part of my body. My mind separated from my body and left her to her own devices. I held on tightly to my mother who stood at the bedside guiding my breaths. Her touch providing me with comfort that only a mother could provide. She had brought six of us earthside and was all too familiar with this rite of passage. My cervix was 7cm dilated.

The kind, soft spoken nurse encouraged me to trust my body. It was too late for an epidural and I was just considering getting one. The nurses led me to the room with the immaculate bath so I could relax. The water steadied my contractions. I was able to meditate in the water. In the water, I envisioned a healthy baby, one who cried as soon as she came out, with all ten fingers and toes. I said farewell to my old self and braced myself for what was beyond the next few moments.

The urge to take a giant poop was strong. I wanted to squeeze and eliminate, but I was not ready quite yet. My baby was so close. Positioned just right and making her way through the canal.

At 9.5 cm, my water had still not broken so the doctor broke my water for me. As soon as she popped that membrane, it was go time. Now, the contractions were my best friend. I was to work with them and push at the crest of every wave.


I pushed seven times with all my might, for 10 minutes. I could feel my infant inching her way out of me until her tiny little body escaped completely. My daughter piped loudly, opening her airways, assuring all of us that she was healthy. She was placed onto my chest, covered in vernix and blood. She smelled so pure and fresh as I sniffed her head.

I held her in my arms, still in shock at what I had just done. My pregnancy was finally over. I was so relieved. I felt so accomplished. I gave thanks to the Most High and to my body. “We did it”. I thought to myself. “I’m a mama now.”

The original plan was to birth at home. The fact that Black women are three times more likely to die giving birth than white women was a fear of mine. It was my belief that a home birth would be safer. Plans changed and I made the choice to deliver my baby at Beth Israel. My time in the hospital was very positive. The nurses went above and beyond to respect my wishes and accommodate me. My vaginal wall and labia tore. I also lost a lot of blood and had to get stitches. I am happy that expert medical professionals were by my side and made sure that my baby and I were healthy.

Pregnancy and labor were things that evoked deep feelings of fear. From the horror stories from other women with negative experiences to seeing firsthand how pregnancy changes ones body, it was something that, if you had asked me recently, “would you do it?” I would have wholeheartedly declined.

I enjoyed my pregnancy. It was like an adventure. Watching my body stretch and grow to accommodate new life. I enjoyed experiencing my body operate as its own intelligent life force. The vivid dreams. My new superb sense of smell. The flutters in my stomach as my baby swam around my womb. The way strangers smiled and congratulated me.  All of this was titillating and exciting.

This process was made easy for me, and for that I am so grateful. I have a supportive village of family and friends. I have a loving husband. I was able to rest, relax, eat, pray, meditate. I was able to reflect, let go, and let God.

While it’s true that babies are born every day, women give birth every day; to give birth life is an initiation from the Divine. When we choose to fully accept this role as an honor, we will come to know it as one of the highest accolades one could receive while on Earth. As I write and reflect on my birth experience days into motherhood, I can attest that it is no easy task. A great deal of patience, sacrifice and will power are required.  

I never envisioned myself as capable of motherhood. We have our visions and the Creator has the ultimate vision. Surrendering to this Divine vision is forcing me to give birth to the highest version of myself. Like a gestation period, it will take time, but I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity be chosen by the Ultimate Creator as “Mother”.

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I help others feel themselves so they may heal themselves.