Aradia Arrives

We've waited patiently and impatiently
We've nested the house
The family is gathered
We've yoga-ed, and protein-ed, and leafy greened together

We've passed all the tests
We've burnt all our fears
We've set every good intention for ease and protection
We're ready to open the door

Todd drummed and I danced
Round the Beltaine Fire
The Gods and Goddesses heard
And my waters began to flow

At 8 of 8 in the morning
I call the midwife
I see blood
Maria assures us it has begun

We count contractions all morning
Walk round the marina the long way
Greeted by all the flora and fauna
We keep it secret all day

By afternoon we tell our doula
a simple meal of soup and bread
She puts her hands where they are needed
We take each hour in little waves

By nine o'clock I start to wonder
When will the waves crest and swell?
I'm happy with the way we're going
but the night is drawing round

We never reached 4 minutes
5 or 6 for 13 and one half hours
Then like the hourglass flipping over
The surges came with barely a breath in between

The surges are crashing over our heads
before we know it
The urge to push like a tiger uncaged
we are so calm the midwife's not here yet
We had no count down
We had no screams

Todd wills me to release when the urge comes
like a salmon up the strongest stream
it's impossible yet i'm trying
there must be someone here to catch

The dark goddesses are here for their day
this is their specialty
we are animals in our bodies
there's no denying them their due

Maria walks into the hurricane
3 first time birthers huddled brave
She breaks the trance to assess us
We've got 2 puzzles that must be solved

And now down through Inanna's gates
it's time to face whats left of fear
I will walk whatever path is laid for me
I trust my team, I'm totally here

Now Todd and SJ must fly to separate posts
Where Maria assigns them tasks
They cant go where I am going
but we're prepared for whatever's next

Maria guides me through all the gatekeepers
never leaving my side
all is well, i'm wholly disengaging
until we are in the place where I can push

A maze of bright lights and nincompoops
15 blank-eyed flat-faces file in
Todd announces "this will be different"
They self-select to stay or go

Maria and Doctor Amanda work together
Side by side by some miracle
I defer to Maria for every answer
Our questions answered, it's safe to go

Now comes the search for the right position
I grok wrongness curled up like a C
I turn onto my knees in searching
Balanced like a cat precariously

Finally someone suggests i turn round
to hold the back of the chair
I plant my knees down firmly
Todd's eyes can meet my stare

My hands can hold me upright
In this way I can ride the storm
Now I'm ready to unlock the door
I'm standing in front of it face to face
Everything is in place
but as I lift my hand I notice there is no key in it

I'm chickening out
I cant believe it!
a room full of people shouting at me to push
this is the moment
She's here, just on the other side of that door
the one i've been wanting to meet so earnestly
and i'm chickening out

I start to berate myself aloud for this ridiculousness
If ever there was a woman ready to face the unknown
it is me
I've done every possible homework
i've accepted and surrendered and willed myself around and through

3 pushes come and i push, but i back off at the very end
this sensation of her inside me is known
and i can do this just fine
but now i'm being asked to push her past skin
and that is unknown

this is supposed to be the peak of human experience right?
but I dont know how far from the peak i am already
Am I at a "2" and we are going to "10"?
Or am I at an "8" and "10" is just round one more corner?

I tell myself I want to meet her and I want her on the outside
I'm grasping at straws in the flickering dark
On the 4th surge, Todd finds the key and puts it in my hand
Everything Rocky Balboa hears in his corner is exactly what I needed to hear
And as long as Todd kept saying it, I kept pushing
In one long breath, i pushed past all of it until she was out

Exclamations of joy all around the room
And her glorious cry immediately
She is pink and kicking and sturdy as i imagined her
I did it

She's here and she is indeed a girl
with all her outside parts
And Todd is crying
So it must be real

They place her on my chest
I am still kneeling
I ungrip my one hand from the rail I am clutching to hold her
Todd is muttering the litany of realness
You did it, she's here, look at her, you did so good

I hand her back so i can turn round and sit down
I watch her be passed round without complaint
I think approvingly that she lets others hold her so peaceably
When she raises a little fuss after a shot, they suggest i take her
And at the sound of my voice she quiets down immediately
This i am unprepared for
I dare not let myself think that she would want me best
would need me most
the awesome power of it nearly drowns me
i am blushing and flushed, hoping no one can tell the difference with all the blood around

Then when she is cradled on my chest again
And Todd on my right side
They ask for her name
And we look at each other to see if we still agree
And we nod that the name we chose remains the right one
And I announce to the world
slowly wrapping my mouth around each word
like a deliberate sentence afterwhich nothing will ever be the same again
"Aradia Zorah Snyderman"

and so it is...

And now I have 2 "happiest moments" in my life: marrying Todd and birthing Aradia. I think they are so happy because they both felt like some of heaven, some of my fantasies came to earth and became reality. Both moments made me feel like "could life really be this good?" "dare i believe that i can have this much love for myself?" In the past month I've fallen in love again, just as hard as I did for Todd. And I know I'm not done falling.

My heart opens in endless gratitude to the Universe that conspired to create the perfect labor and birth for me and Aradia. It was a warm fuzzy buzzing vibrating experience, like standing inside the bell of heaven while god rang it like a gong. And i wouldn't have missed it for anything.

wild creative blessings,
sarah ejc

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Aradia Zorah Snyderman
born Friday May 2, 2008 @ 11:40pm
Oakland, California
Totally Natural Childbirth
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