I read Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights many years ago and I was struck by the pain a human endures when severed from their daemon. The guillotine falls and the energy released rips holes between dimensions. I felt that pain when being separated from this baby. I’ve been here before, twice. Yet I have never ever felt anything like this. The birth of my first was a messy, rushed emergency delivery, where I was gone into oblivion by anaesthetic so I had no idea of what was happening. My second delivery was all natural, swellings of pain that crashed in waves over my body. Taking days and days, sleeplessness and lack of food, I finally opened like a shattered and torn flower and out she came. Yet even that pain did not feel like a severance. This did. This felt like our bodies, our spirits had been severed from one another. I had to be cut open, a ‘natural’ section where we could watch him emerging, a full eight minutes of indignant crying of his rapidly pinkening face as the rest of his body stayed firmly in utero. Then, once he emerged fully, he was put onto my breasts to blindly hunt for nothing he’d ever known before. Then finding it and sucking my newly ready breasts.
As my body has aged I have become finally and surely aware of my fallibility, my fragility. I have felt now how healing takes place, of deeply created scars. I have learned to understand pain too. Debilitating pain, where I reach willingly for heavy medication, just to manage this feeling. I cannot be with this. I need to numb this, exacerbated by having a cold. Every cough and sneeze terrorises me into thinking I’m going to burst open my gut for all to see. Ripping, searing heat. Husband pushes a pillow into my cut as I get ready. Yet I never burst and I never tear. I heal. Miraculous.
Then I get better. Baby grows so beautifully. An ounce a day! How happy this makes me. I catch myself looking at my naked body in the full length bathroom mirror: blackened tummy, turning incredible colours of yellow and green, crimson scar and deep, deep blue bruises. Swollen tummy and engorged breasts. Nipples blistered, shoulders hunched. I have the face of a stranger and the eyes of a doe. Yet within I have reached somewhere that I have spent many years practicing meditation to reach: single-minded and complete surrender of being. I am now here to keep Baby alive with milk. I function on low battery, yet I have something I have always struggled to have: a still mind.
My mind is now on low battery. Light seems dimmed, functions take less energy, fewer critical functions function at all in fact. Respond to the cry of the Baby. Sit. Read a book. Have a drink of water. Allow my empty mind to just be that. Empty. What a wonderful feeling! No more racing mind, the chattering monkeys have quietened down, and possibly have left the building. Silence and peace prevails within my mind. It has taken severance of me from my spirit to have this happen. A simplicity prevails, so much so that I have wondered if I would find the words to write this. Thoughts have floated gently by like clouds in a blue sky. Now I have written them and captured them. Not all of them though. I want to write about how my chickens gave me so much therapy when pregnant, how they’re possibly the only other things I think about, them and my family. Better feed them (the girls), better clean them out (the chickens), better say thank you a lot more often (to my husband). Be grateful for them all. Spread the peace within my spirit that this has given me.
I look again at my body in the mirror. I see the strength it took to conceive, grow and birth a new, bright soul into this world. A soul that has lit up our lives in his own, joyous ways. Brown-eyed boy, our Joyous One. I am grateful and I am home.