Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Birth of Spiral-Moon

I wrote this post on Spiral-Moons birthday, the 14th of October last year, and I thought it was a wrap.  I had it all ready to go in the afternoon, and then I read it to Currawong, as I always do before I publish anything.  And at that particular time, he was feeling so raw and tender, and so sentimental for our days in Peterborough around the birth of Spiral, that he went on an impassioned rave about how special and amazing that birth was, and how I didn't go into near enough detail about it's beauty, and I couldn't publish it till I'd re-visited it at a later point, and filled in all the gorgeous details.  

So I put it away and forgot about it.  As you do.  With 7 kids and in the middle of life and living.  And just last night, the subject came up again, and I pulled it out and read it and he loved it.  A bit less tender and in a different space, it was a story that was ripe for the telling, and as a bit of a preamble to the post I'm working on at the moment about birth, and more particularly sex and bonding in birth.  As a response to public interest, written in my own words.  

Here you go then.  This is the story of the birth of Spiral-Moon, written and meant to be launched on the anniversary of her 6th lap around the sun.......posted belatedly.


About this time six years ago we were all busy falling in love with a newborn Miss Spiral-Moon, my fourth baby. After my previous births - two hospital births and a home birth that hadn't quite been our families ideal - I wanted a fairly hands off birth, and was focused on the bonding period afterwards. And we were living in our own house for the first time, and taking full advantage of our privacy by enjoying a thoroughly sexual pregnancy.  She'd been born around dawn at Peterborough, in the most beautiful home/water/lotus birth we were ever a part of.  

After being scared off by the very narrow paradigms of the local hospital, we were gonna free birth, except for a very magical and long time midwife Rosey Smart-Vaher, who drove the 250 kms just to be there, and knew when it was going to happen, and would have just sat in her car as the backup if we'd asked her to.  But I was so glad she was there to be with and shelter us with her knowledge. 

The night she was born, I danced with my mum while she giggled about how she'd never seen me do THIS in a birth before, and later sat in a warm birthing pool in a room I’d covered with photos from my life, my loves, and my previous births and children.  I’d spent lots of time sitting there during my pregnancy, sending love and strong birthing energy to the me in the future who would birth in that room.  The whole room smelt of a powerful bush essence, that will forever take me right back to that room, and candles burnt for the whole joyous night.  It was a real time out of time.  Endless and timeless and like all the best aspects of late nights in my adventurous past.  Convinced this was going to be my last birth, (Ha!  Only half way there!!) I was determined to try every birthing position and aid I could think of, and my mum and I were the only ones awake, in a house exhausted by a day of gentle birthing.  

My mum and eldest daughter had taken the kids to Steamtown, so we could test-run sex during birth for the first time. It was more innocent and shy and philosophical, an approach recommended from the fundamentalist christian books I'd read that were reclaiming birth from doctors AND midwives,  and claiming that babies came out best the way they went in.  Also age old advice given to any woman wanting to bring on birth, as engaging in either sex, or a drive on a bumpy dirt road.  Currawong had loved it,  I was distracted and elsewhere, but it was fun nonetheless.  And all day little preparations for the birth that was slowly beginning were made.  The clothes, the blankets, and the hot water bottle to keep them warm, the rabbit fleece jacket I’d spun and made for her first garment, and the red leather pouch with umbilical cord holder that I’d made for our first Lotus birth.  And the surgical equipment and supplies that are stock and trade of a midwives tools, were boiled and ready to be used.

Towards night the expansions started stepping up and we all slowly filled the bath.   Everyone drifted off to sleep, and left me and my mother alone for hours to dance, and talk about birth, and I took odd moments in the birthing pool.  When the expansions really started hotting up, I called ‘CURRAWONG!’ through the house, and he was dressed and at my side within seconds.  Everyone else woke up too, and I lay back in the warm pool with my ears underwater and listened to the sounds of my body.  At one point I quipped “Not quite like the best sex I’ve ever had….” as a reference to sexual birthing and my desire for it.   Everyone laughed.

All during my pregnancy I’d worried about scaring my two younger children with my birth cries.  And so as I started to want to make noise, I toned, and I hummed, and I chanted.   Aware from the reading I’d done that the openness of the throat related to the openness of the cervix, I opened my mouth a lot like a Tibetan throat singer.  The noises seemed to come from the depths of my toes, and something about the controlled way they were coming out, helped me feel more powerful.  And the little ones said later that they weren’t scared, cause it sounded like I was singing.   The adults thought I’d sounded like I was channeling an elder…….

And then came transition.  The zenith of birthing pangs.  The most intense that it was going to get.  The most extreme test and initiation my body has ever gone through.  And I was laying on my back in the water, holding onto Currawongs arms as he stood behind me out of the pool, staring into his eyes, and telling him I loved him.  Over and over, as my body knew that it was full enough to burst, and gathered energy to start the quick process, to push her from my womb.  In that seemingly eternal moment between the body being ready to birth, and the actual push getting together to make it happen, I told him I loved him, and his tears of awe dripped onto my face. 

A few pushes and she was out, bouncing down to the bottom of the pool, and then rising to the surface, with her arm in the air like superbaby.  I raised my head from the water, and Rosey tapped my thigh and said “Your baby’s there…” and I picked her up myself, and held her to my chest, and knew right then and there that nobody knew what gender she was, and it was up to me to find out, and I could do it whenever I wanted, and take as long as I liked.  The feeling was euphoric.  I’d birthed her in warm water, chanted and toned her out, loved my man while it was happening, and then been the only person to touch her as she came earthside, and the one to find out what gender had been added to our family.  I don’t think I’ve known a more powerful, fulfilled and elated time in my life. 

Griff had woken up before she was born, chose to sit the birth out in the lounge, and then was at my side in an instant the moment she was born.   Lilly went in and out of the birthing room while the birth was happening, and was there for the actual birth, but had been able to regulate her own capacity for dealing with what was going on, by instructing my mum where to go.  Mum and Jess were in the room, and so was the shining Rosey.  Dawn was rising through the heavy velvet curtains, and starting to outshine the candles and tealights round the room.  The placenta was born, I got out of the pool, ate some food on the lounge, and had a quick shower, before heading into the bedroom to nestle in, say hello, have a huge cuddle, and meet the placenta laying still and cooling in a colander in a container on the bed.

A bit later, when the bliss was calming, Rosey took us on a guided tour of my placenta, of how it would have looked to Baby Moon (which is what we’d been calling her from the moment we knew she was there) while she was in her sac, and how it all would have sat.  You see, half the genetic material that’s created after the egg and sperm get together make the baby, and the other half make the placenta.  Your placenta is like your babies twin.  That keeps it fed and eliminated and protected and company…..  It was quite a magical experience.  And the first time I’d consciously met one of my placentas.  We washed it and dressed it like a loved dead body, and were amazed to watch that as it slowly died, Miss Moon slowly came awake.  The slowest out of all of my babies.  And she fully came awake and ready to engage with the world, on the 7th day when her cord came away, and she was lotus born.  

Which is also when we had her birthday party, and a big pink placenta cake that the kids still talk about.  Balloons and presents for the other kids, party food and our magical midwife just happened to be there too, and our bonding was cemented as we all knew more love than we’d ever known before.

Weeks after she was born, I finally got my way and called her ‘Spiral-Moon’, for the spiral of hair that whorled round her third eye from the moment she was born.  People had freaked out about the name, and told us that it was negative, and that’s when we started to realize that the energy shift in us all since the birth of Spiral-Moon, had literally moved us to another place, where we fell out of attraction with a whole mob of people we’d been satelliting around for years, and fell into attraction with a whole mob of new and incredible people.  She changed our lives.  Her birth changed everything.  I felt like I could take on the world.

Months after she was born, the local newspaper printed an article about her birth, comparing it to the birth of baby Jesus in a manger.  The local journalist was surprisingly savvy bout home birth, as his partner was an activist, and he’d even read an obscure Michel Odent book that I hadn’t.  It was quite a rap for homebirthing. 

And every morning for the first year of her life, Griffyn would come into our bedroom first thing, to kiss her and say good morning and welcome to the day.

And now as she turns six, Miss Moon is still changing our lives and encouraging us to evolve, and has the most magical stories that flutter round her all the time.  When she has an impact on someone it’s huge.  She’s incredibly deep and sweet girl frilly all within moments.  And just yesterday morning she was starring in her very own musical, unaware that I was listening, and spent half an hour in her pink princess dress, singing about finding a shoe from the shoe box.  She’s the most loyal and true friend a person could ever ask for, and has a magical imagination that could take anyone on a journey, no matter who they were. 

I’m so glad you decided to come on down and turn our toadstool upside round Spiral-Moon!  And teach a powerful lesson about just how amazing a birth can actually be.  Thank you so much for showing us what a completely perfect birth for us actually feels like.