New year, new goals. Today’s goal is to write a blog post. It feels like date night and I don’t want to go on the date. Suddenly, I want to nap. I do not want to face sitting at my desk and writing.

I am afraid of sharing my real heart and soul truth.

I am afraid of being seen.

Oh the gripping fear, my paws are clinging to the edge of the cliff. I space out. Procrastination quickly sets in.

La de da da de da …

I take an hours nap.

I have a hot shower.

I make dinner.

I am inspired to suddenly make Silver a cheese board?!

I watch a video.

I make 50 thousand cups of tea.

And I still have to write this blog post because it is time for me to honour my word to myself. So despite much resistance and avoidance and procrastination here I am at my desk, sitting on my peachy bum, writing to you.

I know what I want to say.

I have been circling the carcass of this story for a while.

I say carcass because it is time for the shame and guilt I have carried around my story to be allowed to decompose. It is time to let old pain be laid on the earth, to gradually become compost.

Perhaps in time, this story can become fertilizer for new things to grow.

This story is just the beginning.

I have plenty of stories to tell, to share, plenty of compost for my new garden, heh heh heh….you’ll see. I see this as a wholesome thing, because I am not my story. I have lived through certain things, as you have, and I want to release much of the old shame I have been carrying. Yet I am still bricking it to go public.

Writing is an excellent washing machine. I sit, I write, I come out cleaner, and happier than before.

I certainly hope you will come along the journey with me. I cannot be doing this all alone, not for a minute.

We heal together I reckon.

I see a bird flying off in the front yard.

It is time for old guilt and shame to be set free.

If I look into the birth of my daughter I see how my sexual birthing energy was held back. I see how my pelvis was tightened in fear and locked up at delivery.

For me to walk forward helping women heal from their births, I have to heal my own experience of childbirth.

I pray that this writing in some way create a healing for all souls spoken of here.

I am going to be vulnerable and share my truth with you.

I feel a huge responsibility right now because I have a practice called Birth Your Truth which means I need to come out of hiding and have a voice.

Tears are welling. I have lived in the shadows too long. It is time for me to come out, again and again into the light of day. I have been shown this in a dream and now I have to walk out of my dark tunnel into the light step by step. This blog is one small step.

How we do birth is how we do life. Birth Matters, women matter, families matter.

I want to talk about birth spirituality and sexuality. I want to talk about the laws of nature and the Goddess. Not as a concept but as I have seen, felt and experienced her to be within me and within many birthing women.

No more waiting for permission. No more fear of being stoned to death or burned at the stake. I offer this to you as I would offer my voice in a sacred ceremony, a women’s circle or a medicine journey.

Please listen like clear water, be a waterfall. Let this story wash over you. Stay out of judgement. Let it flow over you and join a river that flows to the sea.

I would love to know what this touches in you.

My prayer is that my truth can help you in some way to look into the birth of your own children and perhaps too…. even see the central themes of your life.

I pray that you hear a song that awakens you to see yourself, your sexuality, your child, your man, your midwife or doctor, the maternity system, in a whole new light.

I pray that there is a healing for you here too.

This, my writing is an offering from my soul to yours.

Please honour me, my daughter and her father, by speaking of this Birth to no-one.

Let it remain a sacred event.

Let it be held between our hearts with compassion.

No matter how it goes, every Birth is a sacred one.

Share your feelings, your insights, yes please share them below and on the group page.

Share this blog with others by all means, yet let it remain whole and intact, as it is written here in my own words.

Thank you.

If you are reading this, perhaps you too will peer into your birth stories.

I invoke my angels and guardians to walk with me as I recount the birth of my daughter. Her birth was the most wondrous moment of my life.

My greatest achievement in this life?…. holding my new born baby girl in my arms.

I received her at home, myself with my own hands.

She was big, fat, perfect, pink, plump and whole.

In the moment I birthed my girl I felt I had achieved what I knew in my soul I came here to do – become a mother. I had a homebirth in water with a homebirth midwife by my side.

So here goes, the whole story, some of it is enriching and some of it is horrible for me to remember.

I include it all.

I want to hear all of your stories too, with nothing left out.

This will not be a walk through a rainbow fairy-unicorn shop experience for many of us. There will be no cup cakes with pink frosting for showing up to this party. We will need cups of tea and water and green smoothies though. Make yourself a cuppa now love, if you like.

This is the whole truth, the full truth, nothing but the truth.

So help me god. Here it is.

If you are still reading this…. if you have stayed with me this far I hope we can continue the conversation and journey beyond this blog. I am in it for the long haul, sharing my truth that is.

Pre-conception I pray to god. I am ready for my life to move forward and change. I pray specifically for my great work, for the highest and best thing to happen to me. I ask for a path that will bring me the most abundance, creativity and support. I ask for clear career direction and fast.

I am awoken after midnight one night by a large white owl flapping its wings outside my glass bedroom doors. I sit up in bed to see the face of a beautiful owl staring at me.

I feel this bird is a messenger of the wisdom to come to me in the form of my daughter, a great soul. I recognize her spirit immediately as a powerful and wise one.

Days after asking the Divine for career directions…. I discover that I am pregnant.

This is not what I asked for, nor what I had expected!

I was worried.

A few weeks before the conception of my daughter there is a sudden violent episode between Peter and myself. Hands over my mouth, I fight for my breath, I think I might die. I split off. I find myself dazed and shocked on the floor. I reach out to no-one. I tell not a soul.

Living in shame begins here and grows as I remain in relationship with Peter. Instead of leaving, I decide to cling on. He is the first man who touches my heart in my twenties…. he truly teaches me about generosity and kindness. I refuse to believe what has ensued between us.

I tuck it away and carry on, yet it shakes at the gate of my soul until the day I leave him with my baby daughter wrapped in my arms nearly two years later.

A month earlier Peter smashes every glass, plate and cup we own on the concrete kitchen floor.

I stand frozen outside our tiny cabin listening to the sounds of every bit of crockery we own being smashed to bits. I choose to remain frozen in fear and bury this event somewhere in my body so no-one, including myself will detect any trace of it.

I only remembered this as I began writing today.

Terrified and shocked I decide to cling to Peter instead of walk away. I love him, after all. Rose coloured glasses, firmly ON. At this point, I tell my 29 year old self that it will all surely get better. I remind myself that he is loving and kind most of the time. I remember how kind he has been towards me.

In the months before this he punches more than one of his friends within my earshot, including our friend and house mate, breaking his rib in our kitchen. Things are not going well. There is a court case of some description from one of the victims. I remain hopeful that all will turn out fine in the end. I tell myself that he will come good. (OMFG, talk about living in denial)

I grew up with the knowing that if something horrible happens (which it did), I must keep it to myself, as nobody is ever going to believe what I have to say. And so that is what I did. I kept it secret. On youtube Brene Brown tells me that shame needs secrecy to grow.

I am only unpacking this now, 15 years later… better late than never eh?

I am unable and unwilling to make peace with the light and dark in my life.

I split it in two, hiding the dark and dancing with sequins in the light. I bellydance at a middle eastern restaurant on Sunday evenings.

Despite all this my daughter’s conception a few months later was blissful and pleasurable and juicy. I remember the whole room going pink around the time of her conception. It felt as though Angels were everywhere around me, celebrating triumph.

During love making somewhere along the way, I split off. I have a tendency to go into fantasy into my head. I imagined I was having sex with an ex.

I told Peter about this later, and he didn’t seem to mind. Growing up Catholic I notice I have been prone to secrecy and a close companion of guilt and shame, especially surrounding sexuality and speaking about taboo subjects like domestic violence and infidelity. These things just didn’t happen in my neighbourhood as a child. As a small kid I remember asking the universe a question one day when I saw a tv commercial for domestic violence. I thought that they must be making it up because no-one in my suburb that I knew ever had shit like that going on in their lives.

“Where does this happen?” my six year old self asked the universe.

I grew up and found it happening in my life.

A daily joy for me is waking up every single day looking into my daughters beautiful big blue eyes. From every nap she awakens smiling sunshine, beaming absolute radiant joy to me.

Despite the ‘situation’ I am gifted by a child full of JOY. I am a radiant mother.

During her conception Peter asks me if it is a safe time for him to come inside me. I say yes and yet he still asks me over and over. My full body response is YES, yes YES….. I am ready. I am eclipsed and intoxicated by the hormones of ovulation that are demanding a conception happen NOW.

I swear it is safe. The seed is planted.

I am blissed out beyond all blissometers.

I discover soon after that it was in fact not a ‘safe’ time. I feel I have betrayed him, at the same time I am true to my biological urge. My womb longed for a baby and I simply could not wait a day longer. Unconsciously I hoped a baby would make everything wonderful in my relationship. I wanted my magic wand to work, but it didn’t. Only the truth will set me free, but this would come years later.

I grow my baby, submerging deeply the memory and knowing of ….

1. a history of violence. (I even blame myself for this). Shame detector going off.

2. the deception (dreaming of another man during  conception). Guilt buzzer buzzing.

3. feeling wrong for following my full body yes. Guilt buzzer buzzing again, louder this time.

I now fully and completely release all shame and guilt associated with my childs conception. I accept now, that I truly and soulfully wanted her, that I had desire for someone else and that for my body and soul it was a safe time to conceive her.

My soul finds a sanctuary. I venture off to a women’s retreat and go away for a month in the first few weeks of my pregnancy. I was unable to tell the facilitator the truth of what was going on for me in my relationship, and now that I was pregnant I felt I needed to more than ever, hold onto my man.

Shortly after the women’s retreat, where the facilitator supports me to stay with Peter, I go into fear and shock that I am in fact pregnant.

I am aware that Peter is not in love with me anymore and has a violent streak.

I consider having an abortion at 11 weeks.

When I ring the clinic the woman on the phone explains the procedure to me and I realize that there is absolutely now way I can go through with it.

At this moment I fully accept that I am pregnant and that I am going to have a baby.

The Pregnancy…..

I feel well and wonderful. I attend my local pregnancy support group and make new friends and find a home birth midwife who turns out to live across the road from me.

For months I am drawn to the big pink house across the street. I wonder who lives there. When I ride my bike past the pink house, I want to go inside. I am magnetically drawn to the pink house.

Turns out to be the home of my home-birth midwife Elizabeth.

The night before the birth Peters brother attacks his partner with a hammer and chisel and is arrested and on his way to prison. Peter dissolves and collapses into a well of grief, sobbing for hours on the lounge room floor. He calls out the name of his brother with deep pain in his soul. You see Peter grew up in domestic violence and when they were children Peter protected his brother from violence.

He is broken by the news of his brother.

I am unable to console him. The sound of a man’s soul cracking into broken pieces is heard all through the house. I can still recall the sound of his broken heart and his deep sobs of grief echoeing through the night air into the street.

A neighbour comes over to ask if he can please keep the noise down.

I feel uneasy, fully pregnant and do not sleep well.

In the morning I take a walk on the beach and see the biggest crab I have ever seen in my life. In the distance I see a stick figure, no-one else is on the beach as there has been a lot of rain and there is sea weed strewn everywhere.

Peter walks towards me, we meet and hug.

I relax fully in his arms. Finally I feel safe, and my labour begins in that moment.

I fear not having enough energy to give birth as I am awake most of the night and ask Peter to make me an omelette with eight eggs in it. Peter fills up the birth pool in our dining area and I am looking forward to the birth. The day I have waited for has finally arrived.

For me the first part of labour is blissful and easy…. I danced. I rocked. I swayed.

Underneath was a hidden anxiety. I find myself writing down the times of my contractions. I am excited and daunted. How will this birth go?

The first stage of labour was enjoyable and I danced along with it fine. Once I was fully dilated I paused, and waited and sat for a long time. It was like time stood still for hours on end.

I did not know how the hell I was going to get the baby out.

I moaned and groaned in the pool stuck in fear for what seemed like an eternity.

Divine women friends Jillian and Maha had offered to come for the birth but I swiftly declined their offers. I could not understand what exactly they could do for me. I was truly naïve about birth and sisterhood back then.

I was not-knowing of the ways of women and birth as yet. I learn about sisterhood as a new mother, my survival being the experienced mother’s around me, paving the way, shining a light.

I laboured wonderfully at home undisturbed. I passed through transition with a fairly clean vomit of all 8 eggs.

I floated around moaning in the birthing pool for what seemed like forever.

I wondered to myself…..how on earth did my grandmother do this? Why didn’t anyone tell me about this? How did my grand mother have six children?

I moaned a bit more.

My midwife took my hands and chanted a mantra to me.

She looked into my eyes, and with all certainty said….It’s strong, It’s easy and you can do it. She told me this is the hardest thing I will ever do in my life, but I have to do it to meet my baby.

She asked me if I could feel the baby’s head. I reached down and I could feel the crown of my baby’s head on my fingers between my legs. This was all I needed. I was so close and so ready.

I felt my baby’s head move down into the birth canal and then go up again.

This ‘going back up’ sent me into a panic. I so didn’t want her to go back up. I wanted her to come out. I had had enough of labour.

I was not relaxed. I was absolutely fricking terrified. I thought I was going to die, be snapped in two by the force of the baby. I could not see a way forward except being busted and broken into a million pieces. I knew there was no way out. I did not want drugs although at this moment I understood why women might choose them and a c section.

I panicked, and then stood up in the pool and gave a big push.

I didn’t trust. I didn’t surrender.

I felt guilty about the conception and the unspoken relationship issues.

I am locked and cannot allow myself to open. I clench on and remain tight. I push and force my baby giving myself a third degree tear. I forget all about the relax and surrender part. Panting goes out the window.

I go with Wild Woman instead.

Surprisingly from just one push her head is born. After this, I sat down on Peter in the water feeling calm and said “look there is her head.”

I felt intense peace wash over me. I felt happy. I felt my work was done.

Elizabeth’s hands ventured down to my baby at which point I placed a protective arm across her chest to block her saying in a loud clear voice….

“Don’t you pull my baby out!” She assured me, she wouldn’t.

This was a purely instinctual and protective move on my part. The fierce mother had awakened in me during birth. She remains alive and well with me today. It was her that would help me leave Peter in the months to come.

I could have had a number of supportive women at my side, however I couldn’t then see the value of having ‘those that have walked the path’ beside me. I was overly confident for someone who had never given birth before. Yep, naïve and proud.

I had no idea and had yet to learn about the value of knowing sisters at birth.

I learnt the hard way by not having any (sad face) and went on to become a doula and a midwife. I went on to help many frightened women birth. I held hands and looked into eyes…. and I LOVED IT.

I held my perfect daughter in my arms, knowing in my soul that god had granted me the greatest gift I could ever receive.

A daughter.

A perfect, pink, fat daughter.

I was the happiest woman alive.

I did what I knew I could do. I did what I set out to do. I birthed at home in water.

It still feels like the greatest achievement of my life.

After writing this all down yesterday I had a dream last night that I felt something coming out of my yoni…. I felt down between my legs and discovered that three fairly large rocks in akward shapes came out of me in the dream.

Holding onto this story has kept my womb heavy. Writing it has helped heal me.

For me the rocks symbolize the weight of shame and guilt I have held inside for nearly 15 years.

I close this medicine blog with a feeling of release.

Thank you for holding this space for me. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for keeping this sacred and holy. Because it is, because I am and my daughter is and Peter is too.

Thank you dear one.

I love you.

Angela

x

P.S. This is not the whole birth story, but this is the story I needed to write for my healing today. I pray it will help you release something too. I would love to hear what this touches in you. Blessings on your womb, your sexuality and your birth stories. May they be told and freed too. Shanti Om.

One thought on “Shame on Her

  1. Angela,

    What an amazing, powerful and soulful insight to you. I hope you feel lighter for releasing that burden of hiding all that inside. I can relate in terms of domestic violence, though with my father, not my partner. And I too have hidden burdens tucked deep away.

    On a wonderful and brighter side… The births of our daughters. Thank you so much Angela for holding my hand during my stay in hospital. While both waiting the arrival of my precious joy (and supporting me to stay true to my ‘birth plan’) and after her arrival with the battle to get her strong enough to take home. You were my rock in that strange environment and I found your guidance so valuable.

    I hope doing this blog brings you peace and contentment in your life, as you truly are someone who deserves it.

    Take care,
    Kat x

    Liked by 1 person

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