Two years ago, I had a premonition that I would have another baby. I was single at the time, had a seven year old son, and my daughter, who had been adopted (by someone else) at birth was 16. So twice, I'd gotten pregnant and given birth without being married.
(And then I got married. And then I got divorced.)
I had a lot of old pregnancy shame. Because if you look at that side of the story - two unplanned pregnancies, one child living at home, starting having babies at the age of eighteen, now divorced - I looked to the outside like a bit of a shit show. Perhaps. Perhaps not. But at the time, I cared, and my thought as I had this premonition was, "Wait, three babies, 17 years apart, three daddies?"
Good grief. (Insert self judgement.)
As premonitions go, I am not exactly sure where it came from or where it's going.
Part of me would have loved to have had a third baby, with the man of my dreams, living happily ever after after, finally. That was actually a fantasy at one point.
I did have a miscarriage last August. It started while I was on the last day of silent retreat at the Garrison Institute. I realized the day before that my boobs hurt, and then I cried while reading a table tent in the kitchen and thought, "Oh fuck. Boobs, moved to tears with these advertising words of nourishment. I could be pregnant." And then, the nausea started. Deep nausea, and the blood, and then, then I had to get into a car with a driver and get a flight from JFK out to Seattle for a friend's wedding. And I was sick.
The driver that showed up was from the Bronx. Tatted and rough, the defended sort. I got into the hot back of his smokey car and immediately had no idea how I was going to make it through this car ride. Halfway through pregnant and not. And he said, "nice lines," pointing to the tattoos poking out of my sleeve. Sweet relief.
Brother had never sat his ass on a cushion at the Garrison Institute, though I was there for an educator's training and he knew a thing or two about failures in education and articulated them with heart. We started to bond. I told him I was sick, that I would need to stop. He escorted me off the bumper to bumper freeway, and through the Bronx, knowing where to stop. He escorted me into the doughnut shops and gas stations and he stood by the door making sure I was safe. He invited me into the front seat. I took it that was a big deal and sign of respect. He knew what was going on.
I wish I had gotten his name and number. When I told my then-partner about it, he said he was likely an angel, in his Jesus-loving heart.
I was in a relationship with a man with a Jesus-loving heart. I totally loved him. And that would have been the sweetest-skinned, plump little baby I could ever imagine, but that was not the fulfillment of the premonition.
We were in a silent relationship, meaning it was kept secret, as he was going through a divorce, and after this oops, he said, "I would have let everything come out if you were pregnant." Huh? I should have walked away right there, but I suppose there was more to learn (like, a fuck ton more to learn). You would have loved me out loud if there was an accidental pregnancy outing us? Thanks but no thanks. Not the love I'm looking for.
And exacerbation of old pregnancy shame, none the less, and fear of acceptance, and fear of failure.
Why do we allow our creations, the things that want to leap forth in this world, be judged through the eyes of general expectations, when those are not healthy in the first place?
Why am I talking about this other pregnancy now? I don't know. It's pouring out of me, and, I set out to write a different blog post, actually, so I'm going to reroute.
Last July, 2017, I had a business baby. I birthed Embodied Breath into the world. I sat at that same place in Garrison NY (go to the Garrison Institute, holy shit) and purposefully traveled a day early in order to sit a day to myself and get in touch with this Embodied Breath baby and what she was all about. I was still a school director/designer/teacher, and this baby of my Soul was tugging at my sleeve, saying, "Make me. Create me. Love me. This is your path."
I sat in the window seat of the third floor library in the empty Garrison Institute and closed my eyes. The intention was to devote that day to hearing what Embodied Breath had to say. It was raining, and I sat in that window seat with the rain and opened my laptop and out she poured. Out she poured and didn't want to stop, so thankful, apparently, for the opportunity to be seen and heard.
My coaching platform was born that day, this breath-based guide for personal transformation, and I love this story of how she was birthed. I don't do things by the book. I don't do things in order. I don't have coaching certifications, though I do have loads of credentials, and allowing her to be birthed in the mess of life instead of going out and making it perfect first was the perfection of this birth.
It's stories like this that make me trust in the unfolding.
Stories like the perfection of that day in the library and even stories like the perfection of that divinely supported car ride to the airport.
All of it.
Stories like I got pregnant at eighteen and I got pregnant again at twenty seven and stories like I still never, never felt good enough.
All perfection. Because here I am.
When you do things out of order in this world, the judgement is fierce. I'm thick-skinned and resilient because I felt I had to be, but fuck, that was to protect the shame that I had already allowed in.
And then this year, my business baby was in the world. And I was still working as a school director/designer/teacher, and things went to shit there. My business baby really disrupted the hopes of others that I would be there for a longer time, and then I knew in my heart that I had to leave my job before I thought I would. I had to leave and and be with my business baby and make a go of her.
So I see now that I tried to force her to grow up a bit fast. I wanted her to be bigger than she was, before she was. And I wanted to look like I wasn't fucking up, wasn't failing.
Was I? I was even confused at times.
My dad sure thought I was, trusting a birthing process instead of a steady paycheck.
I would turn inward, consistently, consult Soul and Her and the course of life itself. "Am I on the right path?"
Yes. Every time, yes. Every time.
I do things out of contemporary order. I do things that I feel called to do. And, it doesn't always look clean. But when you birth with Soul, you birth beauty. I am more sure of this now. More confident.
This week, on another retreat, I walked a labyrinth. I had learned this summer that the labyrinth was actually affiliated with the Sacred Feminine at the time it (labyrinth) was first conceived, and so I entered it as if it itself were a womb. I entered it a woman whose womb has birthed, whose spirit and Soul have birthed, and who sometimes needs a reminder that this path of trust is a birthing process in and of itself.
I stepped forward on top of that mountain, one slow step at a time, a dragonfly circling me, the sun setting, and I heard these needed words, "Your babies are beautiful. Your babies are not ever the source of shame. Your babies are thriving. You do not birth failures and you are not a failure. You birth beautiful creations. Beautiful creations. Look at them. They are smiling. They are happy. They are playing. They are strong and full of Soul and you know it. You create Soulful and important contributions, not failures. When have you failed? Look at them. They are thriving."
And this woman's womb felt wrapped by that mountain Herself. I got to the tree that stood in the center, pulled up my skirt, and offered her my own blood.
It is from here that we create. We birth. This messy place of body and Soul.
My babies are in the world, my blood is still flowing, my Soul is speaking. I have much more to birth. Happy first birthday, Business Baby, Embodied Breath. You are here with a big mission. A big purpose. I gave my first baby the middle name Faith. I'm reminded now more than ever why that name Faith had beckoned me forward in the first place.