I witnessed a Birth today.
Not just a metaphorical birth, but the actual birth of a child – my niece.
My sister has traveled into the labor realm three separate times before today to retrieve her children, and each birth has been drastically different.
I cannot speak for her experiences. I can only speak from what I had experienced.
She was moaning in and out of contractions with a flushed red face, a sweaty upper lip, wide eyes that would frequently drop away as if our reality never even existed.
She begged for the pain to stop, but encouraged the momentum.
I sat behind her as she labored with a squatting rack, allowing her to relax her body onto mine and rest her head on my shoulder as she opened up her pelvis making way in the birth canal.
We stood together with her hands draped over my shoulders, her head hanging low, and her hips swinging from side to side as I followed her lead.
I found moments to squeeze her hips, massage her feet, rub her legs, and brush her hair with the intention of her realizing that she was fully supported and safe.
We laughed and we cried.
She whispered, moaned, sighed, roared, and took deep breaths.
And then there was a moment where everything shifted.
The look on her face seemed panicked as she vocalized her hesitation and resistance.
At that moment I knew what my role was.
I wasn’t there to fix her pain, I wasn’t there to just watch as if I was a fly on the wall.
I was there to remind her of her power.
And when those words came out of her mouth I got close to her face and I reminded her of how strong and capable she is, and how she’s made it that far already.
She was on the homestretch of retrieving her new baby.
From experience I know that that homestretch is the worst possible place to linger. It feels as if fire is traveling through your entire body trying to break your bones wide-open as you plead and beg for it to stop.
It doesn’t stop, it channels down to the center of your core and guides the mother into a deep state of willpower and perseverance.
After 19 hours of labor, she honed in on her superhuman strength and pushed her baby earthside as the sun came up and beamed through the windows.
“You did the exact thing you said you couldn’t do!” I said through the stream of tears rolling down my face.
I didn’t just witness my niece’s birth,
I watched my sister’s rebirth as well.
And it was beautiful.
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