Published on May 16th, 2016 | by Danie Love1
The Birth of Starfire: DANIE LOVE on How to Have a Baby in Fifteen Minutes
My daughter came into this world like a shooting star. A rocket. An earthquake.
She flew through me splitting me open. Breaking down the door. Shattering me. Sending me back to source.
Her first knocks were heard that morning with the arrival of my blood, red and streaked on toilet paper.
I’d read that I should keep her coming to myself so I wouldn’t be thrown off by the excitement of everyone around me, but I couldn’t help it. “She’s coming! Today is the day!!,” I told Johnny, my boyfriend, and my daughter, and my sons as the energy of the house shifted around us.
Two hours later they were wondering where she was and I knew then that I needed patience. I told them it could be days before she came Earthside, though I knew it wouldn’t be. We went out shopping to pass time and I then sent my boyfriend to run some errands. “Not to worry”, I said, “it’s okay to leave. Yes, of course you can stop by your friend’s house.”
Finally, it was quiet and I went to bed to talk to her. To talk to my body. To tell it to open. With each contraction I surrendered. And slowly, slowly I felt them building, deepening, my cervix beginning to widen. You will be here soon, little girl, I told her. I felt her strong. Her heart one with mine.
Once Johnny came home we laid in our bed and I held onto him trying to let my energy pull him into the birth, so he could feel it with me, so he could birth her with me. They came stronger and we called Sarah, my midwife, asking her to come. It wouldn’t be long now and I had decided to take IV antibiotics since I had tested positive for Group Strep B. We should probably get those started.
Sarah, red hair and soft but determined eyes, came up to our room grounded as she always was and checked me saying I was only a 3, which surprised me. I felt this baby coming fast but I listened to her as she asked me to call her when things pick up. There was a moment where I almost asked her to start the IV now but I was only a three, right? That’s so far from a 10. So much time.
Johnny and I curled back up together in bed and I rode the swells, dips, and rushes of my waves until I was too uncomfortable and suggested we take a bath.
As the water filled the tub he lit candles and I put on music. We slipped into the warm water together like we had so many other nights. I laid back into him, his body supporting mine. Our nakedness together swelling and contracting with each rush, me visualizing the ocean on a blue day, calm and gentle. In that tub was the three of us. I felt her close. The rushes, they came longer until it was uncomfortable and I asked to lie down on the bed.
It was after we laid back down and his arms wrapped around me that three contractions hit me like lightening. There was not even time to breathe in-between them. And I called out, “WHY are they so close together???”
The blur began.
We messaged Kewal, my doula, and asked her to come. It was just a minute or so after that Sarah called saying she heard we asked Kewal to come, wanting to know if she should come too.
I could hear Johnny in the hall talking to her as my water broke, gushing out of me, and my stomach sunk inward around the baby.
It was then that I knew this wasn’t going to be like my other births.
As he walked in I said in panic, “my water broke”. He began to text Sarah frantically and I tried to think of where I could do this without making a mess.
I went to the tub. It wasn’t filling fast enough and blood was dripping out of me.
The toilet, I thought. I grabbed the hamper as I made my way to it, letting it be my support, as I sat down and I moaned out deep and low.
One contraction after another. Coming. Never stopping. Faster and faster.
Johnny and my oldest daughter ran all over the room trying to ready everything.
“I have to throw up!,” I yelled and they brought me a bowl. I set it on the hamper thinking, I must be in transition. No that’s not possible. It’s too soon. She can’t be coming so fast.
The rushes came like one giant wave that threatened to pull me under. It spun me under the water and didn’t let me up for air.
I reached in between my legs, put my fingers inside myself, and felt her head. She was right there. I was at least a 5.
I heard Sarah come in. Kewal was once at my side, telling me I could do this. Telling me I was doing this. She had been at the birth of my son and she told me my body knows what to do.
No. “This isn’t like the last one,” I yelled at her.
I felt her moving down. Moving through me. Ripping me apart as I moaned out like an animal dying. In terror I wanted the safety of the hospital and the drugs that I knew would numb this pain.
My god, I don’t know if I can take more of this.
Sarah asked me where I wanted to give birth and I said not on this toilet. The bed. Hoping and praying that lying down would slow her arrival.
“I can’t walk,” I told Sarah who responded sternly, “yes you can”.
Leaning on Kewal, I made it across the room crawled onto my bed that had been quickly covered in a plastic and a sheet.
This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t how I pictured it. Not like this.
Where were the moments where I slowly eased into this? Where was Johnny holding me as hours passed and we dreamed this baby into existence together?
Oh God. She’s coming. This second. And I pushed and felt her stretching me. Too fast. Too much. I was going to tear.
Johnny left my head for a second to see her head and I begged him to come back. Come back to telling me I can do this.
Everyone looked so calm. My daughter, Johnny, Sarah, Kewal. Everyone seemed to think that everything was alright. I searched their faces hoping for someone to say what I felt, that this was a shit show.
Another contraction came and I pushed and was gone, gone from the intensity of the pain, my eyes glazed over. Gone into the cold blackness. Gone to source. Another push brought me back to the searing pain and then I was gone again.
I went in and out of this world.
I reached down trying to open myself with my own fingers so I could escape the pain and I felt her bulging head.
Another push and she was hanging out of my yoni and we were at once two souls in one body, hanging between two worlds, suspended between life and death, source and 3D.
Another push and with my own two hands I brought her up into my arms and life.
I could hardly comprehend her. A baby. There was a baby on my chest. And Johnny was crying. He was looking at our daughter who looked back at him and crying.
“It’s a baby,” I stated.
5 to birth in 15 minutes.
I felt nothing. I felt nothing but cold.
Where was I? Where did I go? Did I miss it?
Sarah asked me to push out the placenta and I did. She and Kewal fed me herbs through a tincture so I wouldn’t bleed out like I did in all my other births.
Her magic worked. The onslaught of blood never came and I asked to please get in the tub. I was so cold.
Somewhere in that warm water I began to come back to this world, to myself, and they brought her to me. My daughter. My starfire. And there I began again the journey of being a mother. Baptized through fire this time. Through death.
I struggled to understand why.
Why was this birth searing pain that swallowed me up in into the blackness of nothing? Why was this birth more than any pain I had ever felt in a life that had been filled with so much of it? Why did this birth seek to destroy me?
Weeks later, in red tent ceremony, in the new moons darkness that held my sisters, these questions burned even brighter. I needed to understand why my new baby’s birth was also my greatest trauma.
That night it stormed. The wind shifted the branches of the trees and lightening crackled arching over the desert sky as inside we 40 women circled, bare breasted, painted, stripping away layers of clothes, jewelry, hair dressings and throwing them into the center. With each layer stripped away from their bodies my sisters shed what they no longer wanted. They gave away pain, materialism, and men. They shed old patterns that held them back.
Some gave away so much they stood naked.
Earlier that night, as we began to enter ceremony, I quickly grabbed a scarf from the pile of sarongs to catch the milk dripping from my breasts. I understood now why I had picked the one item in the pile with skulls on it—black, smiling, and interwoven with flowers.
I moved forward. A space opened up to speak. I held the scarf out.
What had confused and pained me since giving birth to my daughter six weeks earlier made sense.
For once the words came easily in ceremony, without nervousness, “I shed the death that was my birth. I shed it and I embrace what I am now. I embrace my life.”
You have to die to be reborn.
I threw the scarf into the center and became new.
Birth art by Danie Love