The Birth of Harrison Cedar

Women often ask what me what birth feels like, and while I was pregnant with my son, I found myself searching for the same answers. As a doula, I know that a multitude of factors influence a woman’s experience of labor, including her fears, beliefs, experiences and history. While we can’t know in advance how these factors will caramelize during childbirth, we can collect a vast and varying vocabulary of what labor and birth can feel like, to expand our belief of what is possible. Enjoy my version of this incredible rite of passage that I had the privilege and joy of experiencing. All photos by Shelley K Photography.

For 10 moons in my womb you grew
Burrowing, burgeoning and new
My heart and roundness expanded and I glistened like the moon
Beams of love poured from my skin as I dreamed of you

Body and breath became my rhythm
Now that I had been trusted with ancient secrets
My lust and desire rose like a fever and I danced like an aching woman
I stretched like putty, sang like a mother, and cried like the tropics
My breasts filled and so did my spirit

You spoke to me through animals and dreams
You told me everything I needed to know
I pulsed with life, and I couldn’t hide it for a second
I had 2 heartbeats, and I was superhuman

Two nights before you were born, a blustery pouring rain rushed into the valley and I knew They had whispered in your ear ‘It’s Time’
As I soaked in the last days before your emergence, I was acutely aware of every single sensation that coursed through my body

I knew you were coming when the twinges I had been feeling turned into a big low hug around my hips, as if from a child that missed me
The primordial rhythm rippled like a soft drum from my center and I drifted off to one last dream with you

I awoke in the night with a knowing, and then the knowing became reality
A big squeeze in my hips and a gush of warm fluid
You were ready
For a few moments I trembled with excitement, uncertainty and fear
Then I remembered my truth, my DNA, my ancestry
As the squeezes became tighter and the drumming faster, I gyrated in the dark of the night
I became my breath, our breath

When the sun rose and wise women came, you offered a break of beauty
I walked in the garden, soaking sun into my round belly for the last time, and squatting like all the mothers before me


When the drumming started again, the squeezes were different: consuming, deeply sensual, and leaving me higher with each one
I submerged into the water and was taken away by the warmth, protection and bliss
We were in a pool of hot water and love


As the hugs became deeper and tighter, I gazed out the window at the Spring day
The greens were so vibrant I could hear them
The orange blossoms so fragrant I could feel them

As you descended deeper into my pelvis I had to Om loudly to match the intensity of my body’s strength
The drumming hastened and the intensity was almost too much to bear
Finally when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, I didn’t have to
I left my body and floated in the pool of love, deliciously surrounded by drops of sweat and freckles of vernix


Eventually, the waves began again
This time, my womb was throbbing your body out of me, taking over control and showing it’s strength
Out of the pool, I roared from the depths of my gut in the most primal moments of my life
All of the power of the Universe was funneling through my vagina and bringing you to me from my most animal self



More roaring, pushing, pressure, overwhelm and I could feel you peeking out of me

I touched your head with my fingers and my eyes rolled back at feeling the divine warm slipperiness emerging from my body
You turned, and in one swift movement your whole body slithered through mine with the utmost relief and ecstasy
I felt the details of your chest, hips, thighs, knees and feet as they rushed through me like heaven

In a split second, your father caught you and brought your sweet wet warmth to my chest with a love and intention I had never known
All of this dreaming and waiting had culminated and all we could do was cry
Love blissfully invaded me and it shouted “My baby! My baby! You’re here! YOU’RE A BOY! You’re so beautiful! My baby!!!”

10 moons, 284 days, 3408 vitamins, 2 midwives, 2 doulas, 19 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing, countless breaths and one perfect baby. You’re here.


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