my birth story, pt. 1 : a journey to motherhood
the moment a child is born, the mother is also born. she never existed before. the woman existed, but the mother, never.
my birth story, part one: a journey to motherhood
greetings from me, the mother. her mother. a woman who never fully existed before now, until now. but i am here. standing tall. head held high. heart open. spirit grounding in new soil. we are here. the woman from the last chapter of my life, who has guided me here, prepared me for these moment, past and present: the pregnancy. the labor. she prepared me to welcome our child earthside. she prepared me for the healing that needed to occur during and after.
the mother in me began to ground herself in the soil of motherhood on august 30, 2018; one day before my 28th birthday. of course, i wasn’t yet aware of what was happening. i wasn’t aware of the seed that had already been planted, that was already blooming within the depths of my womb. i wasn’t aware of the uprooting and the reconditioning that would be happening over the course of the next nine months.
nonetheless i reflected on what i felt being stirred up inside of me, privately, in the sacred and safe space of my journal. i was being pulled into a space of urgency. urgency around slowing down. urgency around writing again. urgency around reading again. urgency around resting. around reconnecting with pieces of myself that i believed i was losing or had lost.
and i was, in fact, losing myself. i could feel the unfamiliarity in my stride. i could feel myself grieving through bouts of crying episodes. i could feel the current version of myself pulling away. i didn’t understand why. i foolishly began to re-arrange my life in a way that i believed would align with what i was feeling. instead of allowing the most high one to work through me. to guide me. to direct me. to order me. i tried to move the pieces of the puzzle myself and for exactly 17 days, my life was chaotic.
the most high one allowed it to be chaotic. she allowed me to move through my mess. she watched as i tried to set my life up the way that i believed it needed to be set up. she probably laughed, watching as i stood in confidence that i knew exactly what my life needed.
on september 16, at 6:30 in the morning, three days after my period was supposed to arrive, i held a pregnancy stick displaying two pink lines in trembling hands. my first thought was: “is this a part of the plan?” i took a deep dive into full on panic attack mode. i woke my husband up. told him i was pregnant through a shaky voice. later, he told me my anxiety was so high, he thought someone had died.
someone was dying.
i left the house and drove straight to my sister’s. it was after 7am. i banged on her door until she opened it, in her night clothes. rubbing the sleep from her eyes. i broke down. she guided me to her couch and i cried. could i do this? could we do this? was i ready to be a mother?
questioning myself because parenthood had always been terrifying to me. terrifying because the blueprint laid out for me was traumatic. it was violent. it fed off of control. and narcissism. and silencing. and bullying. and abuse. i wasn’t sure what being a parent looked like outside of it. i wasn’t sure if i had the strength. the power. the courage. to disassemble an entire cycle that had been passed down to me.
i became determined to do it.
i cried. and she opened up that space for me and allowed me to release all that i needed to release. unbeknownst to both of us, i was releasing the yesterday version of myself. we sat in silence. looking down at the floor. i swear, a smile spread across our faces at the same time as we allowed ourselves to soak in the reality of the moment.
“i’m pregnant,” a smile, that threatened to crack my face open, filled the room.
and so it was.
we had a plan. my husband and i. or so we thought we did. you know the saying: if you want to make god laugh, tell her your plans. so, when i found out, it felt like the most divine assignment ever designated to me. the feeling was surreal. it was sublime. godlike.
immediately, i was aware of the space the universe was pulling me into. i was aware that i was being given what i knew i needed but not in the way that i believe i needed it. i was given a moment to rest. a moment to be home and read. a moment to write. a moment within my solitude. a moment to give myself permission to say no. a moment to process areas in my life that still required healing. a moment to fully be in my body. a moment to be present. a moment to nourish myself. a moment to mother myself as i prepared to mother another being. a moment to allow myself to accept that i could never be my old self and to be okay with that. a moment to realize when this precious baby made their entrance, my life would forever be different; my boundaries would be different. the way i existed in the world would have to be different.
i was in a period of deep and intentional grieving. i was aware that i was releasing and saying goodbye to a previous version of myself as i prepared to meet a woman i had never been. i gave myself room to grieve as much as i needed to. i allowed myself to write through what i was feeling. the trauma that was coming up. the healing that was being asked to be given life. i wrote through all of the things that i needed to bring with me in the next chapter of my life.
through the twelve weeks of morning sickness. the aches from the expansion of my hips. the many, many sleepless nights. the braxton hicks contractions that hit me out of nowhere and took control of every 60 seconds they lasted. i felt the glow within me that others said they witnessed outside of me. i felt like i was carrying a universe of light and an enormous amount of love in the depths of my womb. and i was.
- anisah amat -
stay tuned for:
my birth story, pt. ii: rites of passage
*i do not own the rights to the music in the above recording. the song is introspection, laraaji.