I’ve birthed three children and for me (in addition to all the amazing aspects of it), birth is an opportunity for spiritual growth. My first child’s labor and birth taught me so much about myself and brought me to an even better understanding of our spiritual reason for existing in this lifetime. I didn’t go into pregnancy and childbirth with this kind of growth in mind; it just took me by surprise.
The first thing was the hormonal shift that happens in pregnancy, which brought me to a heightened sensitivity of the spiritual realm. I felt that while I was living in this world, suddenly my consciousness was also partly tapped into the spiritual world from where our children’s spirits come. As a pregnant woman, I would take walks down my street and feel the plants and trees alive with spirit energy, almost greeting me as I walked by. At 32 weeks, my child began to talk to me. Her voice was insistent, almost demanding, telling me she was ready to come out. I had to talk her out of it, telling her that her lungs were not formed yet and that birth was something that she and I would do together. I was surprised by this person’s spirit already being a separate entity while she was still a part of my body. I was also so spiritually open that I could feel another spirit waiting, hovering around me, and waiting his turn to be born.
During my 36 hours of childbirth, I got to watch myself let go of my ego-the mental part of my mind, instructing me how to give birth. Only then the animal part of me was allowed to take over with innate wisdom, allowing my body to do what it was made to do. I also saw how emotions I had buried away, needed to be released in order for my cervix to open up. I had to shed deep seated fears connected to my ancestry. When my labor stalled, my midwife took me to Iao Valley where I had a vision of a Chinese man in silk robes drowning a baby girl. At once I realized that it was the fearful message my father had instilled in me that kept me from allowing my baby girl to be born. He told me and my four sisters repeatedly as we were growing up that Chinese baby girls were drowned upon birth because they were of “no value”, “just another mouth to feed”, but that he had to spare our lives because drowning babies was not allowed in America. After forgiving and letting go of this fear, my cervix opened up and I gave birth easily.
The time after birth with my daughter was when the most spiritual growth happened. After 20 hours of her blissful life, she peacefully stopped breathing, resting comfortably in my arms. Her departure was just the same as her birth – her spirit passed through the thin threshold between this life and the spiritual world, peacefully and without struggle. I was then able to tangibly feel and understand the infinite existence of spirit and that death is just as beautiful a transition as the beginning of life. I learned that we have a contract with each spirit to connect in this world (and again in the spirit world) for greater reasons than we may understand in this lifetime. That helped me to see the reason for our existence here – in fulfilling these contracts; our souls expand with more experience, compassion and understanding. This spiritual expansion and understanding is the gift that was given to me through birth.