Friday, September 03, 2010
Waking To Eden, the story of a healing journey
The clawfoot bathtub we inherited with the purchase of the Brown House had become a place of refuge. The children knew if the flicker of candlelight and the scent of lavender greeted them at the bathroom door, it was Mom's quiet time.
When Mary, my naturopath and midwife, called the next day to check on me, I took her call in my watery sanctuary. "Mary, if I am miscarrying, what's it going to be like? I mean, what's it going to look like?" I had to be prepared.
"Well," she said evenly, "The cramping will get heavier and more frequent like labor but not as intense, and then you will pass the product of conception."
"The product of conception? What will that look like?"
"It's usually a large clot of blood and tissue."
We finished our conversation, and I hung up the phone. It was all rather surreal. Twenty-four hours ago I had the next member of our family in my belly, and now some anomaly, some "product of conception" that was only fooling us into believing that it was a baby would be expelled like a science experiment gone wrong. I was being pulled along in the drama.
There was nothing else I could do. I attended it with keen attention, listening, as if to Shakespeare, to the rhythm and rhyme of the action and allowing the meaning to be evoked from the author's intention across time and space. I surrendered to the great playwright in the sky.
I stayed in bed most of that day with minor cramping but no more bleeding.
My husband Dale offered what he could in encouragement, telling me that everything would be all right. Leaning into his strength and steadiness, I dozed, wondered, and waited, riding waves of sadness, despair, and hope.
Julie came over to check on me. I was tired of lying down or perhaps impatient. I sat on the couch and talked with her awhile. We stepped out onto the back patio to take in the summer day. I laughed. How complex we are, to be able to find moments of laughter within the depths of despair.
Heaviness began to build in my belly. I think that's probably why I wanted to stand—to challenge God.
What's it going to be, God? It's already decided somewhere, isn't it? So, let's bring the story out into the objective light of the August sun. "I have to lie down now," I said.
Alone in my bed, Mary's words seeped into my bubble.
"Talk to the spirit of your child," she had counseled.
I truly had not heard her words until this moment. I had been communicating for months with this spirit, though not in words. It was an unformed communication, a connection from the heart. Now, at the threshold of life on earth, was the time to try language.
I spoke softly. "Spirit child, if you will experience pain or constriction or limitation that is not in your best interest, you may go. If it is not for you to be a child in our family, so be it. If you need to go, I release you. And if you want to stay in this body and be born into this lifetime with us, I will do everything I can to care for you. I will love you. I do love you. And you are welcome here."
The heavy hand of labor began to clamp down.
Michelle Morgan Doucette is a Vermont-based chiropracter. Her new book, "Waking to Eden," from which this piece was taken, can be purchased via Amazon.com at http://www.createspace.com/3432479. In "Waking to Eden," Doucette tells a remarkable story of her healing journey following a miscarriage and the subsequent discovery that she was suffering from an autoimmune disorder.