Saturday, December 24, 2011

Part 1...

We have seen the whales almost every other day for a total of 6 encounters. One day when we went out, they were not there – we assume they were eating all morning. They eat at depths of 1000 meters because the octopus they survive on lives at bottom of the sea floor. We made it our mission to eat some octopus while we were here so we could see if it was really worth diving 1000 meters for. I am happy to report – octopus is really good. At least the dish we had that was flavored with chopped up tomatoes, cilantro and other yumminess and we couldn’t get enough.

Even Angie liked it – as long as she could close her eyes and not see the tentacles. I thought it would be chewy but it was very tender. So we forgave the whales for their one day of dining when we were ready to swim. We took a dip along the coast and snorkeled for a bit.

Finnley has this amazing life jacket that allows her to float without her face in the water. It even has a handle on the back so you can tow her along. I will have to find one for the therapy pool – I will finally be able to get her in and out of the pool on my own!

Each whale encounter has a day of rest in between so we have a chance to process what we saw, felt and learned from the whales. I really feel like this has been an intense study course and almost impossible to take it all in. Roma has done therapy with each of us on an individual basis. Angie’s was more art based and they painted a talking stick with dolphins on it. One of the sticks is so big we will have to leave it here until we can find a way to ship it home. One day at sea, there was a piece of floating wood which we put into the boat. Angie stripped off the bark and I am in the process of painting a whale on it. I am not the artist that my mother is but it almost looks like my grandfather whale so at least I will enjoy looking at it.

One of these therapy sessions became my healing point or my “ahh ha” moment with the whales. This session prepared me for a miraculous swim with many whales that I will never be able to duplicate. My session took place at Roma’s home, on her patio. We spoke a lot about not feeling safe and why I have always carried that with me. It opened up doors that until now, never made sense to me or that maybe I wasn’t willing to explore.

For people who have not done reading and research on how our time in the womb and how our actual birthing affects the rest of our life experience – this may seem strange to you. But know that how we as women - think, feel, act and react to things while we are pregnant, affects our babies. The baby’s father – whether they are there or not, how they participate in the pregnancy and birth, affects our babies. The food we ingest during pregnancy and the drugs we take, affect our babies. The drugs that are administered to us during labor - affect our babies. The fear we may feel in our labor process, affects our babies. These things can shape our babies view of the world as it being one of safety and comfort or a world of worry and uncertainty. Because these things affect US as babies and shaped OUR view of the way we see the world.

I believe that my parents did the best that they could and that their parents did the same. But that doesn’t mean that my outcome was what it should have been or what I deserved. And likewise – their births and life experiences were not what they deserved as babies. So many factors play into who we are and how we are made up. And forgiveness for those events and details opens up a lot of healing and smoothes out the edges to our souls. I just didn’t realize that by healing my insides – I am only better to help my daughters heal and grow. That is why this research study treats the family and it is a significant part of the study.

My session with Roma began with breath work. I had never heard of that so I went in with no preconceived notions as to what it was. I laid down on the cushions, relaxed with the music – kind of the way I do it with my HypnoBirthing visualizations in class. Body loose and relaxed, following Roma’s voice as my guide. She led me to breathe deep and focus on my breath. I had such a difficult time breathing deep. I felt that I was breathing deep but when I put my hand on my chest I could feel that it was shallow. At one point, I almost felt like I was suffocating because I couldn’t get enough air in. My thoughts would pull me away and my breathing would almost stop. Roma would redirect me to focus on the breath and it would pull me back to the realization that I couldn’t get a deep breath and once again the suffocation feeling would return. I am not sure how long this went on but a long time.

Roma then suggested I picture the kind of birth I wanted for myself. It caught me off guard because I had been trying so hard to just breathe. And then it was like I experienced a flash of a memory without seeing a picture – more like a feeling throughout my whole body and a knowing of what I had experienced at my birth. That suffocation feeling returned in full force and I began to cry harder than I have ever cried. Not from pain exactly but from the force of trying to breathe but not being able too. I cried a silent cry with tears pouring from my eyes . My ears filled up with tears as they just kept coming. I didn’t have words, just feelings from my body as to how I felt.

Side Note: {At my birth, my mother was induced with Pitocin. Not a whiff of Pitocin to get things going as they may refer to it now, but a lot of Pitocin with no pain medication. Her desire had been a natural birth and had requested no pain relief but she was not told that Pitocin was powerful labor drug and produced much stronger contractions than natural labor with little break for mother or baby in between. When the contractions became unbearable, she requested pain medication only to be denied and then the Dr. upped the Pitocin even more to hurry me along. It was excruciating for her and she felt like she would die from the pain. As a baby, I was part of that equation too and nobody asked me if I was ready to come that way.}

As the tears rolled down my cheeks, Roma asked again for me to picture the birth that I wanted. My thoughts went to Finnley’s birth.

It was calm and loving. The labor was gentle and natural. I was in charge of my birth and felt supported by my team. I was able to surrender to my body and work together with my baby to birth her. It was a magical time afterward with hours of skin to skin and laughing and amazement from everyone there. Her dad and sister were there – they loved on her as well. I was able to picture that for myself because it was what I was able to give Finnley. Is that why she is so open and trusting? Is that why she melts hearts with her smile and has such a deep love for everyone around her. Could that have been me if my birth were like hers?

I then pictured myself being held skin to skin. I could not see faces but knew that the first arms were those of my mother. I was warm and nestled in to her chest as she spoke softly to me. This was her desire for my birth as well so I felt her presence there very strong. I then felt that my dad held me and that my brothers and sisters were there. Everyone laughing and cuddling me. It was what Finnley had it’s what I has wanted. I felt a connection to my family that I have never had before. A peace came over me and the tears kept coming.

Roma let me emerge from this in my own time. She held my hand and wiped my tears. The sun had set by this time and a warm breeze was brushing across the patio when I finally sat up.

I immediately noticed that I could breathe. And the breath was now deep. A full breath that filled my lungs without a struggle. I have never felt breath like this. I felt more alive...but didn’t understand the full impact until the next day.

To Be Continued…

1 comment:

Rachel said...

The things you are writing are so beyond anything I can imagine- the swimming with the whales, and letting them surround you. It sounds really incredible and I am so happy for all of you that you get to take this adventure. I hope you find some time for rest and relaxation in between all the work. Can't wait to read more about your adventures and life altering events. :)

About Me

I am a mom of two beautiful girls. Our family has been greatly blessed by the Lord. His message of love and hope needs to be shared and my girls are a testimony of His plan for all of us.