Becoming a Mother, for me, is not tied to a specific moment in time. Rather it has been a great unfolding as I find my own rhythm. I was becoming a Mother while my son was gestating in my womb and I am still becoming a mother now as he takes his first steps at thirteen months.
As a massage therapist I have become accustomed to connecting the messages of my physical body with the challenges I face emotionally and spiritually. For instance, when I feel neck pain I know I need to let go of rigidity, compromise, and remember my innate flexibility.
Recently, I had become aware of a deep aching pain in my pelvic floor. When my son Gabriel was born I knew the passage of his head and shoulders changed the muscular pattern of my vagina and my entire pelvic floor.
As I birthed, unhindered, I spiraled into my own ancestral vortex. I was inside my mother and inside my mother’s mother. I felt the complete lineage of my ancestry. Birth went like this: I walked through a portal and as I passed through I became covered in a sparkling web that hung mysteriously there waiting for me.
This was my true initiation into motherhood. The web that I passed through represents the impressions and patterns of the women that came before me. Each mother walks through her own web as she claims her place in her Motherline. Each woman inherits the patterns of the mother before her and is set free into her new spiritual work: the art of mothering.
I learned what I know about the pelvic floor patterns during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and mothering from the work of Tami Lynn Kent, founder of Holistic Pelvic Care, author, and mother of four. It wasn't until I read her books Wild Feminine and Mothering from Your Center that I began to see more deeply into my pelvic bowl, my sexuality, and my creative power.
After Gabriel was born and I traversed the fourth trimester I began to notice a dull aching pain radiate from the right, anterior quadrant of my vagina (see diagram below). As energetic beings we channel both masculine and feminine energy. The masculine also known as yang energy is associated with our right side and governs our ability to project out into the world. Feminine or yin energy correlates to our left side and our capacity to receive.
After childbirth, the right side of my vagina became tense while the left side felt very open and weak. When I used my finger internally in the right quadrant to feel the strength of my muscles I could very easily engage them. When I tested the strength of my left quadrant I found only a fraction of the strength the other side had.
I knew recovering from birth would mean accepting physical challenges and changes. I knew I would be gentle with my recovery and eventually find balance again. Here’s the thing: birth changed a hell of a lot more than my vagina. Let me explain...
After Gabe was born I was thrown into a period of intense outward creation. I birthed my blog and my new business ideas. I worked obsessively to blast my creations out into the world. This was yang energy in overdrive.
In the midst of this masculine dominated time my feminine/yin side had become completely disengaged. I could not stop doing. I could not just be. I couldn't sit still. It was as if a switch had flipped and I became someone I didn't even know.
The patience I had cultivated previously to motherhood had completely vanished. I found myself, eerily, saying things my mother used to say. I found myself cleaning my house angrily, something my mother always did. I found myself stuck in inherited patterns that came completely out of left (or right) field.
As it goes with the body, when we are not listening, our pain becomes louder to attract our attention. And so it was, in the depth of winter, I realized what had really happened to me during birth. I stepped into my place in the Motherline. I inherited the challenges of my mother and my mother’s mother. My pelvic floor muscles physically changed to manifest these challenges for me.
Our bodies are intricately connected to our ancestors and the lessons we came here for. As women and mothers we're blessed with this divine-design that serves as a map for our growth should we choose to tune in.