Prana Shakti, Partnership, Pregnancy, Parenthood, Preparation, Power and Pranams.

My personal Path of Practice:
Prana Shakti
(the creative & pulsating life force within me), Partnership (a love story of two people who consciously choose one another every day), Pregnancy (Grace in my belly revealing herself through this growing baby boy who lives in my womb), Parenthood (The highest calling of them all), Purification (of all self-defining labels accumulated along the way) Preparation (for a new life, a new calling and for the birthing of all this woman has yet to become, experience, learn and know), Power (to fully stand in mine as a wife, mother and creative woman) Pranams (daily gratitude and humble thanks for my beautiful life and blessings along the way).

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Birth Story"

"Being pregnant and giving birth are like crossing a narrow bridge. People can accompany you to the bridge. They can greet you on the other side. But you walk that bridge alone.” African Proverb

I've been doing tons of writing since June 9th (and long before) including trying to write my "birth story" for some time now (I actually asked my husband to write his version since his perspective and relationship to it was/is a completely different one that mine). I had heard that "processing" one's birth can take some time, years even. I had initially assumed that if processing were required, then the birth must have gone in an undesirable direction. Having experienced the very birth I hoped for, wanted, meditated on and visualized, I still find myself trying to process the experience as a whole.


 It's Wednesday, June 13th, 7:20p.m. My name is Sanieh and I just gave birth to my son 3 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes ago.

I recently began writing details of our birth story and by "our" I mean that of my family; not only the birth of my precious son but that of my husband becoming a father and of myself being born as a mother.

As I find myself just a few days on the other side of that narrow bridge and as each new day brings its own insights of that sacred process, I've realized that I cannot possibly write, never mind share, my birth story at this time. It's still being digested.

I could tell you that the duration from the time my water broke to the moment I birthed our son was a quick and progressive 7 hours.  I did it completely drug-free, through my body's wisdom alone, naturally, in the comfort of our home and on my own terms...thank you sweet Grace.

I could share that there was a very emotional and symbolic lighting/prayer vigil at my family's Ganesha altar where I initially labored and that at my Mommy altar, I got on my knees and made a mantra of asking my worldly mother to be with me and put a photo of her in my shirt close to my heart...only to later realize I was asking THE Mother to be with me... She hasn't left me since.

I could share that there was a birthing tub in the center of my bathroom and 4 people who were all meant to be there loving and supporting me-even though my eyes were closed the whole time and I never looked into the eyes of any of them. At one point, the bathroom was filled with dozens of candles they lit as well. I only know this because the photographer turned on the bathroom light which got an immediate reaction out of me as my senses became incredibly heightened (still are in many ways) and the midwife had the lights turned out instantly. The remedy was candles...lots of them.

I knew that while none, one or all them were interchangeably in that room with me throughout this period of time, my work was an inward one. I never once asked where anyone was nor did I ever feel scared or alone...just incredibly and miraculously present.

I could "tell" you that I was in another state of consciousness; a state that only a woman who is free of any kind of drugs in her system could possibly go to, scientifically speaking, due to the hormones and endorphins that can only be released as Nature's coping mechanism and as a result of experiencing what is happening on the physical plane. I could also tell you that I danced that dance embracing the changing tides and called upon something I remembered, making a choice to go to the center of each swell .

I can still hear my beautiful midwife telling me,
"Sink into it, Sanieh."
And I did.
Those words changed everything...

Through words, I could tell you that there was an in-explainable ability to float between the two worlds I found myself in but words could never do justice. In one world, the waves came on stronger and more powerful than anything my body or mind has ever known or had to comprehend. So much richer than what I could have ever possibly imagined; I was somehow able to come back yet stay connected during the lingering sensations that flirted with brief pauses. I could share my visualizations, my repeated visualizations that got me through the most challenging part of child labor or that the most challenging part  was followed by what my husband said was accompanied by cycles of extreme intensity and the deepest state of peace he'd ever seen me in...I think I remember him whispering in his amazement during the peace.

I could try to explain how I found myself praying to Mother Goddess and Father God (it's all the same to me...) that I too would be delivered with my son...even though my inner, wordless prayer could never have been translated by anyone...not even myself until just a short while ago.

I could try to express (and fail miserably) how it is that I would never describe the physicality as "pain" but that it truly was the BIGGEST physical experience of my life and that the only word that could ever come close to labeling this experience is "Surrender". And that through the death of self, fear, worldly thoughts and expectations; through the cessation of time, space, names, faces, colors, perceptions and beliefs, I existed in the Mystery itself, in the presence of my Source. I was with God, AS separation...only devotion, commitment and love.

I could share the chants I chanted during the different stages of the process and the sounds I found myself humming as if to somehow cradle and carry myself through the particular parts that were beyond any kind of comprehension, previous experience or description.  And in raw honesty, I could say that hearing one of them in particular now is almost unsettling even in its immense beauty and significance of this moment in time.

I could attempt to express what it felt like to hear the brief cries of my creation after he left the vessel of my inner body and what it felt like to see his head turn towards me as his cries stopped while he looked at me as he heard my voice chanting a familiar chant the moment we touched one another's skin for the very first time.

Grace is real.
And I was held by Grace
as I held my child for the very first time.

I could get excited and talk about my newfound amazement in just how wise and brilliant my body is, how deeply I've tuned into my innate intuition and how it's served me, how powerful I feel, how rocked I am at my core, how different I feel when I wake up in the morning and how different my husband looks to me, right down to his long eye lashes.

And of course I could share details of how my every wish, prayer and care of this home-birth were fulfilled and that the only void was of those things I had truly feared and didn't want to come to know anyway.

What I cannot share is the story of our birth because I've realized that while I could put these details and include intimacies, my prayers and conversations with God and my child moving through me and words I heard around me all into story form, this birth story of ours and the processing of it is still writing itself. This that will continue for some time.

Through the magnitude and enormity of my experience,
I have been birthed a new woman
and its something I'm reminded of and visited by every day now.

Knowing what I know and knowing the Truth
as I now know it
I am forever changed.


  1. Thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us Sanieh. You are such a light and I love that you write and share yourself this way.

  2. Beautiful post, Sanieh! Congrats!
    Kari (student of yours years ago...)

  3. thank you sanieh I really enjoyed reading this! goosebumps!!! so beautiful and so beautifully expressed :) congratulations and joy! veronica