When I got pregnant with my third daughter I felt anxious and overwhelmed.
My (ex) partner and I had just moved out of the house I owned in Miami and into a rental in a safer neighborhood I was the primary breadwinner and my second daughter was only 15 months old so I wasn’t able to work as much as usual. Our expenses doubled and my income halved. While he congratulated himself on his “super sperm” I felt myself falling apart and ruminating on all the unknowns.
How could my already limited income support our growing family with increasing expenses?
What if our baby had a genetic defect since I was now 41 and he was 53?
If I’m already exhausted, how will I manage to care for two small children, attend births, and tend to my 9-year-old’s needs?
I told him he’d better get his business together in the next 9 months because I couldn’t handle being a mama of three and a business owner and primary financial and care provider. He reassured me he’d have it all together by then.
But Amaya’s birth came and went with no change in his income.
So at a time when I should have been resting and snuggling up with my newborn and toddler, I was forced to go back to attending births, with my newborn in tow, to make ends meet.
About three months postpartum I started to unravel.
Amaya had bronchiolitis and I had to rush her to the ER one night when her oxygen levels got too low for me to be comfortable staying at home. I got my cycle back that day so now I was bleeding and breastfeeding. Double Qi loss.
I was exhausted, depleted, anxious, irritated, and resentful from having to be on call and attend births.
Beneath the surface, my identity was shattering into a million pieces.
It felt as if somehow with this last shift into being a mama of three, all the pieces of my soul were broken apart and scattered across time and space. It was my task, and my healing, to seek out each one, examine and reexamine it and see if it still fit.
After 17 years of practicing midwifery, I suddenly felt uninspired and incompetent. It was like my brain had turned to mush and I couldn’t see a pathway forward. Doubt and fear began to creep into every aspect of my life.
You see, I’ve always been someone driven by passion and purpose. From 12 years old I knew that midwifery was my calling but something shifted after Amaya’s birth.
No matter how many times you give birth, some parts of you die and new parts are born.
Amaya’s arrival made it very clear that midwifery as I had been practicing it - solo home birth practice and on-call 24/7/365 - was no longer sustainable for me. My nervous system couldn’t handle it and It was costing me my sanity. More importantly, it was asking - demanding - that I make a shift in what I had always known to be my sacred work.
As if my own crumbling wasn’t a clear enough sign, a month after Amaya got sick my prenatal office flooded and our landlord told us we needed to move out in 2 months!
I felt lost and purposeless during my “in-between” time.
You see when we become pregnant, no matter if it’s for the first time or the 5th time, we go through massive changes.
Our brains change.
Our hormones change.
Our bodies change.
Our social life changes.
Our psyche changes.
Our spirit changes.
Together these changes are known as Matrescence, or mother-becoming. They happen whether we like them or not, whether we acknowledge them or not, and whether we receive support or not.
I struggled for years.
(And I am a midwife, who would presumably “know better”!)
I struggled until I learned how to leverage Matrescence as a catalyst to living my (next level) sacred purpose. I learned a lot of things the hard way and my heart was broken open over and over again. When I finally invested in myself and got the right support everything changed.
I could finally take a deep breath again.
Instead of waking with exhaustion or dread, I wake feeling inspired and excited to start my day.
My passion and fire returned and I learned to prioritize those things that light me up the most - my daughters, my love of dance, writing, and travel.
My mental clarity and capacity to take action came back online. I wrote books and launched global summits and started a podcast.
Most importantly, I discovered with crystal clarity and a deep-bodied knowing how I could continue to midwife pregnant women and mothers without burning myself out. I realized that my favorite part of midwifery was holding space for the powerful transformation of identity that takes place when we gestate and birth a baby.
What I love most is getting to witness not just childbirth, but motherbirth.
And I had been doing this all along.
When I looked back on the thousand plus women I had midwifed over more than two decades, I found that time and time again, I guided them not only to birth a baby, but to birth the best, most powerful version of themselves.
I had the privilege of witnessing, over and over again, women not just birth a baby, but a new business, a new piece of art, or a new direction to their work, a new understanding of who they are, why they are here, and what truly matters.
Motherhood is a portal period.
I didn’t make this up, this is just what happens.
But without the right kind of guide, support and tools, it can feel and be traumatic.
That’s why maternal mental illness is the #1 complication of pregnancy. It’s such a massive problem that the word postpartum has become synonymous with depression.
We must be careful not to equate common with normal.
We are not designed to experience depression and anxiety postpartum and it’s not because we’re broken. It’s because the system is broken. We don’t have the right support and guidance to navigate these massive changes.
The best-kept secret is that with the right guide, motherhood is a portal to your greatest potential. Rather than being a distraction to your sacred purpose, it is a direct pathway, even a catalyst.
Would you like to experience motherhood as a portal to your most transcendent, radiant self... rather than exhaustion, depression, and depletion? Would you like to step into the fullness of yourself rather than feeling like an empty shell of the person you once were?
I would love to explore what this could look like for you. Here's the link to book a call.