One of the reasons birth is such a profound experience is because it changes us, forever. Pregnancy and birth makes you a different person. Not only are there physical changes, but the way that you relate to the world completely changes. You look at your parents differently. You look at yourself differently. You look at the world differently. And you forget what it is like to not be a mother - to not give yourself completely to another.
I grew up with two sisters. The ratio of four women to one man plus an all girls school left me with little experience of men. I remember the awe I felt when I found out I was having a boy. This one little being in the whole universe was coming into my life to teach me about men. Wow. He melts my heart.
Until your baby is born, the experience of him or her is unimaginable. As many ultrasound photos you see or how many kicks you feel, until you meet eye to eye, spirit to spirit, you cannot fully know them. When I read back through my birth report from my son's birth, one of the emotions the midwife noted in my chart was shock. I was in shock. Shock that I created and birthed a human being. Shocked at women's power and at the birth experience itself. And shocked to meet my son. I'll never forget seeing his eyes looking up for me, searching for me, with full recognition of who I was.
Next, came the birth of my daughter. She also deeply affected me, but in a different way. My daughter’s was born spontaneously on the living room floor. She entered the world with an equal amount of boldness and effortlessness. Qualities that I admire in her to this day. I was taken to the hospital for my aftercare and was given the menu to select dinner for that night. The only thing I wanted was vegan broth. It sounds simple. But it was symbolic of a lesson that had a much stronger impact on my life in the following year. Her birth was a purification. After her birth I was no longer able to accept anything that wasn't true to me. Wow.
From before their conception and through out their life - whether we wish for them, grow them, lose them, birth them, or raise them - they each bring a profound lesson to our lives. Children are true gifts to behold.