The Divine Feminine
This loving post is dedicated to Erika, to my Mumma, to my Nana, to my Aunties, to the women in my life who may be near or far, new or old.
To all that serve, feel and honour the divine feminine...
On Wednesday morning, the 7th February at 2:31 am, I joined Erika, Tim and her Mumma Julz in welcoming their second little love - Flynn Charles - into the world, witnessing his journey from star side to earth side.
Rewind back a couple of months...
Erika asked if I would be present for this moment, to document and capture baby's story of entering their lives and it was without a doubt a huge "YES". I could already feel the overwhelming honour deep within my soul, along with the excitement of documenting this life changing moment.
Fast forward to the night of...
I had gotten home from a networking event I attended earlier in the eve and as I sat down to the computer to start working, I had the feeling that tonight IS the night. You know that gut feeling, where you just know...
The clock had just struck midnight and I was up to my usual tricks of working when my phone vibrated on the desk. I thought, "who the f*ck is up as late as me" - I caught myself there and without looking at my phone, I knew this was the message we'd been waiting for oh-so patiently (or impatiently).
I was right, it was Erika letting me know that contractions had started and labour was slowly starting to progress. There was an explosion of butterflies in my tummy and a small drop of adrenaline, it's freaking happening! I continued to work, partly because I was mega engrossed in what I was doing and mostly because there was absolutely no chance I could or even wanted to sleep.
Time passed, it was 1 am and I was pretty torn - do I stay up and risk being up all night and well into the next day? Or do I try and have a nap, which is hella risky because I sleep like a bloody log. I opted for a cheeky lay on the couch, phone in hand, with the loudness and brightness up, holding it as close to my face as physically possible. Whispering to myself with determination "I am not missing this".
I lulled in a gentle doze when my phone went off 40 minutes later, it was Mumma Julz letting me know that they had just arrived at the hospital, and to make my move because baby was coming to meet us much quicker than anticipated.
I jumped up, ran around in a couple of nervous circles, had a quick rinse in the shower to compose myself, snatched my camera bag and zoomed my way down the road. Lucky for me I live a blink away from the Mater Hospital. Hella convenient!
I ran from the parking lot to the hospital in the speed of light, haulin' ass to get into the birthing suite, stat.
The midwife greeted me with "I think you're just in time, baby will be here soon". Things were happening and they were happening really damn fast.
I snuck into the room, silently smiling and mouthing "hi" to Tim and Mumma Julz, setting up my camera and quietly observing Erika in the midst of intense labour.
She was beautiful. She was radiant with love and strength. She was completely and utterly in the zone. She was so focused, you could feel her channel all of her energy to bring this baby to life.
Tim was right by her side, holding her with so much love that it tore right through my heart. I could see and feel his masculine energy grounding the feminine in the blur of extreme emotion.
Julz, her mum, was intuitively rubbing her back and offering her words of encouragement with a sprinkle of humour, she held the most soul-warming feminine energy - I felt every touch and every word.
And there I am, closely on the sidelines, commanding a higher level of energy, envisioning it embracing Erika with my love and the love of the women in her life. Dousing her with light and all the glittery good vibes my soul could rumble to welcome this lil' star seed into the world.
Collectively with all of our energy stirring within the room, we created a calm and soothing atmosphere, setting the mood for baby to make his or her appearance.
Erika was phenomenal. Really, there aren't any words to articulate the strength that I witnessed.
It was primal. It was raw. It was moving. It was awe inspiring. It was really, really f*cking powerful.
In what felt like a heartbeat, the midwife firmly reassured, guided and instructed...
"Now Erika, listen to your body" - and after the next contraction - "Give me a really big push"...
In the moments that followed, Flynn Charles entered our hearts and our lives. He was calm, quiet and peaceful, emulating the energy that greeted him as he arrived into our world. It was like the room went silent as the love erupted and engulfed us in the pure magic that is life. In my own moments of awe, I wondered what this little human being will do, be and create. It also brought to mind the rawness of humanity, about us as beautiful beings exploring and creating our own life and shaping the world, that we really are all connected - that we all start in the same heart expanding moments, just as baby Flynn did.
To witness such a moment in time was beyond any words I could ever express. It was simply u n r e a l.
And a week later, I'm still quietly "wowing" to myself, in awe at the human body and the power we hold - the power to create life and birth a lil' soul(s) into this world.
Plenty of people warned me that I would NOT want children after this, partly in jest and partly serious - which let's be real, was being said to someone who is currently leaning towards no kiddies. And yes, I'm constantly reassured that this is just a phase.
Beyond the expectations and after experiencing this, I am changed. And yes, a part of that change is my awakened desire to *maybe* one day begin my own journey into motherhood and to create life with my soul mate. I feel there has been a huge shift within my soul, altering my perception of life and all that surrounds me.
We then spent the next few hours revelling in love and joy, blissfully enjoying the first few hours of baby Flynn's young life.
Time seemed to both pause and fly by in an instant and all of a sudden it was a bright and sunny 6 am, the world slowly rising as I made my way back home, to cosy up in bed and drift off into a much-needed slumber, donning the biggest smile ever.
Twelve hours later I visited Erika with her bestie and my beautiful friend, Catherine, where we spent hours cuddling baby and chatting all things life. Reminiscing and reliving the moments of her labour and birth, laughing about old memories and of course, showing Erika some treasured lil' moments I captured. To see her reactions was somethin' else.
Funnily enough, I had a few people perplexed by the desire to have a photographer in such an intimate moment. And yeah, you know, this kinda thing ain't for everyone. After experiencing it myself, I also believe you need to have a genuine and meaningful connection with whoever may be present on such an occasion. I never questioned my purpose in those hours because Erika and I have this uncanny soulful connection, it felt so SO right. Before this night arrived, I always knew that documenting the birth would help Erika and Tim, and one day Flynn and his big bro Stan, remember this (legit) once in a lifetime moment. But in seeing Erika's reaction to the images, it all made sense. She eloquently said in her own words that such a time of heightened emotion and pain, coupled with the fact that she had her head down and eyes closed for most of it, these photos now become her memory.
With those words I knew that THIS is why I do what I do. That THIS is both so freaking insane and amazing.
In the ebb and flow of our conversation, I spoke candidly about how I envision my future and that there was a small glimmer of bittersweet in the day afterwards, as I realised my own Mumma won't be physically present in my (one day) journey to motherhood. It rips right through me because I so want her to be, hell, I need her to be. I know that I cannot alter my reality but from this experience, if it feels right, I will certainly consider a feminine presence in some form if I have the honour of birthing life, because it was bloody extraordinary.
In talking about my Mum and my life with these two incredible women, it helped me to (consciously) realise that regardless of the experiences that have shaped my world, my life and myself - as a woman, I really do have an incredible circle of women and feminine energy surrounding me (and masculine too, YTB). I think as an only child, I unfortunately don't have the grace of sibling bonds, I don't have my beautiful Mumma in my physical life anymore but I do indeed have the incredible blessing of a large and close circle of friendships. Of course, I am extremely blessed to have my wonderful family, that's a given. But for lucky lil' me there really aren't any boundaries between my family and my friendships. My family are my friends and my friends have become my family, and that is pretty f*cking beautiful and wild!
To the epic beings and wonderful parents that are Erika and Tim, thank you for allowing me to be present with you as you commence this new chapter of your lives together.
Forever honoured and humbled. The divine in me honours the divine in you...