This is a repost from his birthday last year, and his birthing day the year before.
Today I reflect on life as we head towards 2 in one week.
My friend Sandy always says “happy birthing day” to the mamas on their children’s birthdays. It has stuck with me as the most wonderful way to cherish a birth day. By celebrating birth, our babies and our SELVES as warriors and as mamas.
Here’s a re- post of mr. milo’s birth story. I love you bud. You are a shining light in our family and in my life.
Milton Leon Silicki IV “Milo” * Due Date July 3, 2011
The entire pregnancy my son, Milo, was measuring a few weeks ahead, so I wasn’t sure we would hit the due date. But it came and it passed on July 4th as we celebrated Independence Day and after a day of events, I had some cramps, but nothing too unusual. I went to bed early and slept well.
The next day I woke up with more cramps and felt a bit tired and out of it. I thought it was from all the energy and activity that had happened the previous day. My daughter Saylor was a little over a week late, so I was prepared to be late with Milo as well. As I went about my day, I noticed that I felt out of it, really out of it. I called my best friend and asked her to come over and play with Saylor when she got home from camp so I could sleep. I thought to myself, “If I wake up and am still cramping then I am in labor. If I sleep and they go away, then it’s false labor.” A three hour nap later, I woke up still cramping and called my husband to let him know what was going on and to get ready to meet our son.
By 7:00 pm that day, my cramps were intensifying and I called my doula ( URSULA, the magnificent!) to tell her that I wasn’t sure if I was in labor or it was just cramps; it was hard for me to tell the difference. She told me to get in the bath, see if they went away and call her back. I also gave my midwife ( Whitney Pinger, birth GODDESS) a head’s up. The contractions/cramps in the tub were not as intense but then I needed to get out and move around a bit more, things were happening fast; I called my dad in Boston and told him so he could make his way to DC and everything began to fall into place.
When my doula arrived at the house, I was in the living room, laboring on a large exercise ball in a squat. My friend arrived to watch our daughter. Everyone was really quiet, whispering, the house was dark and calm. We started timing contractions, got my bags together and let the midwife know we were on our way.
At around 10:00 pm, we arrived at GWU hospital and I had had a contraction in the driveway to the emergency room as an ambulance was coming in, which was quite an experience! By the time we got up to a room, I was 5 cms and my midwife did a fabulous midwife technique called a “manual cervical realignment “ and just like that I was 7 cms! They put me in the shower which felt great and was a nice break for about 20 minutes and my water broke on the toilet which was very convenient.
During this time, things were not really progressing and I could tell that he wasn’t moving. I was OVERWHELMED with nausea and at one point remember looking up at my doula and begging her to ”please help me”. Clearly this was when I “hit the wall” and began storming around the room, getting frustration out of my system.
As the 5th of July became the 6th, my labor became very foggy. There was some time on all fours, some time on my side, some figure eights with my hips, some squats, lots of breathing and yoga postures. Eventually Milo moved his head, and we were good to go. He was born “sunny side up”, which refers to the fact that the back of your baby’s skull (the occipital bone) is in the back (or posterior) of your pelvis.
Then while still connected, Milo was with me. He laid on me, all 8.5 pounds of him was breathing and opening his eyes and being so perfect. We were still connected. There was the cord, on my belly, shortly after; I cut the cord myself, the perfect ending to an arduous labor.
Natural childbirth was the hardest thing I have ever physically done in my life but I am so glad to get it off my “bucket list” and so glad to feel our family is complete. I do feel so strong, so empowered. My recovery was fabulous, easy and natural. The Yoga postures that I utilized were really helpful; the breathing got me in and out of mental blocks that surfaced. I have had two vastly different experiences and feel so blessed to have two healthy, happy babies.
Before all this yoga/ meditation stuff, I suffered a lot.
I suffered with allergies. I suffered with boys/ drinks/ smokes. I suffered with weight GAIN and loss. I suffered tremendous inner turmoil.
I suffered in relationships, especially with my mother.
Moving beyond takes constant attention.
The yoga worked. the yoga practice, teachings & community gifted me with the life I wanted to live. meant to live?
it could EASILY have gone another way. lots of people I grew up with would tell you I was crazy. I say, I was suffering. so deeply disconnected & hurt that I hurt others, myself and I abused many things to get through it all.
BUT, that was not my dharma. my path was to clean it up. to dig deep- to DO THE WORK so that I could shed the past & be HERE NOW. what a gift.
its not easy.
when I don’t get to my mat regularly I do fear regression. I do fear the resentment and jealousy that used to dictate my life . but I know that i cant go back. the candle has been lit and I do have faith that it can dim but it can not go out. when it flickers I find healthy ways to connect, to serve, to teach.
our neighbors on both sides moved. its hard to look at the empty house next door that was full for so long.
I hold my breath in the morning to make sure baby Milo is breathing well and I am acutely aware that his 2nd bday is right around the corner. At which point I must stop referring to him as “baby”!
I am about to move to the beach for a month with the kids & not teach yoga& parent full time. I have mixed feelings that I am still untangling.
Our tv is mostly broken at home which has been a gift. so much silence. I have been reading & pausing & breathing and noticing.
now I have less time to rush. I go to my yoga mat, I lay there hold & breathe. I practice being kind to my body. I feel the subtle shifts.
I am half way done with a 14 day whole food cleanse. I love how it feels to put good things in my body all the time as a commitment to my health. a way to reset. I am sad at how hard I think it can be not to drink. I didn’t realize how big a role it plays in my life.
I feel like I am in a new place, a new territory. less distracted. less engaged with everyone all the time. more pause on facebook, on blog, on phone. more time in person. taking care of my body, my heart, my soul. approaching ” the afternoon” of my life perhaps?
tonight there is a supermoon, I just opened the door to the deck to feel the breeze and it went through me. it sent energy into my being. I could feel it deep in my soul. the humid breeze took my breath away, stopped me in my steps and filled me with love.
* want a thoughtful summer read?
I just finished “Madly Chasing Peace” and “Devoted” by Dani Shapiro.
Its been a while since I stopped to write.
Since I could do this breathing thing to heal the stress that has been circling my life. a pending move, a sick child, an unknown summer.
This time, I want to use my practice to gracefully accept what is & to deeply enjoy those around me. or to sit quietly and take it in.
I am learning the ways to navigate this precious life with awareness & a steady connection to something bigger.
In my past I felt unsure of why I was a seeker- noticing that all those around me do not always ask the questions. but today, I am grateful for the questions and the gift of seeking.
It has truly allowed me to expand in my life and for others in ways I could not have imagined.
Here is my heart.