Raine & I are loving Santa Fe for different reasons. She is spending all her awake time with her best friend/boyfriend Dillon, & I’m running around taking photos with my Instagram app on my iPhone. Here are some of the cool places I visited.
Returning to a town I once lived in can be an emotional experience a little like returning to a scene of a crime. It’s a bit hard to digest at first. Every street, corner & intersection has a memory attached to it. I moved to Santa Fe in 2007 just after getting back from Iraq & I dove head on into the community. I became a thread in the tapestry & felt very comfortable here – as comfortable as one can feel in Santa Fe. It’s not a city that allows one to rest for very long. The natives say there is a plate of obsidian buried deeply below & because so, one is forced to look at themselves all the time. This can become an arduous & rigorous task after a while. I wanted to be healed, to feel better, to not feel the effects of PTSD anymore so again I did healing the Marine Corps way & dove head first into processes that were painful, tearful & taxing. I learned so much & just when I felt like things were flowing I would be flung back into more tangled thinking to unravel.
It was hard work but I progressed in my thinking, loving & feeling. I learned about boundaries, about opening & softening & I learned how to live in closer alignment & harmony with Mother Earth thanks to all those lovely beings who graciously took me in as a fellow wanderer.
I left Santa Fe with the love of my life, Larry, the child we created together, Finnegan & Raine, the child we are raising together. I feel so blessed to have had this experience & the time to dive deeply into my Shadowlands, walk through it & emerge on the other side for a breather.
Since being here on this visit, I have realized that there is one event that occurred here in Santa Fe just before we moved to Houston that I have not made peace with. That was the birth story of our Love Child, Finnegan.
Our desire was to have a water birth at home. We had both prepared in every way possible both physically, emotionally, spiritually & mentally. I visualized, I floated, I walked, I chanted, meditated, did yoga, talked to Finnegan, took the Birthing from Within class, took herbs, prenatal acupuncture, & somatic therapy. We prepared for the actual day by setting up the room with a tub, a hammock to hang from, a ball to labor on, music, candles, Larry had a Blessing Way party where we asked our community for their blessings & prayers, & on & on & on & on.
It started out sweetly, but when the sun came up & then descended again, I asked our midwife to break my water to see if we could get on with this but he still wouldn’t come out. He sat with his head trying to move by my pelvic bone for 7 hours while I’m pushing in the 4th stage. Then there were the hours in which I pushed while my midwife had her fingers inside me trying to help him pass through.
There are two things that I was disappointed in, the first was not listening to my body because at about 2 am I knew I wasn’t going to physically be able to do this but did not say anything. I didn’t listen, I abandoned her & I waited for someone else to throw in the towel (this was what the Marine Corps taught me). 6 hours later when the sun rose again our midwife told us we had to transport to the hospital. I was so relieved. Everything went beautifully at the hospital. I was able to birth him vaginally with the help of an epidermal & everyone. Finnegan is a gorgeous boy who is a rock star swimmer this summer. Luckily through this process he was never in danger, his heartbeat was always strong, he was just too big to squeeze out.
Which brings me to the second disappointment, my body, I believe somewhere deep, down I failed somehow by not being able to birth him at home. I feel as if I am just am not made for birthing babies. The recovery time took forever & I still don’t feel as strong as I was prior to the birth. It’s not just the weight that won’t come off, it’s my physical strength. That brings tears to my eyes & I’m not sure why but there must be shame involved. I just stuffed all these feelings because really. . . how could I complain with all the beauty & joy surrounding me. I did what every good Marine does, I sucked it up & drove on without even realizing I was doing this. I rejected my body as weak, useless, & disappointing. I had no compassion, nor did I look at all the greatness of my body. She has been so healthy & strong & has taken me to so many incredible places in my life. I’m beginning just this summer to see how much I rejected her & am beginning to see her beauty just as she is today. (why am I referring to my body in the third person?).
Wow, I didn’t expect that story to come out, but there you have it. I know that shame cannot survive in the open, so thank you for reading, listening with your heart & hearing my human-ness. Perhaps I can move forward from here with a sense of lightness around that event & joy for the healthy, lusciously beautiful, strong, body I have.
Enjoy the photos – they are some of my favorite spots in Santa Fe.