I'm someone who's gone through many changes, but becoming a mother was the most transformative experience of my life. Six years after having my son, I ask myself, "Who was I before I gave birth to this boy?" It's as if the months of pregnancy were a period of gestating both of us.
For me, the sacred journey of motherhood took a sharp turn at twenty weeks of pregnancy, when the geneticist informed me that my son would have Down syndrome. In that moment, I felt the self I knew simply crack in two; my life as I had known it before was over in one instant. I would have to wake up fast in order to be really present during the pregnancy and to embrace my child.
I had by that time earned a master's degree in spiritual psychology, and I'd studied the philosophies of Ernest Holmes and Emma Curtis Hopkins. I'd read the works of Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson with the hope of finding meaning for my life and freedom from painful experiences. And still, nothing could have prepared me for the day when all this information would have to be applied. The day that I chose to move forward with my pregnancy, I also had to decide who I would be for my son and myself. Would I be fully available, to the best of my ability, for this leg of my life's journey? Or would I fall deeply into victimhood?
My journey began when I chose to go into the darkness of the womb with my unborn son. I created a practice of learning the development of a gestating fetus, and I ate the foods that supported eye, bone and muscle growth. I awoke each morning at 4 a.m. to go into my womb during meditation and assist my son in weaving himself together. I started to realize the work of creating a body for each soul is the most intricate, delicate and profound work we do, and actively doing so allowed me to experience the gift of life.
I also started seeing a conscious conception coach. This is a coach who worked with me in seeing and creating a vibration of joy and pure love within myself. I was very tempted toward fear and victimhood. The question of "Why me?" was never far off. The work with my coach allowed me to talk about my fears, while focusing my attention and energy on what I truly desired to feel. Together, we envisioned my son walking, talking, playing and full of life. She suggested I do things that ignited joy within me like watching my favorite movies, listening to my favorite music and being with my favorite people. We also decided to tell very few people about the diagnosis. I was both too vulnerable and too determined to entrench myself in the creative process to deal with the fears and irrational beliefs of others.
Joy would be the key to my pregnancy, and yet it was going to be a challenge. So I surrounded myself with people who made me happy. I wrote stories that inspired me, and over and over I envisioned my child as happy and fulfilled. I determined that my job as his mother would be to help him reach his fullest potential. And that becoming a mother to a child with Down syndrome would be the greatest gift life could ever give me.
Now he is 6 and the time has flown by. He was born after seventeen hours of labor, breathing, singing, praying, massaging, crying and deeply anticipating. He was received into a circle of people who honored and revered him. Even as the doctors scrambled to determine if his diagnosis was definitive, I knew that everything was OK. One morning during the pregnancy I'd been awakened by a voice in my head proclaiming, "All is well." I knew that speaker was absolutely right.
Yes, my son has Down syndrome, and he is full of life and love and happiness. His journey thus far has been filled with grace and pure abundance. The difference is in me. Finally, I know my own divinity at my core. Parenting this particular child has given me a feeling of power, self-acceptance and beauty. I truly experience being a mother as a sacred journey that energetically connects me to this human being. I see this in all mothers and wonder if they see and experience the sacredness of themselves. I look into the world for the rare spaces and places that honor motherhood and the fullness of a mother's relationship with her child. To shine a light on these places, we need to simply see ourselves and love ourselves for the mystical experiences we undergo as we bring every one of us to the planet.