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  • Sarah Landry

From the ashes rises the phoenix.

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

This morning, I woke up very abruptly with the clear words “from the ashes rises the phoenix” hovering in my mind. I was not dreaming about a phoenix or even picturing one, but it was very certainly about birth. This isn’t the first time I’ve woken up to visions or words that snapped me into consciousness. I’m not an exceptionally spiritual person, but I do believe that experiences/thoughts can have meaning and not everything is random or coincidental. As l lay in bed and acknowledged this thought, telling myself to remember it, I drifted back to sleep. I went through the entire day without thinking of it again, then my memory was sparked by seeing the flame emoji. You change significantly during pregnancy, but it’s a slow progression and adaptation to these changes. There is an ebb and flow because it lasts ~9 months. Growing a human isn’t a linear physical/emotional experience, even if the timeline itself is linear. Birth, on the other hand, is a condensed physical and emotional experience. An immense amount happens in a relatively short, finite window of time. It transforms you, however it happens. You go from a single, connected unit to giving birth to a completely separate being with a body of its own and a life ahead. You can go through the process once or many times, and each time you are born right alongside your child. In birth, you go through fire and flame. There is even a metaphorical “ring of fire” to make that more poignant. You then rise out of the ashes from that deconstruction of your former self. You are a new mother—or a mother again. From the ashes rises the phoenix. That simple image has such depth, and I believe that our subconscious is always exploring ideas that our conscious self cannot even begin to tap into. Our brains are too busy and overwhelmed for us to truly listen. So when I hear these words or images, usually while sleeping, I perk up, tune in, and learn. I guess it’s my forced meditation. I don’t always share, but today I am because I have both been through this transformation and I’ve witnessed it. For those who are about to go through this metaphysical rebirth, be prepared to meet yourself again—not just your child. You will not lose yourself, you will just emerge anew and you cannot be the same. You may look different, feel different, act different, and you may even be the only one who truly perceives these differences. You may struggle after your transformation, wondering how you can be and get to know this new self (with another new person to get to know). Meet yourself, but meet yourself where you are. Wherever you are is okay. Remember what you experienced; Remember what it took to change so monumentally; Remember how you did it even if the journey was difficult. Then when things feel hard, know that you are whole despite the pieces being newly forged together. You may see the fault lines and question their strength, but you are whole, and most importantly—you are enough. Enough does not mean you won’t need support to learn how to fly, or to relearn how to fly. It means that you are capable. You have wings, and you will find them. Why all of this? I suppose to reiterate the importance of birthworkers. Doulas can be there to guide you through the fire, help you rise up from the ashes, and introduce you gently to yourself. If you are interested in doula support, you are more than covered in Cape Breton! Reach out to myself, Amber Dawn Holistic Wellness, Jessica Simon Birth Services, and for postpartum-specific support, Our Postpartum Life. You do not have to walk through this transformation alone.

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