To everyone who's path I have crossed over the past 10 months – Thank you.
Your questions, well wishes, energy, blessings, prayers, beliefs in me have all carried me to birth our new angel Azure Sitara Mustang safely and naturally into our arms.
I know that every one of you has had great purpose in my process from maiden to mother and again I thank you for the love, the teachings, the conversations, the messages and the lessons that you have carried through to me in this transition.
By telling our birth stories to each other we can change the reality of Birth. As a western culture, we are taught to fear birth. To believe it is a medical procedure – instead of a natural and highly spiritual initiation. I am sharing mine to help heal the collective beliefs around birth, to help the next generation, and to empower other women to claim back one of the most powerful experiences of one's life.
I will begin by mentioning that the day after Birth I dropped to my knees, thanking the Earth, our mother. Offering my deepest gratitude for carrying me over the threshold. To the generations of women who have birthed before me – I see you. I hear you, I honour your unwavering strength.
This is our story…
To Azure, our Sun, this is the story of how you were born.
This is a very real, vulnerable piece of writing, and this is the beginning of how I want to share with you always – REAL and TRUE.
You were conceived Early May 2019, the morning after your dad and I were married. You chose to come through in a field of love so strong! Your dad and I had just united in all ways we knew possible, and we were making love in the outdoor shower, in the jungle by the pixie cottage. Afterwards I felt a star go through me and your Dad and I smiled at each other locking eyes and laughing saying maybe we just made a baby with our love. You see the element water was even present at the very beginning.
2019 seen big shifts on our planet. During the 42 weeks, you were with me, we've seen the planet behave and manipulated in ways we had never witnessed before. Bushfires, droughts, floods, ice melts, you name it. The entire planet was changing, An awakening beginning. Azure I truly believe you have come to us, as a soul with deep purpose. You, among others that we will meet, are here to help shift our ways of living and connecting. To help heal the collective so we can live in harmony with our Earth. I knew as soon as I held you that your language was pure love.
Carrying you for 42 weeks was a huge journey for me personally. I changed so much. Softened where I was sharp. I meditated daily as my movement practices slowed right down. We had the hottest Aussie summer to date which resulted in more swims in rivers and the sea than I can count. We travelled to Bali twice and to a tiny island off Thailand called Koh Tao.
We spent A LOT of our time in nature, as that is what felt best. I spent weeks in bed with a bad case of salmonella food poisoning and we got evacuated twice from our home. Once for bush fires, once for floods. Your papa and I enjoyed our mini honeymoon whilst you were in my belly, and we got in a few sneaky visits to the little promised lands in Bellingen.
We nested a lot – your papa in particular and enjoyed getting the land and home ready for your arrival. Most days whilst carrying you I was visited by a snake, so I knew the transformation taking place inside me was powerful. We also saw an Azure Kingfisher on every walk to the river, it was you telling us your name. Most nights I would wake just before dawn and gaze outside our windows and see the brightest morning star, this is how Sitara was chosen.
I grew and grew, letting go of so many parts of myself, surrendering to the new roundness. I knew your magic was so strong by what you were manifesting for us. Abundance flowed easily helping me commit to time off when you arrived. Our dream house came available as soon as you were conceived, after 4 years of wishing, waiting and hoping. It was as if you were like "ok I am coming, time for us to move into our family home now Mumma.'
It also gave me complete confidence in where and how you wanted to be born- At home of course!
To choose a homebirth is somewhat alternative in Australia right now, it's not heard of enough and finding a support team can prove difficult in many areas in this country. Our home was past the 'suitable for home birth' hospital cut off as we live more than 50 minutes to the nearest hospital and you need to cross rivers ways to access our home. It never fazed us though, I just knew you needed to come through there. About 4 months into my pregnancy we came across Bron, from Lismore birth house.
We connected with Bron straight away and both your dad and I agreed she would be the midwife to join us on our birth journey. Bron was warm, nurturing, grounded and full of knowledge. She had similar values and a holistic approach to birth like us. She believed in empowering women through their transition into a mother. We had over ten visits with Bron before birth. Checking your heartbeat, your position, my health and getting to know one another before the birth.
Our 'due date' came and went, but my intuition always told me you would come later rather than sooner. We were all set up, the birth pool in the lounge room, fresh flowers everywhere and lots of candles. I remember every night looking at your dad and saying, 'do you think tonight's the night?'
We had 10 days of this. Making meals, buying new flowers, swimming lots due to a heatwave, not venturing far from home, living life in this big limbo. We made love, walked twice a day, wondering when you would decide to come earthside.
The rains arrived, hundreds and hundreds of ml of water falling from the sky, our rivers quickly rising. Your dad and I had to make a decision, to leave home, so we wouldn't get flooded in. We rented an Air BnB for a few nights in town, before bunking in the pixie cottage up the road from home, at your uncle Darpan's place.
We realised we had come full circle, as this was exactly where you were conceived. We both thought maybe you were waiting to be birthed here, under the plant medicine. Darpan ensured us that if you wanted to come through, we were welcomed to give birth at the cottage. So, your Dad and I set up, filling the little cottage with candles, singing bowls, flowers, incense, and sage.
The first night came and went, we had a bath, made soup and fell asleep with Jala at our feet. The rain continued to fall, the rivers raging. We played board games, watched movies and drank tea. The next evening the rain began to clear. That night once again we were visited by a snake. I guessed maybe you would come throughout the night.
The next morning, I woke at 5 am with pains. It was valentine's day, and the rain had still held off overnight. I decided to go back to sleep as the pains were mild and I had had slight cramping all week. My body getting ripe and ready for your arrival.
By 7 am with pains still coming softly, I decided to get up. Could it be? I wasn't sure. I told your Dad, it might be happening and jumped in the outdoor shower. I let the water rush over me and you, enjoying being outside in the rain under a hot shower. Once dried and dressed I chatted to your Papa, I think it's happening I said again, he said he didn't think so, but just in case he would drive down the road and check our rivers see if we can get home.
While he was out, I took the opportunity to sit outside with the Earth. Walking outside as the sun peeked from behind the mountain. The river was absolutely rushing below, and you could hear it from the cottage balcony. The Datura flowers were in full bloom, the little pixie hat flowers hanging from every branch. I walked down the stairs onto the grass and sat under the Datura tree. Closing down my eyes, I sat, and I prayed. I prayed to the goddess to deliver you safely. I asked for nature to be present, for the earth to hold me.
I made my way to the temple, and played the crystal singing bowls, using the vibration of sound to carry messages to you:
You are safe
You are loved
Let us work together
Your Dad came back, and I smiled up at him "it's really happening" He started doing a little silly happy dance, and he started singing "we get to go home, the rivers are down, we get to go home, the rivers are down."
Excited, we all jumped into the car, Jala, me and your dad. We drove the short distance home crossing the ten river causeways, they were still half a meter deep, and rushing and I remember thinking "gosh I hope Bron gets through".
Home felt amazing. Absolutely alive with energy. The big rains had washed everything clean and the rivers that surround flowed, creating a melody. The jungle vibrant.
I walked upstairs and started to go more inwards. I vaguely remember your Dad running around downstairs getting everything ready. Filling the birth pool, checking out the hot water supply, cleansing the space, lighting the candles.
The contractions were starting to get more and more intense, but still no real pattern.
Your Dad came upstairs, holding me in an embrace, kissing my forehead and suggesting we go for a swim.
He leads me down to our swimming hole. After all the rain it was a Utopia! The waterfall that usually trickled, raged. The pool was a deep clear green colour and it was as fresh as I had ever felt. Electric. Your dad jumped in, while I sat on a rock with my legs dangling in the water.
With every contraction that came, I remember offering it to the river, asking my body to become water. Fluid. Time was really starting to blur. We came back up to the house and I had to now kneel over the bed, head buried in pillows, as I grunted and hummed with every contraction. The contractions now timing about 3 minutes apart. We decided we should ring Bron soon, as her drive was a 1-and-a-half-hour journey to our house.
I began pacing- then walked outside, where I knelt into the Earth, again asking for her support. I was astonished by the pain, the intensity of it all already.
Hopping in the shower offered some relief as the warm water soothed the electricity that poured out of my body with each wave. My groans now turning into howls. The wild women really starting to take hold. Moving back up into our bedroom, I knelt against the bed again as I began my song – A low strong humming as the waves came and a deep panting breathes in the moments between. Your dad was there offering me water, massaging my back, holding our space.
'Would you like to dance?' he offered. I smiled and rose, and he took me in his arms as we began to sway up and down the hallway, slow dancing through the contractions. We must have danced for over an hour, it made me happy and when the contractions took over I would lean into your Dad's chest and sing my song. Every time getting louder and louder, the wave more and more intense.
At some point during our dance your dad and I both started crying 'We are going to meet our baby soon" we shared.
I needed the water. It was time to get into the pool. The warm water soothing me slightly. Bron arrived shortly after, wow I thought, this is really happening I'm going to have a baby. I remember telling her that my waters have not broken, as it was something that was challenging me mentally.
'That's ok' she replied 'they may not till the last minute, or it would be just like you two to have a baby en caul on valentine's day' she giggled. She checked your heartbeat and took my blood pressure. By now the contractions were timing only 1 minute apart. I would curl into myself as your dad held my shoulders, leaning his forehead against mine as I began to become animal. I was roaring now with each wave, this deep guttural sound that would shake the room. There was no holding back, the louder the better as the pain shook my entire body.
The music we had playing helping to drain out the screams. Do you remember Azure, when your uncle Darpans songs came on and I would sing, scream and yell the lyrics as the contractions rolled over me? Do you remember your Aunty Xoe's soothing voice singing 'carry me home' As tears rolled down my cheeks?
Surely, I thought the pain couldn't be like this? this much? it's too much.
I started crying, my mind spinning.
'I can't do this' I said,
'I need it to stop'
'Why is my baby hurting me like this?'
'Why did no one tell me it was this much?' I yelled confused.
'I'm so angry'
'Why are you angry Sally?' Bron said 'Let it out'
'I'm just so angry at all the women who never told me how hard this was, I hate them' I cried, releasing the separation I felt. By declaring the disconnect, I became connected. To my mum, to her mum to all the mothers before me, seeing an insight into the incredible unwavering strength held inside every woman who lived.
I sobbed and shook with understanding. My contractions started to slow, getting further apart and I knew you had stopped moving down, had heard my pleas and decided to give me a little break. I remember thinking of your aunty Monny here, and how she had just done this for Blue just a few months before. I began pulling strength from this, knowing it was possible to get through.
'Let's hop out of the pool for a bit' Bron suggested gently. We walked outside into the night sky. I remember looking up and asking for help. Please I begged to the universe, help me surrender. Get me out of my way so my baby can come through.
We did some stretches to help me dilate and hopefully bring the contractions back. It worked, and we moved back inside, hopping in the birth pool. Laying upwards this time, arms resting against the edge holding me up, your dad outside the pool with his arms wrapped around my shoulders.
The contractions were now coming full force, close together again. Bron suggested that I start to push against the waves and this gave me new purpose and determination. I began to push with all I had, releasing my ego along with the pushes – my need to live, to do anything other than be here in all the glory of this pain and intensity.
I started to see white. All that mattered was this moment. I was beginning my journey to you. With each contraction on the outside, I would yell. Roar, push, pant and then collapse into your dad, but inside I began leaving my body. Searching for you.
All I remember was gold, such a blinding gold light as I reached into the universe to fetch your soul. I knew this was it, this was where I needed to be to bring you through. I kept my eyes closed, willing myself to stay in this other realm and not return back to the pain of the physical body.
Moments later Bron declared you were coming. You were crowning, and I could feel this new heaviness in my vagina and bum. Still, my waters had not broken and there was not a drop of blood in the pool. I remember searching, looking deeply into your Dad's eyes, communicating on such a deep soul level.
Your Dad held us Azure, throughout every moment. He soothed us with his calm, peaceful nature. He held my gaze as it shifted from human to lion. He whispered, 'You are so beautiful' and kissed me when I felt most feral, wild and out of control. Did you hear his medicine drum, as he played the rhythms of birth to my belly early in the evening? He was inviting you to the earth. He offered us his strength and his love as my face turned inside out and my body thrashed about. He offered us his entire heart.
I just kept pushing with each contraction, my body spasming, my face scrunching, my voice shattering the space. There was a sexual current to the energy. That needs to move and make sound in such an uncontrollable way. I felt completely out of it as if something else had taken over entirely.
Time was non-existent. My body wasn't mine anymore it was births. I pushed again and at that moment, I felt myself split. The pain excruciating, my scream piercing the space as blood began gushing. It was the first time I looked into your Dad's eyes and felt fear. Bron hurried over.
I had torn she told me, but it was ok she reassured me.
'Your baby is nearly here.'
'You're going to meet your baby Sally, you can do this'
'I can see him, he is still inside his sack' Meaning you were en caul, limitless, veiled in water.
I was delusional by now, as I moved into a kneeling position, my arms against the pool, forehead up against your dads. I reached down behind me and I could feel the top of your head inside the anatomic sack. I started saying 'Mitch, Mitch, I can feel him' before the next contraction took hold.
Bron advised me to blow instead of push, but instinct took over. I needed you out. I pushed and your head pushed through my vagina. Causing another split to my yoni. My scream the loudest noise that had ever come out of my mouth. I could feel my vagina in pieces, but it didn't matter the slightest. The relief that flooded me was ecstasy. Your head was out. I had done it. You were really coming!
The candles flickered, casting shadows over the walls. I looked outside the windows into the morning sky, focusing on the stars. One last wave delivered you into the water, your sack only breaking once you entered the pool and swam up to my chest.
You never experienced gravity. You were delivered Earthside so gently, so peacefully Azure. Your heart rate never changing the entire birth. You were resting on my chest as I breathed 'we did it' kissing your Dad in disbelief. His eyes filled with tears, our hearts cracking right fucking open, as we all breathed and cried together the first time as three.
Azure Sitara Mustang.
Born at (home) 15.02.2020 2:25am
Your placenta was delivered about 15 minutes later into the birth pool. Two days later your Dada held a ceremony in the backyard to put it to rest. We said prayers, placed crystals gifted from your aunty Lisa around it for protection and then planted 'little India' your fig tree on top. It will grow tall, as you do.
After I fed you and some rest, Bron examined my tears, she wasn't completely confident in stitching it, so we drove to see a specialist to stitch me. I received 22 stitches in 5 different parts of my vagina, all external, forcing me to strict bed rest for the following weeks after you were born. You, me, your dad and Jala spent the weeks in bed falling so in love with each other and life.
I love you always.