When my first baby, Isaiah, was 5 weeks old, I had barely recovered from a 67 hour labour, no matter how much, chickpeas and rice, avocado and spirulina soy milk smoothies I swallowed, I was constantly hungry, as was my baby. In constant pain, my torn and battered perineum refusing to heal, I listened as my midwife, with a worried look begged me to eat some meat, the wound was becoming gangrene.
Isaiah cried a lot. His birth was traumatic despite our attempt to home birth, we ended up in hospital. He was born vaginally, but certainly not ‘naturally’. (The hospital would record his birth as a success but he’s still dealing with birth trauma - he’s ten). In the first year of his life, I vascillated between frustration, loneliness and pure terror. I had no idea how to care for my baby and I sure as hell didn’t know what self nurturing was. Ten chaotic and tantruming months into new motherhood, I’d pushed away everyone in my community including his father and found myself alone and terrified.
It was then, at my lowest ebb, I asked for help. It’s a funny part of human nature, we often only speak with the creator when we need something. There I was, exhausted, in constant pain and really not wanting to breastfeed my ravenous child yet again. Holding him with leaden arms and burning sholders, beseeching for an answer, I silently screamed. “Help me Goddess, how do I survive, how do I do this?” Amazingly there was an answer. “Do as you’re told.”
I was shocked there was an answer. I was shocked at the simplicity of it. And I sure didn’t believe that all I needed to do was what I was told. But the same ‘voice’ inside me assured me thus, that is, do what is in front of me in this moment, without trying to get out of it, wishing it was over or resenting it. I relented. I gave it a try and I am still trying.
It works. By letting go of control and following the lead of my life, I have discovered so much. I just wouldn’t be who I am now if I’d stayed in that dark place, controlled by my ego’s firm grip on what is the ‘right way’; hell bent on perfection or the appearance of perfection at the cost of love. So much has changed in the way I live. For one I started to nourish myself and pretty soon, I found I could easily nourish my child. What I thought was the ‘right way’ to eat, parent, care for my body, my home, my relationships was wrong for me. What was right for me was and is to always, and to only, Nourish.
So here I am. Now my life is governed by Nourishment. Each choice I make is the most nourishing I can with what information I have at hand. Now, as I write for you who value nourishment as much as I, gratitude replaces what was once desperation. The strong and lusciously healthy body I inhabit, the robust children I am blessed to help grow, the relationship with the husband from heaven, the small community I live in and the large community I gather online - all this amazes me a when I think of the tired, sullen, terrified, starving girl who 10 years ago asked the goddess for help.