4 (27 to 35), Graphite on Paper, 50″ x 30″, 2015 

Her belly heaved with the contractions as she breathed into them. Move with them, don’t fight them, she told herself. Her belly contracted and she rode the pain and imagined herself ascending a hill and reaching the peak and coming down again. With each pain, she envisioned her body opening up to bring her daughter into the world; the little girl she had been joyfully and eagerly anticipated. She was amazed by what her body could do. This pregnancy had brought her back to live in her body and she was enthralled by its wisdom, power and beauty.

A few weeks before the labour she had tripped and broke her ankle.

Through all of it she was blessed however by women who entered her life and became her lifeline. Her midwife was one of those women. When she visited and saw her sleeping on the floor downstairs she showed her how remarkable her body was by teaching her how to get up the stairs herself by hoisting herself up by her arms. Step by step, putting her weight in her backside, she ascended the stairs and could now sleep  in her bed. She felt so proud of herself and this body that could grow a child.

As the pains of the labour increased, she was both in the material world and the in between world. In one moment she was an animal, growling and panting and another she was in a place where she wanted no one to touch her. She was a sacred being bringing life into the world. She was attended to by the spirits who loved her and  were also attending to her daughter. From far away, coming over a hill, she saw her for the first time. She was beautiful with long dark brown wavy hair.  Three goddesses accompanied her daughter : Gaia, Mother Earth, Coatlique, Goddess of  Life and Death, and Macha, the Celtic Warrior Goddess.  She knew from seeing  the Goddesses who attended her that her daughter would be strong and fiercely independent.

When she thought that she could not take any more, she felt the urge to push and within a short time her daughter entered the world. She had a hearty cry and she could sense her power in that moment. She was going to make her mark in the world.

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