Tuesday, July 3, 2012

when your best friend gives birth to a son

I was actually having a 9pm picnic at Coconut Island. Six hours earlier we had gone for a long walk together.  The only way warriors walk these days is if one of us is too pregnant to run. We prefer running. We are predictable in our way of really wanting to feel our bodies. Another offering death at the dinner table makes is a steady reminder to run while you can and even if you are past your due date... at the very least put on your big girl pants and walk up a great big hill. So on Tuesday, June 12 Master P, her unborn son, and I walked up Kuku'au.

Master P is a book end. She was the last warrior with me to hold Max's body. She took his body from my arms after he had left it and delivered him to the nurses. He imprinted upon her chest. She slept in the blue shirt she was wearing that day at Kapiolani Medical Center for many months and keeps it next to her bedside on the occasions when she needs to be reminded of the work we are here to do. She selflessly served as my cognitive function so that I could just be Max's mom and stay in the medium of in-between worlds during the 8 days he was embodied. While I pumped my breast milk, she rubbed my head. When I received Max's ashes and had to put them in the car, she put him in a seat belt in the back and cried with me the entire drive. She fed me. She housed me. She never once felt sorry for me. She gave me a map for the brand new landscape of a mother who lost her son, called me a warrior, helped me craft my weapon and encouraged me to slay the bullshit and hand out high fives. When I say things, like "I think Max chose us because he knew we would do the real work of the heart", instead of thinking I have gone bat shit crazy, Master P simply says "I think so too". During those moments when I would have preferred to curl up in a dark corner, she put me back in the water on a long board.  I would not be doing the work I am doing at this moment if Master P was not in my life.

Master P being pregnant and having a son 15 months after I lost one was both in the same breath,  very normal and extraordinary. Both of us are fully aware that life in all of its robustness, in all of its tenacity, in all of its laboring to actually get through is radically precious. I think it is why Master P, without missing a beat asked my midwife, April to deliver her son.

So this is how we did it. With the amazing support of April and Rich Pierce...Master P gave birth to Cooper Kai Awesome Pierce at 11:27pm in the horse troff on their lanai in upper Hilo. I got the whole thing on video. A hundred other babies have been born in that tub, each one a miracle. Cooper was nothing shy of a marvel. Master P had the kind of delivery that can modestly be chalked up as "perfect". We knew Cooper was going to stay and still there was a smile of relief when he made it through. His small private victory was also a colossal moment for all of us.  There was nothing but Joy. The sadness of knowing that our boys will never ride waves together had nothing to do with the awareness that they will, indeed never be far.

This is what we keep learning over and over again, grief will move you if you allow it. It will move you deeper into your heart. It will move you away from trauma. It will move you into a place of really LIVING, of celebrating the new life all around, of feeling the pulse of life wanting to live its fullest expression. Here is the thing, you cannot rush it. Grief has it's own time warp. It is different for all of us. Grief will demand everything of you, it is sticky, it is insane and it is also medicine for the whole community if we use it.    It will move you into a place of pressing your best friends sacrum while she has contractions over the tub. It will move you into a place of making her a placenta milk shake twenty minutes after she delivers a beautiful baby boy. It will move you into a place of spending the first night with mom and baby in their bed, the three of us all snuggled together, mom and I taking turns poking Cooper to make sure he is breathing.  We are so wildly and perfectly human, both warriors of the heart and mothers having no idea what we are doing. Thank god for April.

Master P.  Thank you for letting life move you. April Thank you for midwifing life through both of us. Rich Pierce Thank you for being the most supportive husband on the planet.

To Breast milk all over the place.
I love you.


Christopher Lawinski said...

Speechless. In Humility and Service to The One.

Marcia Tullous said...

Dear Heather,

As always, this post has moved me to tears, and I am in awe of what you two have just experienced together. What a wonderful, powerful moment to be part of Heather. To be there for each other is deeply loving and supportive. This is how we should all be.

Congratulations Mama Master P and Daddy. Welcome to the world Cooper. We are so happy you are here.

Max, you are so near and close to my heart. xoxo

All my Love and Big Blessings,


Sarah Trudeau said...


Yum yum. I love this. It made me think of "The Red Tent."

We ARE wildly and perfectly human. Bless us.

And "(grief) will move you deeper into your heart." Thank you for taking that path, Heather.



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