Breathing Life into Dry Bones


When I was about 7 months pregnant with my son, my second child, the wild woman in me started to rise up. I hope you know her. We don’t talk about her much in Western culture and she certainly doesn’t get ladylike points. But you have felt her, and she’s there within even if she has been smooshed down so far that she’s only taking up residence in your toes. She’s the fierce mother hen that rises up within when you see someone being mistreated. She’s the fire you feel in your belly when you’ve been aroused. The wistful longing that takes over when you look out over a field and get the urge to run- the choking kind of need, of want for more. Clarissa Pinkola Estes gave me a name for her when I first picked up Women Who Run With the Wolves in graduate school. (Please, please if you are a woman read this book. And if you’re not, buy a copy and give it to a woman… and then you may as well read it too.) So when I started to prepare for Baby Boy’s birth it was my wildish self that I felt awakening more every day.

When I gave birth to my daughter I was a different woman. For one, I wasn’t a mother yet. I hadn’t experienced cut off my right arm for you love or stared at 10 round piggy toes like they were the key to my very existence. I certainly wasn’t bold. That’s an attribute that I’m still learning and a role I’m practicing. Hers was not an uninformed birth by any means, but it was not an empowered one. I was induced at 10 days past my estimated due date because I truly didn’t think I had the option of saying “no”. But I knew she wasn’t ready yet. An early manual rupture of membranes (water breaking) with a long labor lead to infection and a fever. Add back labor and pitocin and I made the decision to get an epidural. Somehow I knew all along that an induction would eventually lead to a c-section and 28 hours later that is exactly what happened. Her birth story is only beautiful because it gave me her. Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t it have other redeeming qualities? Yes, it should. And it does. I got to see my family come through and support me in the most sacrificial way possible. While I labored down and then pushed for hours and hours my mom, husband and sister took turns holding my legs and feeding me ice chips…until 4am people. 4am. Now that’s love. But her birth? Her actual birth? Well it was surgery and I hadn’t wanted that. Not because a c-section isn’t birth but because I hadn’t prepared for it to be, and I didn’t know how to make it a beautiful, spiritual experience. It left me feeling empty- like a mere vessel whose existence was importance but feelings were not.

The story of my healing from birth trauma and postpartum depression is one for another day. The story of the Wild Woman? Let’s get back to her. So there I was, 7 months pregnant and suddenly faced with Her. I don’t know how far down I had pushed my wild woman. She wasn’t all the way down into my toes, but I certainly hadn’t been living with her living and breathing through me. When I picked up Women Who Run With the Wolves the words struck a chord like they hadn’t in their first reading. In particular, I resonated with the story of La Loba: Wolf Woman. The story of La Loba can be found in various forms from Eastern Europe all the way to Mexico. Always, she is an old woman, crawling and creeping through dry river beds and canyons, mountains and forests in search of old bones- wolf bones in particular. And when she has collected enough bones to create an entire animal she sings over the bones and breathes life into them. Slowly the skeleton begin to flesh out until it is alive, strong and covered with fur. It is her job to awaken the animal and give it vitality once more. At the time, reading this story I had no idea why it resonated with me. But it did and even all through my labor with my son the story kept coming back to me.

I know why now. I know why and it chokes me with tears of deep deep gratitude. You see my birth with Baby Boy was almost identical to my birth with Little Miss. I was induced with her at midnight and went into spontaneous labor with my son also at midnight. Both babies were posterior facing and gave me excruciating back labor. I had a fever for both of their deliveries. Both labors were 28 hours, ending at 4am. They were born weighing an ounce apart. At first I didn’t understand why Baby Boy’s birth had to be so similar to his sister’s. Why couldn’t my body figure out how to deliver a baby in less than 28 hours? Why, through all of my exercises and attempts to get him facing the right way did he still insist on being posterior, making labor and delivery incredibly difficult and painful? Why couldn’t I get through labor without an epidural? And to all of these questions, I finally have the answer. “Because”, God says, “don’t you see? I was gathering the bones. The bones of your first delivery- the bones that were left dried out and scattered when your dream of a natural birth died. I gathered every little piece that told the story of your daughter’s birth and I redeemed them.” See my birth with my son was hard, but the ending? Oh the ending. The vaginal birth that healed me. The act that brought me back to myself and showed me courage that I did not know I had. The reason it had to resemble my daughter’s was so that I could see that the pieces didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I chose an epidural or that I didn’t have a 6 hour labor. The life behind the birth is what matters. The breath. The existence. The love.

It matters that we are heard and honored in birth. It matters that we feel respected and valued. It matters that we have options and the knowledge to make healthy decisions. I have known both sides of this coin and the flip side? It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful regardless of the outcome. When God woke up those old bones He woke me up with them. And I am thankful. So very very thankful.


5,923 thoughts on “Breathing Life into Dry Bones”

  1. I understand Sequoia’s strategy and it makes sense on some levels. What I don’t get is some of the major utilities investing in unproven concepts instead of investing money in established approaches like wind, solar and others. It gives the impression that some want to delay the inevitable and give the appearance of pursuing clean options.

  2. Hi, i bought the Hydrating Cleanser and started using it last night. I am experience some tingling/itchy sensation on some parts of the face and neck. Is this common? I have combination skin (dry on cheeks and oily on T-Zone) with uneven/pigmentation skin tone. Hope to get a reply soon. Thanks.

  3. exmi: i saw you did- thanx! nice tag!tay: harassedmomsramblings: me thinx!becauseican: i can hardly wait- and you must do the same!!!mel: innit gawjiss? “expensive mistakes and cheap thrills” made it for me!jennybean: cool!allan: i intend to try!kingcover: i know i didn’t review all the races, but you just knew i’d review the last one of the season!!?!as for your prize- you get to share in my excitement and joy!mr coppens: mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaajeanette:

  4. Tim—Great points. The 60% turnover of staff in an under-performing corporate group might be necessary, but sure would be painful. However, I think a lot of turnarounds require it—corporate or sports. I probably focused more on the team vibe moving from soft and weak to being perceived as super tough, hard-nosed and maybe borderline dirty. Did you have to predict the Rams will go 1-4? That hurts, dude.

  5. These settings contain the reputation your previous activities on the web and so they really pose a threat to you.
    When these were finished, the men were inspired to produce a seminal sample.

    You’ll feel great, have an overabundance of energy, loose weight and improve your likelihood of using a baby.

  6. THEN SHE SURE AS HELL COULD HAVE ABORTED FETUSES PURPOSELY IN THE PAST and is today calling them MISCARRIAGES. All speculation, no facts. Sorry. I could speculate many things about many people. Obama could really be an alien from another planet. Prove me wrong. Out of curiosity…Why do you feel this intense for her to have had an abortion anyway? Is it that difficult to discredit her using facts that you have to make things up from thin air?

  7. “..How they got the mizrahi to join with the program is one of the great achievements of the ashkenazis.”I understood that it was forced on them against their will. Ben Gurion holding up his nose and saying something or other about how their “Arabness” was stinking up his countryside.

  8. I feel that is among the such a lot important info for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to observation on few general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is in reality great : D.
    Excellent activity, cheers

  9. Attractive portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your
    weblog and in accession capital to claim that I
    acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing on your
    feeds and even I success you get right of entry to persistently rapidly.

  10. How is it that just anybody can create a weblog and get as popular as this? Its not like youve said something incredibly impressive more like youve painted a pretty picture more than an issue that you know nothing about! I dont want to sound mean, here. But do you seriously think that you can get away with adding some quite pictures and not really say something?
    cheap jimmy choo

  11. Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand a lot about this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you can do with a few % to pressure the message home a little bit, but instead of that, that is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.
    buy marmot

  12. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe
    guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My blog goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!

  13. For sure the build up to album releases was different back than,I mean the magazines like Circus,Hit Parader and even to a point Creem u would flip thru and see a add for the soon to be released album with the street date…so the next course of action would be to Hound the local record stores and make sure that was the case and than me and friends would than worry about school..hahahaha….I remember being surprised to see Number of the Beast just kinda show up but man we were all waiting for the next Maiden to drop……

  14. most leftist intellectuals and artists were bored to death by Stalinist cultural policyTrue, but that's because they were more degenerate than even Stalin was willing to countenance. Hell, there was, or could be, some beauty in socialist realism, but none whatsoever in modern crap (sorry, "art").

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *