Cedar's pregnancy: Birthing a new world

Mar 04, 2023


I knew I was pregnant within hours, moments even, of this baby’s conception.


The first sign was something that, if someone else had described to me, I’d have believed but not fully understood. In those first few hours and days, I felt what I can only describe as energy moving in my pelvic bowl. Like a warm, buzzing, activating feeling in my womb - kind of like that feeling of fresh blood flowing in your body after exercise. Energy moving. Life creating itself.

Within days, my breasts felt tender (I was still breastfeeding my toddler at that stage), and I noticed increased discharge from my vagina. I felt tender emotionally, too, like I was walking around without any skin on. When I crept out of bed at 10 days after conception to take a pregnancy test, that double pink line was just a confirmation of what I already knew. My baby had come.

I cried tears of joy when I saw that positive test. When I told my partner, still laying in bed, his face broke into a big, dopey grin. But I’d be lying if I said that joy was all we felt. As we lay in each other’s arms in bed, realisation dawned silently on us both. We’d walked this path before, and this time we knew what we were in for. The sleeplessness and exhaustion, the relationship strain, the sheer intensity of early parenting. We already had a child who absorbed everything we had - how the hell were we going to do it with two?

In those early weeks, we each walked our own separate path that was mingled with fear and excitement, gratitude and resentment, love and grief.

Within a couple of weeks, before my period would even have been due, my sense of smell became sickeningly sensitive, and the first twinges of nausea began. I downloaded one of those generic baby-tracker apps, which told me that I wouldn’t know I was pregnant for at least another week yet and that I wouldn’t experience any symptoms for another month or two.

I lol’d at that.

And then I cried. 

Already, I could feel myself being pulled under the waves and dissolved like salt.



I’d been planning this pregnancy for a long time, and I had it all worked out. My first trimester with Ned had felt fragile and raw, and then I’d felt more like ‘myself’ again for most of the pregnancy until the last few weeks. Assuming this time around would be similar, I’d already scheduled my work year with a lighter workload during the Autumn when I expected to be in my first trimester.

I’d got my timing right (we were lucky to conceive straight away), but I’d grossly underestimated just how intense this experience would be. From the moment I became pregnant, I resented my work (which I usually love). I was still in a masculine mode of “doing” at that stage - and the hard edges that are required just to BE in the everyday world were rubbing up raw against the intensity of what was occurring for me at a spiritual and emotional level.

From the first moment, this pregnancy demanded absolute and complete surrender. Anything less, and it would devour me. For a couple of weeks there, I railed against it. I was fucking furious. My experience in birthing and mothering Ned had blown me open and remade me completely anew. The three years since he came into my life had been a time of profound, raw, exquisite transformation. Because I’d just been through that level of metamorphosis, I’d assumed, with a mixture of arrogance and naivety, that the next time around would be less intense. I resented the idea of being blown open, asked to surrender to THAT level, again so soon.

But that’s exactly what was being asked of me. Fortunately, over the last few years I’ve learnt the lesson of when to stop fighting and just surrender (and I remember that lesson quicker now than I once did).

And so I radically surrendered. I cleared my plate of all external commitments, I tuned out from media of all forms, and I dropped into stillness. I ate well, I rested, I cared for myself with all the tools I had.

I expected it to become easy after that. “I’ve surrendered everything, now my pregnancy can feel easeful and blissful”.

Lol. It didn’t.



Blissful and easeful was what I thought I wanted for this pregnancy. But what I actually asked for, and what the soul of this baby actually offered, was bone-deep, soul-deep, countless generations-deep, shedding and healing.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. I knew the opportunity that pregnancy and childbirth offers us, to do a level of healing that’s unavailable at any other time in our lives. And so I called that healing in, willingly and wholeheartedly. I offered myself up to it. And like a tsunami, in it came.

The level of opening that’s required to allow unknown generations-worth of pain, grief, trauma and conditioning to arise to the surface, to be seen and felt, to be released out of the body and back to the earth, to be healed… That was never going to feel easeful and blissful. I can roll my eyes at my own naivety now.

This pregnancy hasn’t looked much like that vision I once held, of wafting around in floaty dresses, massaging oils on my swelling belly, soaking up the magic, feeling like a pregnant goddess. At times, more days have passed than I’d like to admit where I haven’t even showered, because the thought of removing my clothes to stand naked in the cold air felt like more than my tender heart and body could bear.

I’ve felt EVERYTHING through this pregnancy, so very intensely. I’ve felt the deepest, heart-rending grief at living so far away from my closest loved ones. I’ve felt the bone-deep exhaustion of mothering a toddler alone, while also growing a new life. I’ve felt fear and full-body-shaking-rage at the thought of being persecuted for making decisions for my pregnancy and birth that fall way outside of social norms.

I’ve also felt deep peace and alignment, as half-starved parts of my true self rose easily to the surface in the space and time I created by stepping out of ‘the world’. The parts of me that create for creation’s sake. The parts that remember, really remember, the exquisite gift that it is just to be alive in this beautiful world.



I believe that we’re living now through the death throes of the old world, while simultaneously birthing in a new one. And I believe that mothers - creators of life - are the ones doing the birthing.

Mothers today are the ones tasked with dismantling those old, sick ways, shedding trauma and conditioning, while holding clear space (as clear as we’re humanly able) in which our children, the coming generations, will create new ways of being on this earth.

It’s big, life-venerating, future-tending work.

And because I believe this, I also believe that I’ve been given a precious gift and responsibility through this pregnancy - to relinquish myself completely to the process of intense shedding and releasing that’s happening to me and through me, and to trust that I’m deeply held and resourced through it all.

Because I am.

I think of the wisdom and the healing that’s been given to me in the years leading up to now. I think of the tools I’ve learnt to keep my nervous system regulated and my body nourished, while I throw myself into this spiritual and emotional work. I think of the small, core group of people who hold me such with uncomplicated love, understanding and support. I think of the time and space and safety I’ve been given - privileges that few of my ancestors have had for many, many generations - to drop so deeply into this vulnerable work.

I am so richly, deeply resourced for this work. Just as if all of those women who come before me are standing all around me, offering me these gifts, giving me everything I need to do the healing that will release us all.

And I think that’s why, despite the intensity of this pregnancy, even while my entire sense of self was being obliterated, even in the most challenging moments of loneliness and physical exhaustion, I’ve never felt disoriented or overwhelmed by the intensity of what’s happening in me.

Through it all, I’ve felt anchored and sure, and deeply resourced.

I know what’s happening to me and through me, and I know why.

I know what my work is.


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