When I was pregnant with our twin boys, my husband gave me this piece of jewelry which remains my favorite; full of meaning and beauty. For me, it symbolized the power of my body with the main ingredient of love, to nurture another life, (this time two!) and to give birth.

When I started reading about all of the risks associated with birthing twins, I felt frightened at first, and then more determined. Determined that I was going to do everything in my power to give birth to healthy and full term babies. After raising my daughter for the previous three years, I knew that I had influence but not control.  Determined, I did everything in my power to influence their healthy development: excellent nutrition with extra protein, regular swimming, walking, meditation, and eventually, bed rest.

Nurturing my baby boys bonded us together, even as I was working toward the ultimate goal of releasing them from the full time protection of my womb. My body provided just the right temperature, the right nutrition, the right amount of stimulation, and always the soothing rhythm of my beating heart.  My goal: for them to be there for just the right amount of time. We then began a lifetime of separation.

Labor is laborious because it takes power to persist to push out the little being who, only days before, needed to be in.  Literally squeezing tight, holding on, then releasing-our bodies propel our little ones physically away even as we  become more passionately emotionally attached, a process duplicated throughout our lives during every phase of development of their capable independence.

The power of love astounds me. It enables us to endure and thrill as we live our lives inextricably entwined with these little miracles, bonding and separating, loving and releasing.

Every childbirth class teaches resistance and fear of the process increases the experience of pain. Staying grounded, relaxed, and trusting this process we are able to be more powerfully present with less pain. As my daughter and boys move ever away-to study, to explore the world, and eventually to love another with allegiance to that partner more than to me, I hope I can remember this. I also hope that I remember to have compassion, because it is powerful, but it isn’t easy.