Viewing entries tagged
full moon

Releasing What Was, In Birth and Motherhood


Releasing What Was, In Birth and Motherhood

kaitlin coghill doula ventura santa barbara be always blooming full moon

Tonight is a full moon, a powerful full moon in one of my signs (I am on the cusps of Aquarius and Capricorn), and it has inspired me beyond belief in a way I cannot describe, nor do I want to attempt to describe. I’ve been much more in tune with the moon since having babies and quitting birth control. It’s been wild to actually notice a change in my connection to the Earth, especially when it comes to my life’s work in the childbirth phase of a woman’s life.

Interestingly, tonight the moon has me wanting to share some thoughts on the concept of releasing that which no longer serves us. So, after setting out my crystals and admiring the glow of the moon as it rose behind a palm tree, I decided to skip the television and go straight to my keyboard. This never happens anymore after long days with kiddos, so I felt it  imperative that I take full advantage of the energy I had been given and let the words reveal themselves speedily. They, like me, needed release.

Just as in birth, motherhood itself requires a woman to let go of so much that she holds dear. She sacrifices her body and spirit, literally, for her child - a child that she doesn’t see or hold in her arms for around ten months. In order to give birth efficiently to both her baby and her new Self, a woman must release all that prevents her from caring for her child. This includes not only former vices, but also former dreams. While a woman can be anything she desires to be, it is impossible for anyone, woman or man, to accomplish all goals at once. Accepting this as a necessary truth upon which the foundation our motherhood is built upon is itself the key to truly living as a mother.

Not as a woman who once was.

Not as a woman who will be one day.

But as a woman who is madly in love with her Self, her children and her lover.

A woman who is dedicated to her family and closest friends.

A woman who caters to her own deep desires and interests.

A woman who is present and accepting of what arrives in her life, knowing a lesson will be learned and a battle will be won.

In releasing our need to control every outer aspect of our being, whether specifically in our birthing spaces or generally in our overall lives as mothers, we create room for new understandings and ideas. And in doing this we are able to provide our families with more. More love, more wisdom and more of our maternal essences.

Personally, as a mother who has made a point of creating space for natural elements to play a larger role in my life, I am growing more and more patient by the week. I am relying less on my own ability to control my Self, my children and my environment, and, in turn, I am relying more on those who love me and the Earth that holds me close. I am trusting only that which feels right intuitively, because motherhood taught me that my intuition is a treasure from Mother Nature herself - as is your intuition.

And so I suggest that you release what was once necessary, but is no longer. Release fears that have guided you on your path, but are no more than extra weight at the moment. Release the tension in each part of your body. Release the cares that are suffocating what could be something so simple as a warm, beautiful summer evening with a slight breeze rolling in through an open window, a full moon shining golden above you and those you love resting warmly in your heart.

Release the excuses, release the guilt, release the shame. In releasing, we receive. And what better time to receive, than the present?

My full moon eclipse consisted of a postpartum visit with a beautiful new mama, a play date in an adventurous backyard, a good conversation with a wonderful friend, some garbage truck wonder, dress up dance parties, sunset, rusted chairs, lots of toys and lots of crystals.





One year ago, I wrote about one of the most intense weeks of my life. When I was three months pregnant with Isla, I witnessed a birth, grieved a death and cared for Lorelei while she endured Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (which I then caught myself). We traveled to Orange County before the illness and were able to spend some much-needed quality time with Ryan's side of the family. It was my mother-in-law's father who had died, and we were blessed with the opportunity to say goodbye to him hours before he passed. 

This year, Ryan's family gathered at his mother's home to honor her father's life. Because Ryan was coincidentally given an extra two days off of work that same weekend, we decided to take advantage of the four-day weekend and have a mini vacation with our two girls. Isla would be meeting many family members for the first time, so the trip was meaningful on a variety of levels. 

I wish I could say it was an incredible trip and everything was super awesome and perfect, but it had THE worst beginning - worse than any bad vacation I've ever had before. We decided last minute to leave a day earlier than originally planned, but, due to bad timing, we ended up leaving right before rush hour. This caused our travel time to double, and we didn't arrive at our destination until 8:30 p.m., which brings us to a total of five hours in the car with a potty-training toddler and a baby. Word to the wise - never drive through Los Angeles on a Thursday, and bring lollipops if cry-worthy traffic is unavoidable. I also wouldn't recommend leaving during a full moon, let alone a Blue Moon, because you're basically asking for shit to get weird.

The Blue Moon taunting us toward the end of our incredibly long drive.

The Blue Moon taunting us toward the end of our incredibly long drive.

After a bad first day of travel, things improved immensely. Lorelei became besties with a Chihuahua named Dolce and, later on in the day, a cat named Simba; we got to sleep in a fluffy king-sized bed; and I woke up to enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast that was made by someone other than myself.

The girls and I spent the rest of the day with Auntie Taylor (Ryan's sister), and we checked out sea lions and tide pools (or "party water" as Lorelei decided to call them; photos of this excursion are at the end of this post) while our husbands surfed for hours upon hours. After reconvening, we drove to my mother-in-law's together for the gathering, and we enjoyed the company of family we wish we could see much more often than we are currently able. 

The day as a whole was slow, deliberate and fulfilling - despite the fact that it took almost three hours to get Lorelei to fall asleep come bedtime. She was so amped on life after spending the entire night re-telling stories of mine as though the events had happened to her. It was highly entertaining, and I couldn't help but let her stay up way too late just to hear her sweet voice compose all kinds of fiction for her loving, kind audience.

After the majority of the extended family went home, my mother- and sister-in-law joined me to view the Blue Moon that was hanging over us that night (so-called because it was the second full moon in one month). It was beautiful, powerful, huge and probably the main reason things had been so "off" for us the day before. I embraced it, came up with a few thoughts about things I'd like to release to the powers that be and went back inside to finish my wine and pass the fuck out. 

My crap photo of the Blue Moon that I insist on publishing to prove to myself that I'm not scared of future full moons. 

My crap photo of the Blue Moon that I insist on publishing to prove to myself that I'm not scared of future full moons. 

We spent our final day in Orange County slowly, yet again, enjoying coffee and breakfast in the backyard with my in-laws, watching Lorelei play, relaxing while Isla napped next to a beautiful succulent arrangement, avoiding an overly friendly bee, holding an ice pack to Lorelei's head after she ran into a closed sliding glass door and trying to decide if we should leave early, or if we should go to the beach and leave at bedtime so the girls could sleep on the way home.

Obviously, because we're not dumb, we chose the latter, and it was awesome/the only thing that really went completely right all weekend. 

Enjoying the warmth of a wind-free beach day is so, so good for my soul. I was able to sit and relax with a margarita while two extra pairs of hands helped Ryan and I take care of our babies. Lorelei bonded with her aunt and uncle, she figured out how to have fun without any beach toys, she got her hair wet in the ocean and went deeper into it than ever before. Isla napped peacefully in her own beach chair to the sounds of waves crashing and people living happily outdoors. We stayed as long as we could before having to return to the responsibilities of real life, and one last long drive home.

We returned to the beach bungalow from whence we came, and I took a bath with the girls before we dressed them in jammies and fed them as much as possible in preparation for our final adventure. Had it not been for an unexpected detour, they would have slept the entire way home. Instead, both girls woke up, resulting in a mini cry-it-out session for Isla and all of us listening to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on repeat for Lorelei until she fell asleep again.

Thankfully, we made it home safely at a decent hour; both girls transferred to their beds easily without waking; and Ryan and I were able to binge-watch some Seinfeld before finally going to sleep in our own bed once again. 

Normal life resumed the next day, and I felt much like I did when Isla was four months old and thoughts of a third baby entered my mind before quickly receding in fear - I knew I would travel with my children again one day, but it definitely won't be anytime soon. That being said, we love our Orange County (and beyond) family so much. You're all welcome at our home anytime! 

Side note: the number two won't be a chosen number on any future Lottery tickets.