Thanks for joining me!
Nature itself is the best physician. — Hippocrates
With every season, comes a cycle of living and dying. This is especially true in the plant and natural world. Life regenerates itself in the spring, blooms in the summer, harvests in the fall and withers away in the winter. This all became ever apparent as I sat staring at the mound of dirt at the cemetery of my daughter Jannah’s grave. The fields of grass and the sounds of grasshoppers chirping reminded of the cycle of life. I felt strangely connected to the trees surrounding me and I could see them as truly living beings, as if almost for the first time. As I ventured out back into the real world, I noticed plants everywhere and felt this immense sense of connectedness. They were a bright reminder of life in the dark depths of gloom and despair that became my new reality for the months following. This was the beginning of my new kinship with plants and the natural world.
The trauma of the gruesome birth of my daughter is something that will haunt me for life. My own brush with death caused a shift in my inner landscape, bringing about a new view and appreciation for the living world. I compare this shift as something similar to a shamanic dismemberment journey, where the shamanic “adventurer” is torn apart limb by limb. The symbolic death leads to a a rebirth where the subject is reassembled, restored, and brought back to life, empowered and whole. In my case, I feel like this dismemberment was real. My uterus ruptured and cervix clamped on Jannah’s neck so the doctor pulled her out with her head detached! I recall being able to feel the doctor’s hands lifting up my bladder and squeezing clots of out my uterus while fishing for my daughters head, which was in my abdominal cavity. So dismembered, indeed I was. I chose to deliver my daughter naturally in hopes that I could hold her and see her “whole”. I didn’t want her torn out limb by limb during a D&E. I never got my wish, as she was decapitated regardless.
The next few months were difficult physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The doctor who performed my surgery told me I should never get pregnant again. These words tormented me day and night, as I wanted nothing more than to be able to have a rainbow baby. I was now grieving for my womanhood, as well as the loss of my child. I went to see my regular OB doctor and she said I could try again but I had to wait 18 months and it will be a risk to my life as well as the baby’s. This at least gave me the slightest glimpse of hope; the glimmer of hope that held me together and in a sense reassembled me.
After some research I started to regain optimism and began my healing journey. I started doing anything and everything I could to heal my uterus and regain health. I was not willing to give up on my dream of having a complete family and decided that I will take the risk. The next 18 months became a time of immense research into the world of healing. My newfound connectedness to the plant world brought me to herbs and this is when my interest in herbal medicine skyrocketed. This healing journey has been what has restored and empowered me to become whole again after being torn apart. I was restructured in order to walk on another path and in a sense become a new person. I will never go back to the person I was, and just maybe that’s ok. It’s not about the dismemberment, it’s about the person you become afterwards. As an aspiring herbalist and healer, I hope you will come along with me on my exploration into the world of healing with plants, earth and stone.