It is 4 am the day before this
article is due. I am in bed fuming and suddenly I burst into
tears. The tears are a needed reconciliation before I can
write this piece. I cry as I remember my son was a hospital
caesarian-section baby. The staff separated us immediately:
he alone in intensive care nursery, me alone in surgical
recovery. The tears open the grief about my own hospital
birth and the pain accompanying my early years. By the time
he was born I had seen deeply how I could add more love. How
would my life have looked or felt had I given myself all
that I'm giving my son Ariel? This is a sharing of that
When I heard about waterbirthing and dolphins I was excited
and explored what this could mean. I began a documentary on
my ideal birth scenario: to have my child delivered in water
with dolphins to greet his arrival. It made sense to be
relaxed in warm water, play with dolphins and let my son
come into the world with friends to greet his birth. I knew
this was still a rare event.
When I became pregnant I wondered where I could give birth
this way. While meditating I received this knowing: "A
dolphin waterbaby is a state of consciousness." In that
moment I knew he would be delivered by caesarian section. If
"I" wanted "a dolphin conscious child", then "I" had to be
"a dolphin conscious" mother. These last few years have
shown me what that means.
Dolphins show me delight and joy, harmony, being present in
the moment. My two day swim with the dolphins Joe and Rosie,
partners in John and Toni Lilly's Human/Dolphin Foundation,
changed my life. I felt complete love and acceptance for the
first time ever. I began going into my hurting self, to
where the love was conditional or blocked. My former life as
tv producer, talk show host, and married woman had been
largely defined by others, clocks, and external standards. I
released it to become free, natural and real. I wanted to be
truly alive, my own person.
Dolphins symbolize freedom, complete love and acceptance. As
I explore this for myself I can give it to my son. He has
chosen much of how we have lived since his birth. He is
allowed to explore his life openly. He freely chooses his
sleeping schedule, play time, diet, where and when we go
out. We are together, having fun, making the most of life's
experiences. We gave up our own home and have come to know
many people more closely than we might had we nested in our
own place. We have had vast experiences adapting to how our
hosts lived, sharing their living spaces and friends,
experiencing their passions, views of life, and adding them
to our growing family.
'Til recently, my capacity for intimacy was limited. I only
let people get so close. How could I have been otherwise?
From birth on, I slept alone, was fed by rubber nipples and
bottles, and was bundled in clothes. Skin-to-skin touch was
limited. It has taken years to shed my layers of
My son has slept by my side since his birth and, from his
fourth month, slept naked with me. We spend most of our time
together like this too. He still suckles as much as he wants
to. Mom and the milk of human kindness alway await him. We
have a deep intimacy and closeness. Suckling helps him
integrate whatever happens in the moment. He comes to me
when he wants to be close, is tired, upset, or on returns
from adventures. Early mornings, still sleeping, he reaches
for me, replenishes himself and goes off on another journey.
Closeness and intimacy are easy for him as he gets older.
It's all he's known. In giving all this to him, I give it to
I have learned love, acceptance, and being in the moment.
Many expectations about our lives were dropped and the
present accepted lovingly as though it were what I wanted.
His hospital birth is a prime example. He "is" the dolphin
child I wanted. What difference how he was born? He is here,
alive and well. He is my heart's delight. It's all I wanted
anyway. Dolphins have taught me to accept life and discern
what is truly important. I have opened to love from within
and from the many people we have met. I feel connected in
this world and so does my son. I know the love I give him
measures how much love the world will give him and, in
return, how much he will give the world. The essence of
raising a dolphin conscious child is an exploration into the
depths of life, of love; allowing the great joy of parenting
to be experienced.