I noticed a common theme in the weeks leading up to the birth of my daughter – I am a control freak.

It all started with her conception, actually. I wanted to control the story so badly. We tried casually to conceive for a few months. Then, took a break because of a few life events – a friends wedding we wanted to indulge at – I went to Burnin hig Man – ‘nuff said.

ͼῠϟ wϵ gϴt thαt fῖrϵ, αͷδ wϵ gϴͷͷα lϵt ῖt bῠrͷ🔥🤖 . . . #tbt to last year’s @burningman I went on a whim with my partner in adventure @atwjustin and man, am I glad we pulled this trip together. It was a transformative week and the timing was so perfect because the next month, I got pregnant. This was truly my time to explore my identity. I assumed a new one, #RubyMoonstone it was freeing to create this alter ego where people didn’t know who I was and no one asked me what I did for a living. It was my time to be selfish and discover who I am when the confines of everyday life are stripped away. It was a week to experiment, play, try new things, meet new people and be on my own. The extreme weather conditions, amplified emotions and lack of real world structure can take a toll on you physically and emotionally. I treated myself like I was my own baby. Carefully cleaning and grooming my body each night so my skin didn’t dry out or get infected from the alkaline dust. Constantly checking in when I felt off. Bringing myself to a HALT: was I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? (I apply the same questions to my daughter when she’s fussy – angry usually means a wet diaper.) For a whole week I rode my bike through an impressive temporary city that felt like Water World meets Mad Max. I did yoga, screen printed clothing, saw a friend perform a Shakespeare play, meditated, listened to an orchestra at the temple and partied with my tribe for the week. It was an incredible experience in which I learned things about myself that have shaped who I want to be as a mother. I trust myself and my intuition so fully, I affirmed that I am capable being alone (and I enjoy being alone sometimes) I use my voice and set clear boundaries for myself. It was a huge step out of my comfort zone, but in the end, it was a time of #radicalselfexpression and I found a new sense of #selflove Blackrock City is truly a utopian society. You’re free to be whomever you want. It’s a gifting economy where people are open-minded and living in the moment. This won’t be my last time on the playa, but I’m glad I got one year under my belt until my daughter is much older. Have a great burn, everybody!

500 Likes, 23 Comments – Amy Paffrath Seeley (@amypaffrath) on Instagram: “ͼῠϟ wϵ gϴt thαt fῖrϵ, αͷδ wϵ gϴͷͷα lϵt ῖt bῠrͷ🔥🤖 . . . #tbt to last year’s @burningman I went on a…”

Radical Self Expression at Burning Man 2018

In September 2018, we went to Egypt. I realized I’d be ovulating on that trip and I became a little obsessed with that story. ‘You were conceived in Egypt!’ We’d tell this lucky child one day. We’d name the baby Alexandria after the city where she was created – or Cairo if we had a boy.

That didn’t happen. Our baby was conceived at our home in Silverlake. 

Altruism, engage!

As it came time to birth our child, my mind was once again trying to control the story. I was very anxious leading up to that day, mainly because I didn’t know when it would happen – hard for someone who likes being in control.

Yet, here I was, desperately wanting to craft the story of my first child’s birth.

I wanted it to be something really cool.

-Under the Full Buck Lunar Eclipse Moon, our baby was born and his first cries were like a howl in the bright moonlight.

-After eating the ‘The Salad’ At Caioti, contractions started and we went to the hospital where an angel was born just hours later!

-My water broke swimming in the pool at the Annenberg Beach House on a hot summer day in July and the baby had a natural water birth after all!

The salad that’s supposed to induce labor – it didn’t.

None of that happened.

First lesson in parenthood – you’re not in control anymore.

My due date came and went, and as the days went by, they felt longer and longer. When would this baby be born?

I tried every natural form of induction, hoping to avoid medical intervention. I got acupuncture, I ate spicy food, we had sex, I did inversions.

How It Works!

How Do-Goodery Works

Inversions to try and reposition the baby

I got frustrated as the two week mark approached. Nowadays doctors won’t let you go later than that and you have to be induced.

Everyday that passed, my brain made a new story out of it. It was almost like a coping mechanism, because to be honest, I was getting kinda bummed.

I had my ‘plan’ – no drugs and no intervention unless there was a medical emergency. I had read that Pitocin, a common drug given to speed up or start labor, can make contractions unbearable. It scared me to think if they started Pitocin, I wouldn’t be able to get through the contractions without drugs and my wish of a relaxed Hypnobirth would be shattered.

To make matters worse, the two week mark was on my birthday. Not only would I have to share my birthday – something I love celebrating each year – but I may have to have a drugged out labor on my birthday. NOT my plan.

To be continued…