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Maiden to Mother

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Pregnancy was an emotional time at the beginning, so many questions and unknowns. After a rough first trimester, I got into a beautiful groove with it. I felt healthy and strong and supported, painting murals and vending at festivals the whole way through. I learned so much about myself, my body, and being a woman. I had a natural, unmedicated birth, which was by far the most intense experience of my life. It was an honor to be the portal for new life. Now I'm navigating new motherhood, getting to know my son, and keeping up with my work as much as I can.

 

In the summer of 2021 I painted this mural at a local birth center and was inspired to dive into the world of birth. Little did I know that 2 years later I would experience natural birth and be raising my infant son. While I knew I wanted to be a mother, I never felt ready because of the pressures of our modern society… money, career goals, expectations for marriage. Many of my female artist friends had chosen their creative pursuits over starting families, and it's a choice I fully respect. I’m humbled by the path of motherhood every day. I'm humbled by the love I feel for my beautiful baby. I’m also reminded of the power we wield as women to create and nurture, and the role of the masculine in supporting us. To all the mamas, keep growing. You’re stronger than you know. 🌳 🌸 🌱 ✨


Mural at Bliss Birth and Wellness Center, West Palm Beach, FL


When I first learned I was pregnant, I felt a lot of anxiety and fear. I began a daily meditation, yoga, and journaling practice, ending each session with a prayer of gratitude, whispering “I trust, I surrender”. I couldn’t make sense of all the changes in my body, mind, and spirit on my own. I had to give it all to God, or the universe, or the quantum field, whatever you like to call the greater power that brings our souls here. It was such a beautiful, powerful lesson. It has opened me up so much to accepting life’s blessings, and remembering that the universe is always working in my favor.


In pagan spiritual tradition, there is the concept of the Triple Goddess: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of Christianity, the Triple Goddess unites three distinct aspects or figures as one whole. Each part of the Triple Goddess symbolizes a separate stage in the female life cycle, a phase of the Moon, and the realms of the heavens, earth, and underworld. I took a dive into ancient women’s magic, the symbols and mythologies of matriarchal societies and the divine feminine. I was moving from Maiden to Mother, leaving behind the innocence and purity of feminine youth to dive deep into the sacred darkness, to bring forth new life.


Young woman wearing crystal crown holds a magical mirror as a portal

During my first trimester, I took part in a ritualistic prayer-formance and art show with the Art Nunz. The themes included life and death, our relationship to ancestors, and our own mortality. You can read more on that here.


We honored the stories, prayers, hopes, dreams, struggles, and triumphs of our ancestors, every detail instrumental in creating us. I prayed for the generations to come, and accepted that my prayers will be answered in unexpected ways. The twists and turns of my life and my son's life will be just as winding as those of my parents, grandparents, and their grandparents.


I could write a book on how many different ways I have or have not felt like whatever anyone’s definition of “woman” is… because that’s what being a woman is. The great mystery, the womb, the creative energy of becoming. The divine feminine. I am so grateful to be a woman. I am grateful for this body, for the experience of creating new life. For the little baby who grew in my womb. For the energy of potential and creativity in all women, whether that manifests as a baby or otherwise, in any form of creation. I am grateful for the men, our mirrors, who reflect the lessons we’re meant to learn in this life. For the masculine energy inside our feminine bodies and the balance it offers us. Thank you to all the women I’ve learned from. My mother, grandmothers, my sisters, aunties, friends, mentors, teachers. Sending you so much love 💕



I waited until my 2nd trimester to announce my pregnancy to family and friends. The love and excitement from everyone was so beautiful. The next few months were full of activity despite any suggestions from my community to slow down, take it easy, and rest. I felt full of vital energy, ready to work and create. Ocean and I attended several festivals and events, painted murals, and took on new projects. I was so happy to be out celebrating and creating with my friends, showing off my big beautiful pregnant belly. It wasn't until after my baby shower that I really felt it was time to slow down. Of course, my version of “slowing down“ and preparing for baby involved renovating our home with lots of help from friends and family.



Kai Romero Gomes was born May 22, 2023, after 20 hours of labor and love. I share these photos in celebration of our new family and our powerful shared experience. I also hope they shed a little light on the mystery that seems to surround birth. It is intense, raw, and miraculous. And yes, in my case, it was incredibly painful. I went to the edge of my strength and past it so many times. I learned so much about myself and all the women who came before me.


Photos by Sonya Prather


I believe our bodies are made to birth naturally. I also now understand why some mothers choose to be assisted with medical intervention. My greatest hope is that whatever a mother chooses, it is a decision that feels right in her heart, not the result of outside influence and pessimism. Fear has no place in a birthing woman’s experience. Let us instead cultivate a sense of empowerment, education, and appreciation for what our bodies can do.



"Creation" 🌀 A work in progress, started at Resonate Suwannee festival. I don’t know if I’ve ever posted such a raw, early version of any of my paintings. Postpartum life was and is raw. I birthed a beautiful baby boy into this world. I transitioned from maiden to mother. Sometimes I would feel for a moment that I missed my full belly, I missed having him so close we shared bodies. I missed knowing he was always safe and warm. I missed the times before, when my life was only mine, and felt guilty about it. My hormones were everywhere, fluctuating and balancing out. I feel everything so deeply when I look at my baby. Pure love, joy, confusion, excitement, worry, frustration, guilt, appreciation, awe.


I hear a lot about “getting your life back” after baby, but I know that’s not real and I don’t want it. I’m getting my life forward. I’ve been propelled into a new way of being. I am a mother. It is an everyday, commonplace miracle. It is full of balance and radical acceptance of what is, embracing the beautiful parts and the shadows that need a little light. Every moment is one to be relished, unlearning “what to do” and embracing “how to be”. Valuing presence over productivity. It is contrast. It is organized chaos. It is a sweet, sweet mess. It is a perpetual work in progress. I am grateful 🙏

 

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