Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Being Born

No one told me about the pain,
or maybe they did but without experience I couldn't listen.

It comes in waves that I cannot escape,
building to a point so intense I think I might,
no...I think I want to die.

For me, it never settles into a rhythm I can anticipate.
Sharp, excruciating, breathtaking pain.
The intermittent relief marred by the certainty of return.

I should walk or soak or rock or squat,
but screaming steals my energy.

The midwife urges me to breath, encourages me onward,
until finally I sense the end.

But I'm not done yet.
I must push, through the fear and the pain, I must push.
But this life inside me is already large with plans and dreams and destiny.
She can't come gently.
She rends her way out with a force that nearly ends me.

After her initial screams of protest at the shock,
when they lay her in my arms,
we gaze at one another
and wonder "now what?"

1 comment:

  1. Why didn't someone tell you about the pain?
    I'm pondering that question......and wondering if someone had told you, would you have had the courage to take the first step? Perhaps that infant's first cry is a scream of protest against leaving the womb. Perhaps the infant's scream is your question, "Why didn't someone tell me...."

    When I gave birth to each of my 3 children, there was a moment when the intensity of the pushing was so great that I entered into a space that seemed to me to suspend me out over an abyss, and suspended there, I did not know if I would live or die. I've looked back on that moment through the years and called it back to me when I've needed it, for what that scary, sacred moment taught me was that I could keep pushing....I could gather the strength to keep on going...More important, it taught me that there was a lifeforce that was carrying me, and it showed me that sometimes the only way to bring forth new life was to risk dying. I am sobered by the reality that sometimes people do die, being born, and sometimes people die, giving birth. And sometimes what is born is not what you'd expected or even wanted. That is why we must be very tender with each other, I think. Life's one huge, great big risk, and it is profoundly fragile. So we must also be strong....We must be strong so that we can be tender. That's different from being tough, isn't it? Since things are as they are,
    we must love each other through to the other side -- to the moments of grace and joy and ecstasy and the moment of birth. Keep pushing......Jeanie