What is it About Birth?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Writings

What is it About Birth?

What is it about birth?

It is as though time suspends itself and something unique unfolds from within the labouring woman.

She has purred, sighed, breathed, whimpered, cried her way through her contractions, these life giving pains which make her rock her hips, make her moan and groan, make her eyes roll back in her head, make her sweat, make her hate, make her angry, make her one, make her have to give in, give up, surrender.

And as she surrenders something primal is unlocked and this, this essence, this power takes over, her body is no longer her own.

She sits on the loo, or she squats, or she kneels, or she lies on her side.She grunts and moans, red slime drips down her thighs, she feels overwhelmed.

She may stand up, she may look up, she may feel with her hand as the head of the baby slowly stretches her perineum. She seems more alert now. There. Present.

She may crouch down, or breathe, or gasp, or moan, or scream as her baby’s head emerges, not quite believing the sensation of this slimy little head stretching stretching stretching her wide open.

The head emerges and hangs, almost lifeless.

The world holds its breath.

Then a splutter, or a crackle, or a bubble of spittle and a grimace. Then slowly, slowly, the baby’s head turns – as though ready to face the world and with a newfound power, the little body ejects itself, swimming forth in a gush of blood and water and shit.

Again, it is as though time has suspended itself as the baby, still aquatic in its features and colour, begins to move, sometimes throwing its arms back and stretching its back like a ballet dancer, and sometimes uncurling slowly slowly slowly as though waking from a deep sleep.

A gurgle, a crackle, a soft cry. Slippery body, oily white vernix, blinking eyes, stretching fingers and toes. Cord pulsating. Body breathing.

Mother touching. Stroking. Smelling. Kissing. Whispering. Crying. Laughing. Grateful. Astonished. Astounded. Holding. Loving. Ecstatic. Triumphant.

Perfect. Beautiful. Primal. Sublime.

What is it about birth?