Saturday, November 25, 2023

 Dears-waiting on a baby at the birth center. My dear Diane is in town and she is home with the dog and the cats. We're going to the coast tomorrow for a few days and I suspect with the way things are going right now, I will be stumbling home in the daylight. Only a few more weeks of this on-call business. 

We are living in unspeakable times. I sit down to write more of my thesis and just stare at the computer screen. The Sunday NYT last week was covered with a weird Calvin Kline ad and when I folded the page down, the front page of the paper had a young boy touching the face of his dead sister while she was wrapped in her shroud. 

I needed Diane to hold me while I cried for a long time. Unbearable, it is all unbearable. 

Dinner with friends yesterday. We went around the table and said three things we were grateful for. Friends, family, food and shelter, safety. 

I can feel the top of this baby's head with my fingers. Her little round head. I'm not sure this momma can complete her labor without pain relief. We will wait for her to ask to be transferred. She may tough it out. We never know when we sit with a mother in labor what she will do, what lengths she will go to, what pain she can tolerate. I'm surprised all the time. When I think a mother can't go on, she surprises me  and muscles that baby out. 

I did. A long time ago. I was 22 and stubborn. Tough. On a mission. But labor is a proving ground. A crucible if you will. We bring all our fears and doubts and questions to birth. And we birth the way we have to. There is no right way. We are bent to the will of the force moving through us. 

"My legs were towers between which

a new world was passing..."

----Audre Lorde


37paddington said...

The images filling my social media feeds are unbearable and I, too, find myself weeping. And yet even as I leave this comment I hear my 6 month old grand niece in the next room babbling happily and I don’t know how hold both truths sometimes, yet I must do it. It is always good to visit you here, where light and goodness live.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh, dear Beth. I am wondering if that mama was able to push that baby out on her own. I always worried so about those long protracted labors where the uterus would get so exhausted. The possibility of postpartum hemorrhage loomed large in my mind. I remember a birth I assisted where the mama was the bravest, strongest woman. She was small, her belly large. She labored and she labored and she labored, walking all the time, silent, determined. The midwife even took her to a chiropractor for an adjustment and possible acupuncture? I can't remember about that. It did no good. Finally, I took the woman aside and said, "Do you want to go to the hospital?" It was not my place to ask her that but as the churchy people down here say, "The Lord put it on my heart to ask her."
She did. She wanted to go. But she'd been afraid to say it.

Well, I can't believe I even remember that story.

Have a restorative and joyful time on the coast with your Diane.
I love you.

beth coyote said...

I love you Mary.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, it is unbearable and impossible. I hope that baby and mother are doing well now. I can imagine that they are with you as the shepherd ushering or helping to usher in new life.