“The downward push of blood and bone…
Mud and new grass
Beginning the long good-bye.”
For the three of us, my husband, my daughter, myself, labor was not an isolated experience so much as it was the expansion of a relationship: prior to her birth, Yarrow was the quiet, hidden one - the child within, growing, loving, and learning in secret ways. After, we could see her wide eyes taking in, we wanted to wrap her up in love in a new, richer way; a way that can grow and expand as she grows, a way that can continually see her.
Labor, I felt as a shared experience. I felt my husband’s presence so completely in labor that I have trouble seeing it as solely a feminine experience - it felt so completely ours. I forgot he was not feeling and doing everything I was. In pregnancy and in labor, my husband belonged so naturally. With him beside me I could loose myself completely in the experience, I could let the physicality of birth overwhelm my mind, and greet my daughter with strength and confidence, knowing my body would bring forth her small one with all the grace of a storming summer night.
I loved the immersion. I love the warm water all around me, loved the full caul covering my daughter’s face as she met the world. Loved the rainy night and the bright new day that followed. I remember most the sense of roundness: the roundness of my full womb in the water, the roundness of her head leaving me, the roundness of life cycling. I remember the joy of loving, and the triumph of the new day.