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    WPPW (Week 2): Birth

    Throughout April, I'm taking part in Lauren Wayne's Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop. This week's theme is "Emerge", and within this theme, the first prompt: "Labor: Each minute in labor is suspended animation. Describe your labor in a poem." Last week's poem's theme was "Prepare".

    Please do join me in writing! (Obviously) you don't need to be a poet to participate; you need only have a bit of courage to put words to paper (and then hit publish.) :)

    Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop



    The stream hit my back and time stopped. Suddenly the pain - deep, endless, unforgiving - abated. No longer knocked sideways off my feet with each backstabbing impact, I rocked on the stool, riding the waves. Alone with the water, despite a periodic invading scope, I was alone --- with your heartbeat. My hope.

    I was unafraid.

    Hours? Blissful.

    Then, too soon, I was torn out of my own watery womb and back into the bright lights. Pain like an abyss. And the accursed beeping.

    And hands and eyes and words: asking, prodding, suggestions thrown; but I'm mute.

    Fear crept in nauseating swells up my neck and belly. Fast friends with hurt.

    Hours pass. Fretful.

    Fear: a stealthy, strong enemy. And doubt.

    "You can't do this," doubt whispers with malice, climbing wretchedly up my arm to rest - cold - on my shoulder.

    I agree, I succumb, and I go under screaming.

    And still the beeping - terrifying, reassuring; my connection to you, my baby. Arresting sleep, yet keeping me from panic. I drift.

    The tears, my pain, and I lie legless, helpless.


    Oh blessed curse, painkiller. Physical agony gone briefly, I'm weakened by sickening gratitude.

    Pain usurped by guilt.

    This wasn't in the plan.

    And yet still you came to me, from me, through me. Oh perfect baby, wrenched from my pelvis where you'd wedged yourself.

    Birthed through a clean slice, vibrantly belting out your disapproval, voice urgent: I AM HERE!

    Your immense strength nourished my own.

    My daughter, my heart; you made me a mother.



    teresa peters United States said:

    teresa petersthis is just beyond beautiful.
    I love so many of your phrases... as words, poetry, rhythms...
    and your story is so visceral here.
    it was wonderful to share it.

    # April 12 2013, 18:32

    kelly United States said:

    kellyThank you for reading & for your kind words, teresa. <3

    # April 12 2013, 20:02

    Karen at MomAgain@40 South Africa said:

    Karen at MomAgain@40Beautiful! Yes, that's how it is!

    # April 13 2013, 13:26

    Lauren @ Hobo Mama United States said:

    Lauren @ Hobo MamaPowerful!

    "Fear crept in nauseating swells up my neck and belly. Fast friends with hurt." Yes. Memories of my first labor here — with the fear comes the pain.

    "'You can't do this,' doubt whispers with malice, climbing wretchedly up my arm to rest - cold - on my shoulder." Great imagery.

    I love the details of hearing the connection of the beeping, and the leglessness of the painkillers.

    "Birthed through a clean slice" — this is such a meaningful image. I like the multiple meanings of clean: the precision of a(n unwanted) surgery, but then also the positive aspect of that word, a reclaiming. As the poem is as a whole a reclaiming of her birth and your experience.

    Thank you for sharing!

    # April 15 2013, 02:58

    kelly @kellynaturally United States said:

    kelly @kellynaturally@Lauren - thank you for your analysis, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I felt empowered when writing this, though it was difficult - in a way - to relive in the present moment.

    @Karen - thank you for your kindness, I'm grateful to have more eyes to read. I've never done this before - it's exciting & a bit intimidating.

    # April 15 2013, 11:34

    Julia United States said:

    JuliaThis poem is very vivid. I feel like I am watching behind a glass, unable to hear and only see. I love how it ends, the "clean slice" and the strength. :)

    # April 15 2013, 13:31

    kelly @kellynaturally United States said:

    kelly @kellynaturally@Julia - thank you!!

    # April 15 2013, 15:12

    Joella @ Fine and Fair United States said:

    Joella @ Fine and FairThis is powerful and beautiful. It moved me to tears. <3 Sharing with my HBC (Home Birth Cesarean) group!

    # April 19 2013, 09:55

    kelly @kellynaturally United States said:

    kelly @kellynaturally@Joella - wow, thank you so much. <3

    # April 19 2013, 18:04

    KellyNaturally.com said:

    trackbackWPPW (Week 3): Hope

    WPPW (Week 3): Hope

    # April 19 2013, 18:57

    KellyNaturally.com said:

    trackbackWPPW (Week 5): Enjoy

    WPPW (Week 5): Enjoy

    # February 06 2014, 22:31

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