Women Write



BIRTH STORY

(I'm drowning)

And the midwife holds me in her arms and says
Yes it's hard isn't it you're doing so well

(And I am surfacing)

And she says you're doing it exactly right

(I'm drowning)

And she says you're taking such good care of your baby

(And I am surfacing)

And she says yes this is how it is you'll live you're good and strong

(I'm drowning)

And she says good good that's good

(And I am surfacing)

And part of me says f--- you I am dying here

(I'm drowning)

And part of me says oh my god I AM doing this aren't I

(And I am surfacing)

And part of me says LEAVE ME ALONE SAVE ME HELP ME

(I'm drowning)

And part of me says this is the most incredible thing I've ever done
I can't believe I'm actually doing this yes yes YES

(And I am surfacing)

And the baby comes in a long sea salt waterfall flood
ocean of sweat and tears and birth waters and blood
And I take her slippery warm wide eyed amazed and knowing little self against my Earth Mother created-and-moved-the-universe warm and billowy belly and tell her she's wonderful and safe
And I follow her with a red and glorious afterbirth
And I think I DID IT! I AM TOTALLY INCREDIBLE! WE WANT SOME PRIZES AND NEWS COVERAGE IN HERE! DID YOU SEE THAT? WAS THAT GREAT OR WHAT?!

And the doctor writes:
32-year-old grand II para I presents in active labor. Normal spontaneous
vaginal delivery of a viable female LOA over intact perineum. Apgars of 9 & 10. Uneventful delivery.

--Poem by Barbara Kozlowski--From the book Labor Day: Shared Experiences from the Delivery Room, by Ann-Marie Giglio (Editor), Workman Publishing Company, 1999


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©Karen N. Kilson