Friday, February 29, 2008

WI: Empowered


Looking back at the birth of my last baby, an empowering event, to be sure, but accomplished without benefit of doctor, nurse, or anyone else but me--and my son. Not even an aspirin. I don't recommend this. Nope. Give me DRUGS! Anyway....

"The door slides shut behind them. I lie very rigid, filled with incomprehensible pain. Relax, I think. Relax. Damn them. Damn them all. So, it is you and me, babe. Here we are, alone together. Full speed ahead. It's my duty to tell you. They say you may be impaired. Impaired, with strange eyes and a strange smile. The pain is real. This is earth. I don't pretend to understand it all, I tell him, but earth is a place of mistakes. If you are less then perfect, I'm sorry. Know that I very much wanted you to be perfect and beautiful. I love you anyway.

I'm listening, hums the heartbeat from the monitor. I love you--eyes, hands, whorl of hair at the crown, wrinkles at the ankles and elbows, big toes, little toes. I love you. I'm sorry if I have to die. I'm sorry if I have let you down! I'm listening, he says.

Where is the doctor, with his shining tools and his sterile green gown? Where are the nurses, with their needles and analgesics and anasthetics? I might as well be squatting in a tent in the middle of the Gobi desert. Something is wrong. I never expected this much pain. This primitive pushing body is mine. This whole primitive process is splitting me in two, I am tearing from the inside out--

--the baby emerges at once, wet and white and crying spontaneously, covered with long streaks of blood. The afterbirth is dumped unceremoniously beside him. I am bleeding all over their sheets. I sit up and take the baby in my arms. I check his fingers and toes, genitals and ears and all. He seems perfect. What a miracle! We rock, and I whisper hoarsely, "Little lamb, who made thee?"

The nurse arrives, takes one startled look at us and gasps. A second nurse arrives, followed by the doctor, who is followed by Mark. We need only a drummer, a couple of trumpets and a baton twirler for fanfare. "Well, aren't you the sneaky one," the doctor says cleverly. The nurse would take the baby from me, but I hold onto him and we continue to rock and sing. I am furious that no one was here with me. But I have found a strength that surprises me. I did it all by myself. I can do anything! Like Jonah, I have been swallowed by Leviathan, and came out alive after all. I can do anything!

...Today I am like an apple--deep inside me, like a star of five dark seeds, there is a cool, sweet peace."


(We named him Marc Ariel. He was the fifth of our five sons.)
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25 comments:

UL said...

This is such a beautiful experience you have shared with us Pepek, birthing is difficult but to do it all by yourself...hats off to you, my dear!

rebecca said...

OMG Pepek...I have to say that this is the most extraordinary birthing story I've ever read. How incredible is the strength of the human spirit when faced with nothing but yourself to get you through....

it was simply beautiful in all its forms....beautiful in memory, beautiful in language, beautiful, gorgeous perfect baby and beautiful, beautiful you my dear sweet strong mother....

thank you so much for sharing this special part of you....thank you for touching us with your magic...

love,
rebecca

pepektheassassin said...

...I don't recommend it, and it was not my idea. But it was a long time ago, and we both lived to tell the tale. :)

AnnieElf said...

Ah, Peek, such an amazing story. Clearly you were not alone. God and His angels were near.

Thank you for visiting me this morning. You asked about George. I'm sorry to say but George passed away. It has been hard but life goes on and his young widow is healing.

Bless you,
Annie

AnnieElf said...

Thank you Peek. If I ever change the music, I know there will be full scale revolt in blog world. Love this group. By the way, I do not have an email for you. Will you please share? I'm at annieelf@gmail.com

anthonynorth said...

A powerful piece. My wife and I have seven children, mostly grown up now, but birthing holds a multitude of memories.

Just Jen said...

What an awesome experience! thank you for sharing such an inspirational story, it truly is empowering! Congrats on miracle number 5!

Greyscale Territory said...

Enjoyed the uter sense of wonder in your posting! But really loved how you gave us the dimension of the experience by being the voice of several narrators!

Just lovely!

Smiles and Light

Cricket's Hearth said...

WOW - you are one empowered woman!

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Wonderful story and beautiful baby picture!

gautami tripathy said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I was touched by it.

Pris said...

Wow! All by yourself? That blows me away. And he's beautiful.

paris parfait said...

Wow! That is amazing - all by yourself! Proof that we really can do more than we think, when challenged. Great story!

Jo said...

You are such an exceptional writer.....this is a beautiful piece, and he is a beautiful baby. The ending, amazing.

tumblewords said...

Indeed, an empowering, inspirational and heartwarming post! Lovely! Lovely!

wendy said...

I haven't been reading much lately...I am sorry for that.

This pc brings me right back to you..as if I have never been away.

The sign of a good mother, a good friend, and a great writer.

January said...

I think if you can give birth without drugs, you CAN do anything.

What a wonderful story. It reminded me of poet Toi Derricotte's first book called "Natural Birth," which is about the birth of her son when she was 17.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Beloved Dreamer said...

Pepek, God bless you both and well done my friend.

love-bd

Preethi said...

That was such a beautiful post!!! Extraordinary birth story!!

Empowered

Jeques said...

We could always choose to do things the ordinary way, but you opted to do it the extraordinary way! My God! It takes a strong person to do that, and you did.

Your prowess as a mother giving birth deserves to become an immortal tale that would be told by many generations in your family.

You are legendary.

I wish you well.

~ Jeques

pepektheassassin said...

jeques, are you kidding me? I would NEVER do this again! Give me a break... I was a coward then, I'm still a coward.

Thanks, all, for coming and reading.

Rob Kistner said...

Wow! What a terrifying and uplifting story... wow... ;)

Leigh Lear said...

wow, amazing, i'm in awe.

chiefbiscuit said...

That is a wonderful story. An amazing gift - the baby, the story and your writing ... but especially the gift of life. Thank you :)

Christine said...

That is one of the most amazing stories I've read in a long time. Written as a poem, a prose poem. I'm sitting hear with my jaw hanging open, thinking about you giving birth by yourself. By.your.self.

Gorgeous, downy infant too!