Mothering

I just read the following to Claire and she loves the last two paragraphs. Me too. I want to write more of this, the lovely everyday. 


I gave birth to Claire in a fluorescent lit room. I kept my eyes closed. My mind worked differently, to protect me from panic at the massive work of my body. For most of the labor and delivery I was calm, or even blissed out. Justin was in and out of the room and the one moment of near fear I remember happened at the first urge to push when I realized my body was going to birth a baby and I had best be okay with the process. I had a moment of fear at motherhood, not the first of the pregnancy and not the last of motherhood. At one point near the end I glanced to my left and saw four or five interns and doctors lined against the wall watching because it was rare for a woman to choose no epidural. I met Claire and Justin followed her to the little station where she was measured and weighed. She was so pink. I shivered and nurses placed a heavy blanket over me. My body lost so much blood I later passed out but no one seemed worried, so I didn’t worry either. I asked to see the placenta. After reading so much about pregnancy and birth, I respected this whole new organ my body grew to support my daughter. The doctor held the slick, deep red placenta up like he was a waiter carrying a tray. Wow, I said. It’s a good size, he said, and dropped it into the medical waste bin with a thwack.

I gave birth to Grant in a dimly lit room. Justin attended me the whole time. My mind again carried me away from fear. This time I knew I was having a boy and we had chosen his name so I said to Grant to move so he was ready to be born. I said to Grant we were together in this. This labor was different. The sensations were less intense. My water broke with a loud pop and splash while I was pushing and my doctor, a Lebanese woman, laughed. Yulla! Yulla! she said. I met Grant whom I already loved. I rested. We ordered breakfast delivered to the birthing suite. In our room alone I marveled how tiny this new person was. I laid on my belly for the first time in months. I nursed my baby. I watched him sleep.

When I met Claire, she was place on my right breast so she looked up at me. When I met Grant he was placed on my left breast so he looked up at me. I love to hold my children in a hug and look down to see them look up at me.

My son has his father’s hands. My daughter has my hands. I watch how these hands work. Grant draws intricate plans for a ship. He rolls bits of paper into smokestacks to glue on the deck of a cardboard ship. He digs in the dirt for rocks he calls gems. When he rides his bike, he sometimes lets one arm loose at his side and once I saw him lift both hands from the handlebar just to see if he could. Claire makes a flat screen alive with whatever world she’s constructed. She taps and scrolls to edit a stopmotion video. She picks up a pencil, a marker, a paintbrush to make the picture in her mind show up on paper. She makes clothes for her doll. Both of my children hold my hand and that is a daily pleasure.

(595 words)

One response

  1. Why do we not k ow anything about piece meal delivery. In 1970 I gave birth to a son. It was a breech difficult, butt first delivery. I heard the doctors say that contractions had stopped and it looked like a piece meal delivery. I had read about that. It meant bringing the baby out in pieces. I prayed and was able to push my baby out. Brain-damaged but alive. He is 47 years old today. He does not walk, he does not talk but he has been able to communicate with us and family members enjoy his courage of survival. Thanks be toGod.

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