Friday, July 28, 2006

Summer Heat

I've just realized that I haven't written about any of the births this month. It must be summer...

Six strong women. So many stories...

Andie's birth - Her mum was described as "enchanting in labour" by the gentle doctor. Memories of flowers, swishing water in the tub, jokes at 9cm... Such a joyful day with all the family waiting...laughter...

Weston's birth - Standing, moving, power...then those shoulders, such a challenge. Mum's grace and strength in the middle of a medical whirlwind... Finally, safety and peace.

Nicholas' birth - The granite countertop, swaying hips, fans whirring, infinite patience, acceptance... Now he sleeps and feeds and sleeps and feeds... What a journey this past year has been...

Ryan's birth - Flying car down 33rd, honking, passing... 6cm progress in 2 hours... "You know it's safe when mum and doc are comparing their toe-nail colours..."

Julia's birth - To induce: take one hot day, a boat ride, a sudden frightening squall, a car being towed... The result: A labour like a fast, stormy sea...and a baby that slides out, shimmering...

Oliver's birth last night - Sitting, standing, water, sound, stillness, movement, quiet, power...whispers of encouragement. Then, like a tribe, the women gather round, chanting "pant...little pushes...pant...pant..." "You could have had that baby in Malawi," says dad. We clean the room, turn down the lights, and slip away...

Six strong women. Two strong girls, four strong boys. What a journey awaits.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

After Zoe's Birth

during the birth
my hands are the hands of all women
smoothing the lines between past
and future

the women are with us

after the birth
we hear the midwife
snap clean sheets
see her climb up
onto the high bed
to smooth the corners

you climb up
babe in arms
and we slip silently through the door
between life and death
to join all the mothers under the moon