Tuesday, May 6, 2014

birth

and the new mom. All those changes. Let's just talk physical.

Her body stretches out, her center of gravity changes. Organs get squished. Hormones loosen joints so her bones feel like rubber.

Labor starts. "I got this," she thinks. "What's the big deal? Let's go for a walk in the woods. I think I'll make a casserole or sew a quilt." Hours of this. No prob, well, just maybe slight prob, but hey, we're almost there, right? Uh, no, not quite.

It gets more intense. Oh. Talking stops as her focus goes inward, goes toward riding the wave and making it to the other side. It's painful. Time stops. There is no past, no future, no end, no baby. No room, no people, no clothes. Just waves of pain.

You could move or not, won't matter, still hurts. Pain becomes your whole being. You breathe, you endure, you rest. Are you going to crack open? Split open? Please make the pain stop.

You grunt and rock. The baby's head begins to emerge.

In the end you scream.

The baby's face is there. Then the shoulders, then tiny feet and he is born.

Then the placenta, oh god, more pain. Why did no one tell you about this? Pant, breathe, rest.

In the days to come your body will continue to change. Your bones and organs go back where they once were. Your belly is still jelly, and no pants fit. Your legs and arms are weak, why? Then the milk comes in and your breasts are enormous and enormously painful. They're like rocks. Rocks that feel pain, how can that be?

Your spine wants to crack back into place. Hips too. Breasts still hurt. Those afterpains too, as the uterus shrinks. No one told you about that either.

But the baby. The baby is bliss. He's a miracle. You can almost forget the pain when you look at his face.

Note to readers: I'm a new grandmother. This post is about my memories as a new mother, memories recently rekindled.

Another note: birth is easier with Reiki, massage, and love of family & friends.

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