Welcome to my Book of Mirrors



This is my spiritual journey. I am looking for the truth of who I am and who God is, unfettered by the traditions prescribed by my family, church and culture.

25 February 2008

'I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely.'

Ntozake Shange

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Choose Life

It has taken me many years to be able to recall my first experience of childbirth with any positive emotion at all, let alone gratitude. However, life is how one chooses to look at it, and I choose Life.

Reason for gratitude # 1: My husband was there, the father of all my children. He was there for all eighteen hours and beyond. He physically held me up when none of the midwives could do it. He held me even as I was tearing the flesh from his arms with my nails. At the time, and for years after, I felt as though I had been abandoned by god. But I was not alone. I was never alone.

Reason #2: Sutures. It took me half an hour to push my child out, and half an hour for them to stitch me up. I lost so much blood that days later I had difficulty breathing and walking at the same time. Had this been a hundred years ago, or in a developing country, I probably would have died. I don't want to sound dramatic, because childbirth mortality has been so greatly reduced in developing countries it's not something we even think about. But it is still, a near-death experience for women. (And did I have post-natal depression? Oh yes).

Reason #3: My son was nearly nine pounds, strong, beautiful (as every mother will tell you about her own child) and perfectly healthy. Within minutes of birth he was trying to lift his head to look around. He is now tall for his age, still strong and beautiful (well, I tell him handsome).

I had no pain relief. I have given birth four times and I have never had pain relief. (Excepting a little gas and air). I can't say I'm grateful about that, but at least I am neutral. Which is better than being bitter.

I have to laugh at myself, because I know there are worse stories than mine. I had no interventions, no emergency c-section. But before this I didn't know what pain was. I had never had a stitch, broken a bone.

But I am grateful. Grateful to join the common experience of womankind. What good would I be to a world that suffers pain, if I had no understanding of pain?

All is well in my world.

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