Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts

I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to back away. It was too close. Too intimate. 
I set the baby doll down and walked out of the birthing class. I needed to walk and get some distance. I would go back, it was my responsibility to go back, but not just yet. 
In the birthing class at the local hospital, they show you how to bath the baby doll, to hold it’s tiny head and cradle it’s back. They show you how to take care of this new life that is coming into yours. Today they showed me how the baby would travel down the birth canal and escape through the hips. I put the doll head through the pelvis bone. It took me three times to get the head correctly through. I don’t know many things but I felt certain that this wasn’t a good omen. Then they showed you how to put the baby on your shoulder and hold it. Somehow the combination of those two actions – struggling through the pelvis and cradling on my shoulder – was too much and led me into the hallway to settle myself.
Expecting my first child was, for me, a cracking of layers of emotional sediment that had settled to the bottom of my soul over many years. With every new month, belly kick, heart monitor and ultrasound, I was getting more and more unsettled. Parenting books and magazines caused uncontrollable sobs from somewhere deep inside of me and then wave after wave of guilt for feeling that way. 
I had friends who were knee deep in buying baby socks, painting birth rooms and doing breathing excersies with their husbands. I sat on the couch most afternoons and watched Judge Judy and Divorce Court. I knew there were things that I could be doing, creating. I had been that person once apon a time but she seemed inaccesible lately. Where was she….and how did I get her back?

_____  _______  _______  ______ _________  ________   ________   _______   _________   _____

During ALT in January, I was introduced to an organization called Every Mother Counts. Since then, I have been working with them on gaining awareness for mothers, birth and choices in birth. As such, I have been challenged to write my birth stories. Part of an excerpt from my first child, R, is above. It is amazing how difficult and emotional these stories are for me to tell. I would love for you to come on this journey with me, to feel your support and to hear your own stories. Please share them in the comments if you would like. Here’s to this new endeavor – and to my 2 kids – for making so many things possible in my life. Thank you!

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