I wish I was something. Collected, resolute, strong-like-bear. Or uncollected, shaken, scared shitless. Either would point me towards a course of action. But I'm neither. I am blank. No matter what the mechanics, birth will be decided for me, on my behalf: because there are two.
I pause, wait to feel a sense of fight or flight.
But it is plain, ordinary quiet. Not peace, but quiet.
Birth mentors summon the spirits of goddess, eagle, owl: I summon Plastic Man from the Fantastic Four. Bendy brain, bendy belly, bendy heart. Able to twist and stretch, too slippery for the grip of panic, to the point where it is done and I am a mother of two babies. Two babies that bring me twice as far from birth being subject to what I’d prefer.
I'll do whatever you need me to do to keep you whole, to keep you nourished. Inside or outside, waited for or early-lifted. I'll stay light no matter what the flotsam and jetsam: tubes or boxes or surgical masks or machines that beep. Or perhaps nothing out of the ordinary but two.
I'll be light above it all, strong enough so that you feel the warmth of it and know that we’ll be alright.
You are two! I have to be fierce for you, but not fighting-fierce. Plastic Man fierce. Nonplussed. Is stubbornly calm a contradiction in terms? I want to define it. I want to be buoyant, not merely joyous-buoyant but literally, unsinkably buoyant. So that all I need do is go limp, kick a little, before currents and physics pull us up to the air, for you.
a c-section would be:
pulling and tugging
I would be a subject, object, case
It is unnatural
(the body is not supposed to open there)
At least I am still pristine, unopened
I thought, having narrowly escaped.
…but did I? Evan’s birth was:
pulling and tugging
I was a subject, object, case
It was under duress
(it wasn’t supposed to be that way)
but on the same day there was also
the sensation of a hot shower and reams of blood, strangely pleasing to watch it swirl down the drain, washing away the spectacle, to be me again. Heaven to be standing on shaky, phantom legs in steam and wet heat and half-darkness.
and it was over
and a baby-burrito stirred
and onto other things.
where did all that come from?
Thanks to Brooke, Leigh, Jeanette and Marybeth, that strange new breed of never-met but intimately known friends. You've prompted and inspired me to contemplate the upcoming gong show with respect and spirit and pride and possibility. Lord, how these women glow. They make me want to bring something bigger than 'just one day' to this birth, no matter how it happens. They've got me lit. Thank you, fantastic four.
Evan Alexander Inglis is now snoring on his dad's chest after a couple of very interesting and tiring days. We're all happy and healthy, so proud and blessed. Thanks so much to everyone for the good wishes! We're filled with fascination and awe, and can't wait to introduce him properly to everyone.
We'll add more pictures and details on the birth as soon as we can, so stay tuned here for updates. In the meantime, pictures are in the new album at left, and following are some short videos.
We're going to tuck in now for a few days and get to know each other, and we'll make our way back into the world once we've had a chance to get our sea legs. Love to all.