Wonder Wednesday takes me into the birthing room this week-right at the site of some wonder that makes me want to curse.
People talk about birth as a miracle and it is. Watching a baby be born, whether on YouTube or a Ricki Lake movie or in real life, is pretty miraculous. I could go on and on about the magic and the serenity and the dream-like state of it all.
But here’s the problem with that, I kinda take issue with defining it as simply magic or miraculous, because that seems so passive and inherently strips the power from the lady doing most of the work. And don’t even get me started on “delivery”. As if you are there to hand a package to the big, strong, smart doctor and your role is merely assistant to the (wo)man.
In the words of my sassy sisters, “Oh, hell no”.
Here is the wonder: women. Women who breathe and meditate and bend and stretch through some of the most excruciating pain on earth. Imagine you have some PMS cramps, (or, gentlemen, a stitch in your side after a long workout, or-some strenuous sitting around and too big a meal) and then a small robot is released into your body to grab hold of your ovaries (or mid-section) and just as you are about to have a cramp, said robot grabs hold of your insides and twists them to give you the meanest damned internal indian burn ever. That’s about 50% what birth feels like. Add in the incredible urge to puke, pee and crap all at the same time. Oh, and don’t forget the shaking legs and arms and inability to complete a thought other than, holycrap this hurts so damn much. You might be hot, or shivering cold, or both…at once. You might want to be touched, until you are touched and then you just want to be left the hell alone. Your head might hurt. You might be tired. You might have been up for 16 straight hours or 30 and you now have trouble remembering your name. Can you picture it? Yeah, well that’s almost as bad as birth feels.
Let’s not forget if you have an IV in or you’re being monitored for heartbeat or blood pressure or both. You might not have eaten for a whole day and you may be tied to a bed to writhe out the pain in one position for the length of an average workday…for Coal Miners or Police.
And women do it. Every day they waddle in and out of birth centers or hospitals or fields or even their own living rooms and they breathe and chant and shower and mediate and walk and even chat their way through it all, so that they can soon call themselves mom. And just when they think they’re done, and there is a baby that is wailing away in the corner, they have to continue to cramp and push something else out, and maybe be sewn up because things didn’t go quite as planned. Then they have to feed a kid (which also hurts like the devil at first) and recover and try to smile for visitors and friends all while their hormones rage on like they’ve never known before.
And they do it.
And all I am so overwhelmed at the Wonder of it all that all I can think is, damn, these are some strong ass bitches.
See what I mean about the cursing? Sometimes, witnessing wonder like this, makes me want to curse because I can’t think of a better way to communicate the wonder of raw female strength.
Damn, sister. Go on.