We'd all laugh because mom had said a naughty word.
I had no idea how accurate her sentiment was.
While I was pushing Malcolm out, it was such unbelievable pain that I with every contraction, I screamed swear words through the halls of the hospital, knowing that was the only way he was getting out. I could feel every single stretch of my body trying to accommodate his. I had not gotten medication or even a natural rush of pain-numbing hormones to help me along (though I was grateful to know that an epidural was just a hallway away).
It was all pain.
It was also utter mystery.
I was pure body.
There was nothing else inside me. My mind was there, but as nothing more than another observer. I was not deciding to push or not to push. All I could do was watch as my body bore down through contraction after contraction, giving me no choice but to shove with every ounce of life-force I could grab on to.
Damn how it burned! For forty-five minutes of intense pushing, me on my knees and a birth ball, husband fanning me on one side, doula on the other saying "yessss" to every horrible word that came out of my mouth.
Oh, how I needed them.
I was utterly present to the unfathomable force that was taking over my body. There was no free will about it, I was just an animal. Thank god.
Another huge push, the awful stretch, the pain and fear, and then, my husband so quietly exclaiming “It’s a boy!”
Baby had come out in one swift motion, and I hadn't even realized it was over. I looked behind me and saw this floppy little fish on the bed and thought, “huh…that’s weird.”
I did not experience the instantly bonding surge of oxytocin some others get. But I also knew that was okay. At that moment, I just wanted everyone to recognize what I had just done.
In time, the bond came. When I would hear him cry in the night and feel my body lift itself out of bed to go to him, even before a thought had crossed my mind, I knew "what is this, if not love?" And today, when he walks into my arms for a hug, I am overwhelmed.
Such love as I have never known when he smiles, when he sits in my arms playing with my necklace, when he coughs. I utterly adore him, and he was worth it all.
In the weeks after birth, I walked around in a daze thinking “our bodies are fucking amazing!”
And they are.
I am so proud of mine.