the day of screaming
I've listened with a sort of bewildered sadness, to women (including both the piglet's grandmothers) speaking of how they birthed quietly, mutedly, how they were "good" and "didn't bother the nurses" and held it all in. I'm not sure I'm hearing a story of peaceful birth from them. . . in fact, it seems restricted and repressed more than anything else. When it was my turn to usher in the first of the next generation - I did not labour peacefully (although I suspect there were peaceful moments). On the other hand, repressed as a concept has no place in my birth story: I screamed - and so long and deep and hard, I felt exhausted as the sound wildly shot out across the room and through the neighbourhood and the entire cosmos. I roared because the power surging through me insisted on bursting right through my vocal cords. I kicked the lovely daddy and snarled and shrieked and moaned and wailed and commanded and promised him I was dying for hours on end. I pleaded with my baby to come down! come down!. . .down! I swore in several languages at my patient, calm midwives. I ran, naked, around the kitchen amidst the pale morning tableau of birth supplies and clean dishes - roaring and banging my fists into the wooden cabinets, thrusting suddenly into deep squats and grabbing violently, blindly at my midwife's legs perched upon a tall stool. I was miserable, and I was exhilarated. and I am everlastingly proud and honoured and grateful that everyone present, and especially I, knew enough to trust the power of the screaming. Look what it did! Look what my beautiful, wild, wonderous screaming did! - really - don't let the sweet innocent look fool you, I'm a roaring mama!