Timing Poem

I recently finished reading Teaching Natural Birth. In it, the author shares a poem called Timing, by Anne Clark. I haven’t read it anywhere else and a google search didn’t turn it up, so I wanted to share it here. I especially liked the closing paragraph.


by Anne Clark

Some people live life at fast and furious rates.

It’s the fast-food burger, the instant photo, the 12-hour birth.

Some thoughts that life, children and birth cannot be hurried:

A baby’s needs and wants are the same.

Meet the cries for dependence in a toddler, and a year later you’ll rarely have him on your lap.

Push him from your breast, out of your bed before he’s ready, and as an adult he’ll be on your lap, or worse, lost.

Some thoughts when my first couple asked me to provide labor support:

I should have paid them for the experience.

Hours of labor; a tender soul slow to yield to the pressure of insistence; a novice support person petrified by the intensity of it all; a center in myself created for the needs of this mother and father and baby.

To the mother, gently suggested, no rush, you’re fine, feel your baby, he’s strong. Let him come.

Mothers deliver their own babies.

My waiting hands caught him, a living, flowing, glistening sunbeam.

Forever hooked on Birth.

And from that day determined to give up anything instant (the hamburgers were agony.)

Delivery is drugged, controlled, guilt producing, hurried.

Birth is natural, forgiving, unhurried.

As a teacher of natural childbirth I try to teach the difference between Birth and delivery. Any woman can be delivered of her baby. It is up to us, the natural childbirth educators, to elicit the deep-down birthing knowledge that every woman possesses and to enourage patience in a natural process that, like life and children, cannot be hurried.


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