Woman Rising

No time for a long post today (or, probably, this week), so I share this quote I had saved from the book A Dozen Invisible Pieces by Kimmelin Hull (p. 229):

When faced with behavior battles, health concerns, family finances, and the struggle to stretch time to the fullest, I could choose to sink into the quicksand of life with young children–becoming engulfed in the daily grind, unaware of my own loss of self–or I could rise to the occasion. And I am rising.

Hull goes on to share the following:

Whether it be the thick memory of enduring a non-medicated labor and finally pushing our third child into the world, despite feeling as though I hadn’t an ounce of energy left, or the meager sprint I managed as I neared the finish line of the marathon…, I hold tight to these images as proof that I can and will be able to rise to the occasion–again and again, if and when I need to-because the ability to do so is in my very bones. Because I am a woman.” [emphasis mine]

The birth face, immediately following birth of second son. This feeling--this crying, laughing, euphoric, I DID IT, feeling is the one I draw upon in the rest of life.

This is one of things I find so powerful about women’s birth memories—they can hold onto them as a touchstone, as an affirmation of strength and personal capacity, during other challenging (or mundane) moments of their lives. I also don’t think births have to be “empowering,” natural, or unmedicated births in order to hold this affirmation for women. There is a lot of courage to be found in most birth journeys and the ability to find moments of powerfully conscious strength to draw nourishment from in the rest of life exists in many types of birth experiences. Personally, my birth experiences created a lasting sense of personal worth, that I have drawn from ever since. This includes the birth of Noah, which was not a “happy ending” to my pregnancy. In the months after his birth, I found myself at many times thinking, “I gave birth to my little, nonliving baby alone in my bathroom, I can do this too.” I did the same with the births of my other two boys—only thankfully without the “nonliving” part. Alaina’s birth is more “integrated” somehow, and I don’t find myself thinking about it or referring to it in quite the same way, though I’ve definitely had moments of remembering, “I caught my own baby, I can do this too!

One thought on “Woman Rising

  1. Pingback: Thursday Tidbits: Recovering from Birth | Talk Birth

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s