The rising sun is still a suggestion, painting a faint glow around the window shutters.
The house feels like calm clear water, a faint refrigerator hum, one sparrow singing his personal thoughts on summer flits off to another backyard.
Here in the darkness it is very content and warm and full of possibility, and for one moment, my mind merges with the babe about to enter this world today.
I sit on the couch and listen to the soft breathing of the two-year-old while her parents drive to the birthing grounds across town.
Watching her mama quietly prepare to leave, I recognized her aura…her knowing.
It is a purely female current that hums and sparks with purpose and courage, and it runs very deep.
The release of long days of waiting lifted from her shoulders and her back straightened with complete focus on the present.
A woman in labor is a formidable thing.
A woman in labor holds enough inner force and focus to stop an army in it’s tracks.
A woman in labor knows that there is only one conclusion to this event: the baby is out.
Quitting is not an option.
And everybody better get out of the way.
Or everybody needs to gather around.
Or both, every other five minutes.
As I sit here, there are more memories joining me than will have room on the page, because once you’ve had a baby you will never forget it. It had never occurred to you that you held that kind of power within your body; that your body could rise up and bring forth life like that.
You try to explain it to someone who hasn’t tried it, and they want to believe you, that their body has that level of strength too, that it lies within the mitochondria to kick into autopilot and explode into new life. The cells create new cells, another person’s cells, nourish them, protect them, and then force them out to exist as a whole separate being.
How this miraculous creation is taken so casually by everyone else not in active labor, is beyond me.
But we all do it.
Put a group of moms together and you will hear the inevitable birth stories and roll your eyes because if you wanted to hear so much TMI you could watch PBS at two in the morning.
They compare episiotomies the way a WWII vet talks about his war scars.
They want to know they aren’t the only ones who just went through that world-shattering event.
For mothers, the world will never be the same.
They wonder if they ever want to go through it again.
Mothers cannot believe that a womb can expand that much, and after the birth, they cannot believe that a heart can expand that much.
Mothers cannot believe how much a child can kick these organs and yet all of it remain intact.
A mother is one of the strongest things ever invented.
The sun has risen now, inevitable, changing the ambience of this home from waiting to fulfillment, and brightness fills the room as I open the shutters.
A single text pops up on my phone: baby brother has arrived.
The little one stirs in her big girl bed, dreams slowly giving way to thoughts of a new day and the marvels it may hold.
I will write more about this thing called ‘motherhood’.
But for now, all of my best memories must patiently wait while I make some tea and cuddle a toddler and lay claim to the humming deep in my cells.