Rites of Passage...Birth Cry - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-17-2006, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a first draft and I'm trying to polish it up, maybe lengthen it. I'd welcome any opinions, what do you think I need to change? How could I improve it? Do you like it the way it is?

Thanks, Kelly






BIRTH CRY

by Kelly Gorski 8/05
Nestled in the burnt orange easy chair, I rock. Moving my body slightly forward, then back, enough to gently jostle the baby attached to my breast. He sleeps with his mouth slightly open, milk pooling in the corners. Content to remain joined with the chair, allowing my head to loll backwards in nursing mamas’ bliss. Mother and child settle into the background, like a forgotten painting.
When he rouses, we walk the floor. It’s amazing how heavy an eight pound infant feels when he never leaves your arms. Breathlessly, I reclaim my spot in the chair beside the table with a stack of books and empty teacups littering its surface.
Family has gathered around to look at the baby. I gladly hand him over, shaking out my tingling arms and stretching my back.
Making my way to the kitchen, having to walk slowly because of the incision, I apply warm compresses of Goldenseal to the wound.

Surgical births are so prevalent now that they are thought of in many circles as the norm, but I wonder; how would my mothering life have been different had I had a natural birth with my first baby?

The Rite of Passage refers to an ordeal endured in order to surface as something different; in this case from a woman to a mother, both mother and child giving a part of themselves.
Many babies come forth through the canal of birth, dancing in conjunction with mother and her body, riding the surges of energy to this side.
In natural birth, you are so completely in the moment, at one with your body as it rolls through each contraction. The body is allowed to flower on its own, organic processes are trusted. The Rite lies between the beginning of labor and the mystical moment when the baby latches onto the breast.
Surgical birth however, happens so quickly, the body is not given the chance to open on its own. Baby doesn’t have to work along with mother to see the glaring light of this world. Pain associated with this initiation, for me, happened after my baby was born.
Weylin was taken straight from my belly. They cut through many layers to reach him. He cried when they brought him out. It certainly wasn’t the warm, nurturing experience I wanted to give him, but “Hey, at least you have a healthy baby…that is all that matters”
I think surgical birth needs to be taken more seriously and realistically. While sometimes necessary, most often they are not. They rob not only the mother of a potent birth into motherhood, but also the baby of a fully realized mother, not to mention the physical contact the baby loses with the squeezing uterus and hugging birth canal. The process of descending transitions the baby from the floating Eden, just below the rapidly beating heart to the outer warmth of the mothers’ body.
Knowing that I missed something important, I softly cried while changing channels of the TV.
Thrust into this role, in the ten minutes it took them to take him from me, I gazed at his perfect face, my womb empty, yet still full.
Knowing that the cesarean birth was necessary didn’t change the reality that a part of me still wasn’t ready to emerge. As I brought Weylin to my breast for the first time, I felt an imposter in a world I knew nothing about. The process felt so incomplete, I didn’t earn my way into motherhood. My experience was surgical, not the planned homebirth we so longed for. The first view I had of Weylin was of his head, shown to me by a nurse with a plastic glove, over a surgical drape. His tiny face was scrunched up in a threatened cry. My arms deadened, fused to the bed, I was unable to reach for him. They took him from me, It didn’t matter anyway, they wheeled me in one direction, him another …I never saw his whole body until later.
When at last I lay propped up, Weylin in my arms, I nursed him, coached by my midwife, not my instinct.

Sobbing in the privacy of my own room, I finally released the birth cry, Weylin asleep by my side. Me, writhing in the pain of imagined failure. I began my process of initiation. It was just as painful as birth would be. Something in me fell into place. Feeling like a mother for the first time, I realized this would be a process. This journey will be my lifetime.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#2 of 12 Old 01-17-2006, 10:20 PM
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first of all, I didn't ahve a c-sec when I should have. DD will forever suffer the consequences, so I'm quite predjudiced.

I enjoyed reading it! Your pain is there, but I think you're trying NOT to let go, not to fully say how miserable you felt. I think your pain needs to come through more.

Also, some parts need clarifying.

" Content to remain joined with the chair, allowing my head to loll backwards in nursing mamas’ bliss. Mother and child settle into the background, like a forgotten painting."

It's hard to know, without re-reading this part, who's joined to the chair. But I love the second line! Clear, consice and it paints it's own picture. In fact, I think THAT'S where I'd include the color of the chair.

And I'd go with this....."Surgical births are so prevalent now that they are thought of in many circles as the norm, but I wonder; how would my mothering life have been different had I had a natural birth with my first baby?" as the first sentence.

"dancing in conjunction with mother and her body, riding the surges of energy to this side." That's great!!!


I think THIS could be expanded. HOw did you feel?
"Weylin was taken straight from my belly. They cut through many layers to reach him. He cried when they brought him out. It certainly wasn’t the warm, nurturing experience I wanted to give him, but “Hey, at least you have a healthy baby…that is all that matters” And THIS deserves more attention. Is it all that mattered to you? Does the remark sting? Make you mad? DO you agree?

"just below the rapidly beating heart to the outer warmth of the mothers’ body." Could you say more about the mothers heartbeat, the warmth and security the babe leaves behind?



"Sobbing in the privacy of my own room, I finally released the birth cry, Weylin asleep by my side. Me, I'd take out MEwrithing in the pain of imagined failure; I began my process of initiation, as painful as birth would be. Something in me fell into place. Feeling like a mother for the first time, I realized this would be a process. This journey will be my lifetime"

THe last line is superb. Brings the whole piece together.
Truly, I think this could be a great magazine article (mothering???). I hadn't thought of my own c-sec from this perspective. THere is so much here! Great piece, I'd just include MORE. MOre detail, more feelings. (And could ya give Weylin a little hug for me?)
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#3 of 12 Old 01-18-2006, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, thank you for giving me constructive feedback, later when i have more time, i'll go over the piece again and look at where i could expand or edit.

I did want to clarify that the remark about having a "healthy baby, that's all that matters" is what others said to me and it angered me bc i felt like a shell discarded after he was deemed OK. I wondered if it would be confusing for readers, i definately don't want people to think i felt that way

Once again, thank you for reading

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#4 of 12 Old 01-24-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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I really liked reading that. It was so descriptive and I could feel how you were feeling just by reading your words. I think it is beautiful. I agree that it would be a great article for mothering or another natural magazine. I think many moms would benefit from reading it, weather or not they have had a cesarean.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#5 of 12 Old 01-25-2006, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian
I really liked reading that. It was so descriptive and I could feel how you were feeling just by reading your words. I think it is beautiful. I agree that it would be a great article for mothering or another natural magazine. I think many moms would benefit from reading it, weather or not they have had a cesarean.

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#6 of 12 Old 02-02-2006, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red
I enjoyed reading it! Your pain is there, but I think you're trying NOT to let go, not to fully say how miserable you felt. I think your pain needs to come through more.
: And I loved the piece overall..........made me grateful for my births.
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#7 of 12 Old 02-02-2006, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys, I'm working on editing the piece...I'll post it when I'm finished (working on so many other things too)

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#8 of 12 Old 04-10-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK
Thank you, thank you for giving me constructive feedback, later when i have more time, i'll go over the piece again and look at where i could expand or edit.

I did want to clarify that the remark about having a "healthy baby, that's all that matters" is what others said to me and it angered me bc i felt like a shell discarded after he was deemed OK. I wondered if it would be confusing for readers, i definately don't want people to think i felt that way

Once again, thank you for reading
I don't think you need to clarify the "healthy baby" line at all, but having had a c/s myself and having felt the exact same way, I understand. Ultimately I guess it would depend on your audience and how "accessible" you want it to be.

Keep working on it, though, in this day and age w/rising c/s rates it's very timely and would likely be VERY helpful for those who find their own birth experience disappointing.
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#9 of 12 Old 05-02-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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really enjoyed reading this kelly,,it relates to some of what I felt thru my c~section experience and inspires me to write about it. I could see this being published in a mothering magazine also,,,there is definitely a need for awareness out there regarding surgical birth.

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#10 of 12 Old 05-02-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK
Thank you, thank you for giving me constructive feedback, later when i have more time, i'll go over the piece again and look at where i could expand or edit.

I did want to clarify that the remark about having a "healthy baby, that's all that matters" is what others said to me and it angered me bc i felt like a shell discarded after he was deemed OK. I wondered if it would be confusing for readers, i definately don't want people to think i felt that way

Once again, thank you for reading

There it is..."felt like a shell discarded after he was deemed O.K." That statement is worthy of being in your piece.

chicken3.gifbelly.gifwow...i'm gonna have another one!!!
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#11 of 12 Old 05-03-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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BelovedK- hi! i am not a writer, therefore i am in no place to offer suggestions for your piece. i just happened to see the title when i was scrolling through down to the trading post. so, i decided to see what this post was about!

i just wanted to tell you that i loved reading BIRTH CRY. after my cesarean last year, i felt really grateful for my ds, but a part of me felt empty. i didn't speak of this to anyone...i mean there was really no one to talk to about it. last week, i was visiting my midwife for a checkup (i am prego again), and i was talking about the birth of my ds. all of a sudden, i just broke down and wept . i had no idea where this hurt was coming from, but it was there so strong. i cried like i had lost someone. over a year after my cesarean, i released my 'birth cry'. thank you.
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#12 of 12 Old 05-03-2006, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodstar
over a year after my cesarean, i released my 'birth cry'. thank you.
Good for you mama, it was so theraputic for me, now I feel more like a fully realized mama...good luck on your pregnancy.

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