Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Birthing of a Man

Wet, warm, slimy babe in your arms, new from the world of wombs. Only God could have planned this moment. Skin to skin, breathing in new life, new joy, hopes and dreams for both today and tomorrow. Pull the wobbly, too heavy, head up for a kiss and feel the warmth of new blood rushing, oxygenated now by something other than you. Your role is a little less crucial than it was yesterday. But you don’t feel that right now, you just bask in the new mommy, joy moment. And do, for it passes too quickly. All of life is letting go. 

 The way he ripped through your body, the burning pain with the tightenings and the forceful entry into the world – that’s the way he’ll rip through your life as he strives to be birthed into a man. Many painful contractions of love, breathe, readjust, try to cope in the moment – if you look at the whole, it’s overwhelming. Then a break, a breather, a moment of reprieve, and you still feel the tiny pushes from within. 

The transition hits and you don’t know where to go. You try to catch your breath, but it seems elusive. “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.” And that’s what it feels like, the ends of the world caving in and pulling you apart at the same moment. You’ve been stretched, stretched to where your body can handle, but it’s still try to stretch a little more. Tears, groans, and gasps. They all come. Did you picture it this way? Did you know the pain of birthing a man?

Pushing brings a little relief, but adds with it a stinging sensation you may have never known. At least you and your body are working together now. In a moment you want to hold back, hold back from the burning, but holding back hurts all the worse and you give in to the urges of your body. God knows best. For if a child remained inside forever, he would never be a man, and he would wind up eating you alive. The ring of fire, appropriately named, as your skin stretches and sometimes breaks open at the sheer force of his head, and in one gigantic effort, it emerges. A moment, or maybe two, and you bear down again unable to hold back any more. He twists and turns and struggles his shoulders out, and in one swift motion, he slides into the waiting hands. He’s born.

That first breath brings air to parts of his lungs that have never experienced air before. He wiggles and screeches. No longer safe in the darkness of your womb, but now exposed to the light. Breathing now depends on him. Life, depends on him; his body has been preparing for this moment. Your body has been preparing for this moment. They clamp the cord – his former life source – and within ten days, the evidence of such will also fall away. 

But now that he’s here, you don’t remember the birth pangs, they are the former thing and are no more for you are overwhelmed at the joy of who is here now. 

For when your son becomes a man, it is then that you truly become a momma!
Hannah Norton 2014

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