*** Many women candy coat or hide their real experiences with (in)fertility, pregnancy, labour and delivery, post-partum and breastfeeding… and the task of motherhood in general.
They smile through it all and stuff their sadness and heartache into a little box on a shelf, and they often stick themselves right in there as well. I am taking the box off of the shelf.
This is a little bit of my (our) own messy story with motherhood…***
I grew her from my bones, from the boiling marrow in my bones.
I grew her from the sponge, the hollow spaces and the bloody cells in my aching collapsing bones,
And from him,
She bloomed from spurts of pearl and sun and dragonfire.
A jaunty little jester with a wreath of jonquils around her golden head.
I weaved her into being with fallen hair from my crown, and cupped hands of sunlight and dripping wet garnet from my weeping womb.
I held my hand there, between thighs of heartquivering gooseflesh, and let it pool until I felt a heartbeat
In my palm,
In my heart (and his),
In my weeping wounded womb,
I stitched her together with bits of torn skin from my belly, a twisted umbilical cord, and an urgent sense of unconditional love ripe with complication, and an ache that wouldn’t leave my remnant scars and punctures… ever.
I pulled her into being when hands and hands and hands and hands disappeared inside of me to read her heart.
They were reading mine too,
And they could surely hear all of the beeps and boops, but they could never detect the deep deafening fissures yawning open in that pounding beating terrified little muscle —
The one in her chest, and the one in mine.
I shuddered her into this world before her body even graced the air. She arrived when black tar poured from my birth canal, and I felt her crying in my thirsty desert mouth;
Little gasps and whimpers and sputtering coughs tangled in my desiccated vocal chords, scratching up the back of my throat.
I conjured her voice from the caged quiet of my ribcage and resonant silent screams that fell from my pinched white-pressed lips as they pulled her
And everything else
Out of the swollen bruised bloody cavity in my belly. The girl child was extracted like some divine essence from the chasmic sore of
I built her from moons and moons and moons of fruitless nights and an almost-hopeless knowing she could never be erected from our beings and bodies.
I bathed her in the ocean under my skin, that seeped out through my tear-ducts and my salted honey kisses left upon her furrowed wee brow and her perfect flowerbud nose.
I fed her with milk and blood from my breasts as I balled my fists until they throbbed, knuckling through a tongue-tied twinge that made me rage so soundlessly against my malfunctioning
My breasts didn’t belong to me again until the milk ceased…; my body and my soul even stopped belonging to me as she tethered herself to my heart
And to his (to ours).
We made her from scratch;
We made her from sweat and tears and cries in the night hidden from leering eyes;
We made her from night after night after night;
We made her from love,
And that is all I felt when I saw her face…
After countless lifetimes,
After many years of sleeping womb,
After 60 hours of terror, exhaustion, bewildering confusion and paralyzed passivity.
Her face and little wrinkled body covered in my blood and insides, though not enough to erase all of the pain, was (still is) enough to let me rest and fall in love
Not only with her
But with me (us).
*** Ya had to brag about the 60 hours, eh? ***
*** Nothing to brag about. It was hell… and I trembled in the aftermath of literally being gutted and put back together again. I vanished that day. I un-vanish starting today. ***