Another writing piece!
I am going to try to participate in this more regularly, so you can expect to see more of these. I really enjoy writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them.
This weeks prompt:
Water gives life. It also takes it away.
Write a short piece – fiction or non-fiction – inspired by one or both of these statements.
Word maximum is 600.
My contractions were fierce and regular, just minutes apart with little respite between.
I watched the water level rise in the dark blue birthing pool set in the middle of the room. Impatiently, I walked round and round, dreading each contraction as it arose. I was demanding and focused wholly within myself; my loving husband was subject to my every desire. The pressure of the contractions required his counter-pressure, and he couldn’t be more than an arms reach away without the thready wisps of panic beginning in my belly along with another wave of pain.
I didn’t ask. The pool was nearly half full, so I stepped in. My foot recoiled involuntarily from the unexpected heat, but I pressed on. Another contraction was mounting, and I desperately wanted whatever relief the water had to offer. I sat slowly, cross legged at first, and let the steaming water lap around me. I spread my fingers wide and made small waves in the pool. As the contraction became more powerful, I flipped over onto my hands and knees, leaning over plastic side, and let my whole body relax. I breathed in deeply through my nose and blew the air out of my mouth, forcing myself to relax. be calm… be like the water. The warmth of the pool leached into my bones and eased the ache. Sweat, unnoticed as it left my body, joined with the water around me. Moments seemed like hours in the comforting warmth, and I allowed myself to doze when nothing was happening. But the water was too warm; I was over-heating and I felt the world going black.
Laying on the cool, wooden floor, my wits were suddenly gathered to me by a contraction I didn’t expect. I was no longer in the pool, no longer benefiting from the easing of the heat and weightlessness. I was immediately aware of how quickly the contractions were coming, and the power with which they were moving my child within me. My breath was taken from me again and again as I struggled through the last few centimeters of dilation. I focused on my center, and relaxing, opening, progressing; but I started to doubt. I can’t do this. It’s too hard. I just want to stop, I just want a break. I began to cry when I realized I wasn’t the amazing, powerful woman I thought I was. Childbirth was too hard, and I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to.
Finally, someone suggested that I get back into the pool. The water had been re-warmed, and I slipped in easily. My breathing slowed, my mind calmed. My thoughts floated away on the water, and my contractions spaced apart. I was weightless, effortless, careless. I rested my forehead on the side of the pool and slept. Perhaps it was only seconds, or perhaps a few minutes, but I opened my eyes feeling refreshed. I had survived transition, and it was time to push.
As the next contraction mounted, encouragement came from all around me. There was no denying the urge, and I gave in to the instinct – I pushed with my whole body, my whole being. Every part of me pushed outward, and a scream of effort tore itself from my throat. I relaxed into the calm between the contractions, laying fully into the water, letting it carry my weight for me.
With another contraction and another push, the baby had crowned.
A wave of pain and a huge burst of pressure, I knew I had delivered my child’s head.
Rush and release.
I felt my body collapse under the effort, my eyes closed from exhaustion. I felt like I floated there for hours before I heard the words, “Mandy! Pick up your baby!”
I looked down, and floating in the water beneath me was the most perfect being, the miracle I had made – my beautiful baby girl. I scooped her out of the water and into my arms as tears slid down my face.
From water, into water, surrounded by tears of love and joy, Ruby Kate was born.