True stories about birth and giving birth

Day 366. With dark dilated pupil eyes on his globular head (Gáspi)

Even while I was expecting Bori from the middle of the pregnancy I made her grow inside having in mind what might be good for her. If you have to be born, which is supposed to be and must be hard, I don’t want to say sorry to my resenting and depressed first-born for life being so hard to take her in while I am sitting with the physical and spiritual scars of childbirth.

But finally it happened so, of course. Did my fears attract it? Was it a part of the unavoidable fate? Was it because of my not being able to understand something? All of them or none? It couldn’t matter less. But Bori was born – luckily in our misfortune – the way I didn’t want it. In exclamation of fear, shouting and crying amid tense passions with little help from her mother. Into coldness and neon lights. I had been to the course preparing for the homebirth. How did I get there? Who is born to give birth at home? I realise, nobody.

As many of us exist, as many types we are. There might be some obstinacy, some defiance that make us turn against the tide, the usual way­; something that is looking for a new way after bitter experiences: can it be done in a different way, can we give birth in dignity, can a mother have a baby following her own instincts, can the baby innate with the ability to be born come to this world in the natural way, or is this process to be violated? Thus safety, women, children, families, holiness, happiness?

Who wouldn’t be afraid? Of the new, of the different. But I am more afraid of the “traditional” hospital way, with its doctors and the system of gratuities, of the bleak spirituality that humiliates and maims the mysteries of coming to life.

Knowing nothing about birth I had read birth stories written in a thankful tone about degrading situations, women, infants put at risk, greediness, the inertia of women’s bodies, being unable to deliver, and about thousands of women being saved. I didn’t believe them. So I was looking for my way, and I found it. In other words I started to walk.

It is said that everyone gives birth the way they have lived. Up to that point. And even during the labour you might experience understanding, acceptance, release, love and of course the opposite as well.

This is a huge gate – I believe.

When Borika was born I wasn’t able to have anybody around, I hurt and I dread even at home, and I had failed at the hospital. It happened. My delivery was violence, calling to account, a judgement over my fattened body, a verdict over my crying and shouting being, an offence because I had protected against being tied up. My 8-cm cervical was hurried by widening hands, I was looked down scornfully by man and woman doctors – it wasn’t my imagination – and finally a cut in my flesh.

My poor baby. I was crying and asking for her forgiveness, later my doula helped me to breastfeed the baby.

The first malformed human voice reached me while the data were recorded, my husband is a journalist by profession. I felt sick… I learnt later, that the doctor became a bit less coarse after being warned that he was not the only one who could cause pain. God be merciful to him. I have forgiven; I don’t have feelings towards him. I feel sorry for my fellow women who will have their birth conducted by him and others of the kind. He was able to give a service like this even for money. There are people who put up with it…

After three hours we went home.

Ági Geréb treated me. Even my incision, so that it healed nicely.

When I had my next baby I insisted on her, so she was there when Gáspár was born. I forgot to write that Bori had torn out of me in six hours, Gáspi arrived in ten hours – I could write it was more difficult, but he left only good memories. Before the actual delivery I had some sleep huddled together with my husband.

My son arrived with his dark dilated pupil eyes on his globular head into the drizzle of a cool summer rain, peacefully.

Thank for Ági’s hands and soft words for hours. For being with me, for our discussions before, during and after the birth. I might remember all of her words.

L. E.

Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.

This post is also available in: Hungarian