True stories about birth and giving birth

Day 388. She grew up (A mother is born from another angle)

Gábor is spat out Krisztián – the second child of Krisztián was born with us. Both of the boys are large, tall, pale, nice and humble. Ági is tiny and feminine. She has firm ideas about her upcoming birth. Bence, their son is a healthy and clever two years old.

We were talking about the issue of safety at the couples’ session when Ági spoke for the first time. For her safety is not necessarily manifested as a hospital – they nearly lost Bence after his birth, he was between life and death for weeks. It is sometimes her, sometimes Gábor who talks about their birth, the responsibility, decisions, not only with regards to birth but in relation to anything related the newcomer. As they speak I can tell what their next word is going to be – they say word by word the same Krisztián and his wife, Orsi used to say. Just as well that Ági doesn’t look like Orsi, I’d be even more confused.

At the time of the couples session Ági was already a few days overdue. Then days have passed and fifteen days after the due date she went into labour.

At half past two, the usual time, my mobile rang – Ági. That she has been in labour since midnight and she just thought that it would be good if I knew – I don’t have to leave just yet. But I can’t go back asleep. I toss around for a while in my bed then call Ági – they live far, couldn’t I after all go over? I don’t want to disturb, say I’d lie down in another room just so that I’m there when I’m needed. Yes, that’s fine.

I arrive at four in the morning. Gábor lets me in. He immediately guides me to the other room but I would like to see Ági and pack down in the room where she is. Dimmed lights. Ági is standing with her back facing me, leaning on a cot bed. She is quietly singing nursery songs. I say hello. I ask if she wants examination. She turns over her shoulder, holding the bed and like a grumpy toddler says “No!”. Another question, can I listen to the heartbeat of the baby? “No!” – she shouts the same way.

I ran out to the other room, lie down on the floor and cover myself with the blanket Gábor gave to me. Half asleep I still hear the nursery songs. Then I fall asleep.

Soon Gábor wakes me up: Ági would like to have an examination. She say hello this time. I listen to the heart, measure her blood pressure, examine her. “Eight centimetres!” I let Éva, the doula Ági chose know that she should hurry up if she wants to be here, Ági will give birth shortly! I hang the woollen stork on the door handle so when the grandmother comes up for the waking Bence she knows where the birth is taking place. Ági is not at the cot bed any more, she is dancing at every contraction, leaning on Gábor. When she sees the stork she lets Gábor go, takes the stork and continues to dance on her own. She is humming to herself songs that are unfamiliar to me.

Éva arrives shortly. Ági sends her for her teddy bear, that’s how she includes her in the process. It must have been Ági’s childhood teddy, it’s a worn, real sleeping teddy. She is cuddling both toys then she’s just humming for the bear. The memories that are coming to her through the bear are embracing her. Quiet, gentle, slow labour dance. Éva and I are massaging her and we are putting clary sage poultice on her belly. It’s six o’clock in the morning. Bence’s voice is coming through. Ági, like a teenager giggles and says on a high pitched voice “He always wakes at this time.” The she giggles even more and on an even higher pitched voice, like if she was tipsy says “Someone take this child away from here!” Then she continues to dance but in a different way – not as slow, not as fairytale-like.

As she put her head on Gábor – her head reaches exactly to Gábor’s stomach – she hears that his tummy is rumbling. She looks at her gently and sends him “Go, eat!” Gábor listens to her and goes out, leaving the door open.

We keep massaging Ági and changing the poultices but it’s like if we weren’t even there. She lifts the stork and the bear, dances with them, hums, then puts them down and stares in the distance. Gábor is about to come back but Ági waves at him: no, don’t come in yet. Gábor discreetly sits down by the open door on the corridor.

Ági dances for another half an hour and then dreamingly says “I was a happy bride.” Another half an hour passes when she says “Snow white.” Another quarter of an hour “I’m a women.” In a few minutes time “But I can still be a big girl sometimes, why not?” And then she reaches out for Gábor who stands up immediately, holds her hand and like on the isle leads her towards their bed.

Éva and I go out to the kitchen. We have breakfast and do some bits and bobs quietly. As we learn later on Ági slept a little.

At half past nine they call us, Gábor sits behind Ági and holds her. Their head meets. Ági whispers to herself: “Will it be good for them?” Gábor replies quietly into her ears “It will be good for them.” Ági: “Will you come with me?” Gábor “I will go with you.” Ági: “Will you stay with me?” Gábor “I will stay with you.” Ági to me “Will it fit?” Me: “It will fit.” Ági: “Will it be good for them?” Gábor: “It will be good for them.” And they repeat this again and again in the same tone, the same way. 

Then Ági sends everyone out. She goes into strong and loud labour. She goes into the bathtub. It is surrounded by a curtain, we only see Ági’s silhouette. No one can go close to her! She’s in wild labour. Like a real female beast. Soon she gets out of the tub and leaning on the washing machine, still standing she pushes her beautiful daughter into my hands.

We accompany the mature, happy mother with a baby in her arms into their bed.

G. Á.

Bence > > >
Eszter > > >
Rebeka > > >

Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.

This post is also available in: Hungarian