Courage, Death, Empathy, Family, Gratitude, Healing, Home, Journeys, Love, Miracles, New Paths, Pain

Childbirth

I should be dead.
Or really, I would have
been dead, one of those women
who died giving birth to
new life, if I had lived
even just one hundred years
earlier, with my first born.

I nearly lost her at three months
then rested in bed, on orders
not to go farther than the bathroom
if anywhere, and no exercising
so gained sixty pounds and
then they worried about some
exotic word, ecclampsia,
saw bubbles in her brain on
the ultrasound, but thought
another test would kill her
and so refused it, and could barely
feel her alive, nearly no kicking,
then finally, she started to come
into the world, but
in a wash of blood,
facing the wrong way,
cord broken, so
emergency surgery, and she
was finally in my arms.

Born small and weak and unable
to feed herself, even.
But she was born. And we both lived.
They didn’t tell me
until the second child started
growing inside of me
that we both could have
would have died, if not
for the gift of modern medical care.
I didn’t know until then
that every day since
was my own miracle of existence.

The second came out
as planned and tracked and
monitored daily even
for the last month, nearly
double the size of her sister.
The size of a three-month-old
in a newborn, muscles strong
from all the kicking
inside to me, never showing
herself to anyone else but
making sure I knew how
she felt every minute.

I should be dead. Or
I would have been dead, but
instead I have
miracles, my children,
my life, and I know
we could have all been lost.

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