Bringing Life, Together


She is sweating…

The pain is rising…

She squeezes my hand…

Looks deep in my eyes…

I hear the swish of a heartbeat, though I am not sure if it is mine, hers or this new life she is releasing from her body. Everything within me wants to take this pain away, release her from having to do this very physical element…birthing life.

She cries out with a sound that I have never heard uttered from her lips. It rips through me revealing how helpless I am to do anything that would relieve her. I feel alone and yet we are together.

She pants….

She utters words that make no sense…

Water, she wants water…

I bring ice chips hoping that they will give her some relief, hoping she can see how much I want to help, but instead the clinched teeth, the intense eyes, the irregular breath she pushes in and out of her lungs greet me.

How can this thing we call making love produce this kind of intensity in pain that is mixed with expectant joy?

What part do I play when I cannot rescue?

How do I love her now?


He stands beside me…

He holds my hand…

He brings me ice cubes and rubs my back…

The contraction begins to build and my body clenches and wants to run. The nurse coaches me to not fight this pain, but rather to ride with it, let it teach me how my breath can find the ancient rhythm that women have shared for thousands of years.

I connect with the women of my past–mother, grandmother, great-grandmother… to the ancient days of women assisting women in childbirth. My body knows how to do this.

At this moment I feel stronger than I have ever felt, alive within the pain, listening to the life that is seeking to be born and asking my body to yield to this rhythm. Do not separate me from this pain, I am invited to go through it.

Can I join my life with the women who have carved the path before me?

I close my eyes…

I open my heart….

I breath with him next to me….

The cry of life being brought forth calls me forward, it tucks my pain into a place that is both ancient and near, but it asks me nothing more than to nurture this little life that together we created in love and together we will care for.

I feel alive….

I feel strong…


Childbirth has taught us both that we cannot do for another what we are called to do ourselves. We each held unique portions of this birthing process and we are different. In an effort to honor and respect these differences we need to acknowledge them and nurture them.

What if God designed this whole experience of birth to bond us rather than separate us?

Could the life of another have something to teach us about our own life?

Are we willing to see differences and the value they have to tutor us?

~ b

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