Thursday, February 23, 2006

Me and the Sand Pipers

So, yesterday I sat with the Ocean. We did some talking. It had been a while. I had taken Monday & Tuesday off from work because Husband was out of town and the girls were out of school because of an extended president's day holiday. I pretended I was a stay-at-home mom. I took Wednesday off too, just for me, and I pretended I was a stay-at-home writer mom. It broke my heart a little, the tease of this life. I tried to find renewal in the time alone, but I was reminded of what else can go on outside of an office. So, I visited the Ocean. And we talked. I rolled up my jeans and took off my shoes and I let Her pet my feet.

I said, "Remember when you helped me through labor?"
She said, "Yeah."
"With Maya especially," I laughed.

When I was about to give birth to Maya, I had realized between early contractions that no one is really prepared for labor. Wild-eyed and on the verge of hysteria, I knew I needed to make peace with the pain or something drastic might happen. I had been advised to visualize a rose opening up as I contracted. I pictured a rose blooming, and then I nearly kicked over an IV. What the fuck can I do with a rose? A rose was not helping me make nicey-nice with the goddamn pain. Quickly and kindly my mind offered me the tide of the ocean instead. As a contraction came on, I imagined the tide rolling in and in, and then fading back. At its worst, I didn't think the tide would stop rolling. I held my breath, but I did know it would pass. It would roll out again. When I had the rhythm of this down, I knew I could endure it all. I didn't look toward the reward of my baby. That would've only caused me the panic of wishing it was over immediately. Instead I rolled with the pain. It would pass. I could take it as long as I flowed with it.

The Ocean said, "You need to visit more."
I spotted a pack of baby sand pipers chasing the water in unison, as if on wheels. I said, "I know."
She said, "I have some advice."
I stopped walking and sat on a sand hill. I was all ears.
She said, "Remember when I helped you with labor?"

It rolls in. It rolls out. It's consistent, the rolling. She told me some personal stuff that was hard to hear, but basically she said the flowing is always the hard part. She said knowing when to break from flowing is harder still.

14 comments:

kiki said...

beautiful

White Trasherati said...

I love your writing.

And all the comments will likely be as short as mine and kiki's because it just renders one speechless.

acumamakiki said...

i visualized the beach in my hometown, where i used to go park and sit, watching the water, just watching. lovely words conjuring beautiful images of home, here in wintery NJ.

regina said...

you rock my world woman

Melinda said...

Oooooh. Gave me shivers. I've never "got" the attachment-to-the-ocean thing, but you made me feel it with this post.

andrea said...

dang, girl.

gorgeous.

Janine said...

So beautiful, you took my breath away with this one.

HollyRhea said...

I remember trying to notice that ebb and flow of contractions. I NEVER could tell the peak, though. Consequently, I never really got on top of the pain.

Maybe next time I'll just have a baby in the ocean. Like a little baby seal... aw.

Marigoldie said...

You would've missed out on this important conversation if you hadn't played hooky...

SUEB0B said...

Sweet.

liz elayne said...

oh this has touched my heart this evening. thank you for writing with such soul-full words.

Lynne said...

i've passed this on to my child, whose child is due in about a month.
i hate the water, but i love the ocean.
go figure.

Athena said...

when i was going through contractions with our third child i thought of an oven door with cookies baking inside (can't forget the cookies!)--the heat one feels as they open door and as it is released when the door is closed. it helped until someone left the door open longer than it should have been.

funny though, whenever i hold that oven door longer than i should, i remember my last labour and quickly close the door so my cookies don't flop. LOL.

--erica said...

the ocean sent me in to labor with #4. I finally allowed myself to RELAX..and labor finally began!