I subscribe to A.W.A.D. (A Word a Day) because--to my chagrin and yet simultaneous delight--it often actually has words I didn't already know, complete with definition, quote from a real source, etymology, and pronunciation .wav file. There is also always a different quote included at the very bottom, a more or less random one, and sometimes these are very fine. This was today's:
"Everyone confesses that exertion which brings out all the powers of body and mind is the best thing for us; but most people do all they can to get rid of it, and as a general rule nobody does much more than circumstancesdrive them to do." -Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and novelist (1811-1896)
I don't want to record here on the blog anything about the actual experience of giving birth to Clare. I am writing it, to the best of my ability, but it isn't something I want to publish on the blog. But since I have blogged about everything from not having ever looked at my vagina before, to various pregnancy annoyances and even the birth plan, I feel like a little closure is warranted. So here is what I want to say. I don't think everyone has to do it how I did it. But I wouldn't do it any other way, and I feel even more strongly about it now than I did before. Before, it was all theoretical: trusting what I read and believing it would be best for me and for Clare to do this as medication- and interference-free as possible. Now that I've done it, I know it's not just a physical health thing (though that's certainly of major importance!) but also, for me, a subjective experiential thing. I took it all in, and went with it, and it was the hardest and most exhilarating thing I've ever done. It really was "exertion which brings out all the powers of body and mind." And it changes you to do something like that in a powerful way.
But I also want to say that I didn't do it by myself, and I don't think that anyone really could. I had a chorus of praise around me the whole time: Brent, and my mother, and Maria, and Brynne, my midwife. When I got to that point where I didn't think I could keep going, but knowing that I was going to anyway, I could exchange believing in myself for their belief in me.
I would say thank you, but that just seems lame.
Oh, and today's word was "baxter," which means, "a baker, especially a female baker."