Trisha Lawrie has kindly shared three incredibly powerful poems regarding birth and I am thrilled to share them. I feel they speak to so much that we speak of on EP and give voice to experiences that, sadly, far too many women experience during the birth process. Though “enjoy” isn’t quite the right word, I hope you find these as moving and powerful as I have. Today I share the first of the three entitled Birth Day, a reflection on Ms. Lawrie’s personal experience.
By Trisha Lawrie
Six months have come and gone since my sweet baby came to be
Time enough, you’d think, for me to move on and be free.
But the pain of all I went through sits within me like a weight
And I cry and I am angry, and sometimes I even hate.
I cannot stop reliving it, the fear and all the pain
When I try to talk about it, I get looks like I’m insane.
But the books teach natural birthing, to let nature take its course
To just let the mother birth her child….there is no need to force.
Books written twenty years ago with proof that less is more
And still we give birth blindly, never knowing what’s in store.
I checked in so excited, the picture of good health
And I walked out cut and broken, a shadow of my former self.
They put an IV in my arm, they said it was the rules
And though it hurt, I let them, just like a passive fool.
Next they stuck their fingers in me “to see just where you are”
Then they pumped me full of drugs because “you’re really not that far.”
They dressed me in uncomfortable clothes, they said I couldn’t leave
Then they ripped apart my birth plan and all that I believed.
When the drug-induced contractions came, the pain was just too much
Next came the epidural, then I was numb to any touch.
Each time they touched my body, they took part of my dream
And they never even blinked, as cruel as that may seem.
They made me push for hours, but didn’t feed me for two days
And when she didn’t come, they tried to pull her out their way.
But I was so exhausted that I couldn’t lift my head
I no longer cared who saw me lying there with my legs spread.
Before I could say “yes” or “no” they said that it was time
And I knew that this experience was never really mine.
I couldn’t keep from shaking as they wheeled me in the room
And they talked of their vacations as they pulled her from my womb.
I only got a glance before they took my child away
And I won’t forget that emptiness until my dying day.
It was many hours later when they wheeled her to my bed
But where had they been keeping her? What had she been fed?
After days of being jabbed at, bullied, and kept up all night
I needed to escape, and if I had to, I would fight.
I went home in a stupor, couldn’t even stand up straight
I simply couldn’t understand how this could be my fate.
After weeks of sadness and regret and pain I couldn’t face
I realized that I should have stayed at home, where I was safe.
My daughter was a victim, and I was a victim, too
If only I had stood up strong for all I’d read and knew.
But there is no going back now, it’s over and it’s done
And they’ll never know what they did wrong, so in a way, they’ve won.
I wanted an experience to sustain me through the years
And instead I got a nightmare that has only brought me tears.
And yes, I have my daughter and she’s healthy and she’s whole
But they took the joy that was my right and robbed me, heart and soul.
So now each time I shower and I look down at my scar
I think of how our doctors haven’t really come that far.
The power and control that they have taken from us all
Will someday turn around and it will lead to their downfall.
They have no right to handle us or to take our dreams away
No right to touch our babies or to rob us of our say.
They only have the right to do what we allow them to
So we must stand up for ourselves and all that we believe is true.
We have every right to look at them and say a loud, strong “no”
We have a right to be informed, we have the right to go.
Let’s demand that we be treated kindly and humane
Let’s be smart when they insist that we should numb the pain.
For one thing leads to another, they must think that we are dumb
They blame us, but it’s their fault, and now our time has come.
We are built to birth our babies, we were meant to do the dance
Just follow what your body says and give yourself a chance.
Let’s all take back what used to be our own, God-given right
To have our babies naturally by the will of our own might.