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. This is the second of the poems (you can read the first here) and is about questioning the real repercussions of giving up control during the birth process.
By Trish Lawrie
In the hurry-and-give-me-a-c-section ways
We’re impatient, we’re tired, we concede quite a lot
We schedule our births in available slots.
We check into hospitals, check out when we’re done
We bitch all the while because birth is no fun.
We avoid big decisions as a general rule
After all, we did not go to medical school.
We tend to stay quiet, questions rarely get asked
We just want it over with “easy” and fast.
Our sections are planned before anything’s wrong
And we blindly nod yes, and we just go along.
Our due dates are law and inductions blasé
They want us delivered and out of their way.
They give us strong drugs, then they walk out the door
When we’re pregnant again, we just go back for more.
So what does it matter, this lack of control?
After all, it’s convenient and won’t hurt a soul.
But we don’t often think of the baby’s reaction
We’re too busy with read-outs and other distractions.
And what of the moms, missing out on so much
Like holding her child and that first precious touch?
Babies need to pass through the canal during birth
So that they can breathe when they come to this earth.
Moms are pushing through drugs, exhausted, confused
They lie on their backs feeling beaten and bruised.
And if she’s not pushing, she’s still lying down
Her belly cut open with surgeons around.
Babies are born and then whisked away
They’re poked and they’re prodded, and don’t have a say.
Cords are cut quickly, the lifeline is gone
The placenta is pulled and too quickly withdrawn.
It’s cold in this world, and the lights are so bright
Babies scream and they flail and put up a good fight.
And everyone thinks it’s so cute how they cry
Then they stick them and then put some gunk in their eyes.
In the meantime, Mom lays with arms empty and wide
And the need for her baby is just brushed aside.
When the baby is handed, the moment has passed
Mom may have said something, but nobody asked.
She may now be groggy or even spaced out
Breastfeeding begins with her all full of doubt.
She’s been robbed of her hormones, she feels quite a mess
And then wonders why after she feels so depressed.
She goes home with her baby, but something was lost
What price are we paying? What exactly’s the cost?
Our children are learning of life on this day
Will they learn how to love in this difficult way?
What are we doing to them, and to us?
Is birth worth all the pain? Is it worth all that fuss?
The answer is yes, maybe more than we know
It’s not for a medal, it’s not just for show.
Women birth in their homes, women work through the pain
And then, in the end, it’s our babies that gain.
They learn about gentleness, tenderness, love
They are touched by their parents, not by some rubber glove.
Breastfeeding flows, the bonding commences
We build love this way with bridges, not fences.
“Less is more” is the mantra, and I pray it will spread
And weave into our consciousness just like a thread.
We do not have to fear what is rightfully ours
We’re prisoners, but we can break out of these bars.
Working together, become educated
Birth will be revered, not slandered or hated.
It’s a wish in my heart that all people on earth
Will soon know the joy of a beautiful birth.