1982, Christmas Eve…….fully pregnant, calm…… thinking I had a week to go before delivery, then suddenly while cooking dinner I got a clear sign that baby had different ideas, I was alone, not even sure the phone would work as I was in a developing country, there was no ambulance service anyway but I rang a friend, somehow I got to another friend who was a midwife,finally the baby was delivered in the early hours of Xmas day.
Throughout the pregnancy I was physically well, but I was anxious that I may experience the puerperal psychosis my mum had when she had my older brother, some women experience it with each pregnancy they have, in between pregnancies they remain free from ‘altered states’. I don’t remember the birth being painful but it was an overwhelmingly spiritual and physical journey, where I felt pushed into a different level of awareness, perhaps for some it is just hard to tie those realms together, we all experience pain in different ways. The baby blues, which is very common often comes the day after delivery, for me I sobbed uncontrollably for a couple of hours, this and the much later experience at menopause has made me curious about the connection between sudden hormone change and mental wellbeing.
The journey home from hospital later in the day was the scarier experience, this little scrawny bundle totally dependant on me for everything……anyway we all survived and I had her at home for 16 years, always independent, that’s the age she decided to leave home. For the most part she has made her own path with little input from me, but when she has been on the scary boundaries of ‘night country’,* she has called home.
Although we will be separated by a large distance tomorrow on her 30th, I know that’s where my thoughts will be, ‘may God bless and keep you always’, darling…….Obi…., she would never forgive me for using her real name!
* Sam Keen, American Philosopher calls this ‘the Dark Night of the Soul’