Birthing Day

14 years ago I walked down to our sugarhouse in the early morning and leaned against the doors, a piece of me longing to remain there, static, still, until eternity. We never locked anything in those days. I was there to simply close the doors with an eyehook as we expected to be gone for a few days.

Unlike my first pregnancy, I knew at a certain point in my second pregnancy that this child would be born by caesarian. While I was leaning against the rough boards of those doors, my husband and 6-year-old daughter were breakfasting on oatmeal in the kitchen.

I was utterly unprepared to become a mother again. I hadn’t even begun to imagine names for this child — girl or boy, that morning we still didn’t know. But all pregnancies end, one way or another, as everything does in this world. On this 14thanniversary of my second birthing day, I’m always reminded of being on that extremely ancient and utterly contemporary world journey of motherhood, of bringing babes into this world, tending them, raising them, all the while gradually letting go. An infinity of mothers have passed through this earthly realm, and yet, what sacred largesse.

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

8 comments

  1. I’ve never heard the mystery, beauty and melancholy of approaching birth said so well. Beautiful. And happy birthday to the lass and to her wonderful mother.

  2. So lyrically beautiful. Becoming a mother, no matter how many times, has elements and fear of the unknown intertwined with love and longing. Happy birthday to your daughter and happy birthing day to you.

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