by Toi Derricotte

Page 5

Speaking of mothers, I'm going to read a little section from Natural Birth. I'll read this section called "Ten Twenty-Nine" which is going to plunk you down right in the middle of labor. Are you ready for it? It hits you in life like that, right? Right out of the blue:


going to the bathroom, worse than cramps, can't stop
going to the bathroom, shaking my head over the toilet.
just sit. sit on the toilet. don't move. just shake
your head. trying to go so hard. maybe it will go away.
just try. press real hard. it hurts      i can't help it       oh
it hurts so bad!

lie on the bed and can't breathe right. go to sleep and
wake up in the middle of a wave, too late...

what time is it, i can't keep track of time...

fall asleep. two minutes. can't stand the pain. have
to go to the bathroom. feels so ugly pressing down there,
shame, shame! have to go to the bathroom all the time.
shake my head. can't believe it hurts like this and
getting worse.

lie back in bed, just breathe. just relax. watch the
clock. one minute goes so slow. seems like 10:29, the
clock is stuck there, stuck on pain...

nurse comes in, asks me if i want a shot. no i don't want a
shot. i want this to be easy. please god make it easy, i said it
would be easy. no i don't want a shot don't want to give up
yet, i want it to be beautiful like it's supposed to be if i just
breathe right, can't give up they want to give up i won't
give up
(the minutes stuck around the clock), please
nobody see me
(the nurse says the social worker wants to
see me... and the social worker is pregnant!) god don't
let her see. i told her to have lamaze like me told her it was
easy and not to be afraid. don't let her see how hard don't
let her be afraid like i am now. never again, never have a
baby, never believe that this is beautiful or right or good
i'm rolling in the dark      the clock is stuck     the big black clock
is stuck all night. inside i'm quiet outside i roll and can't
stop it getting worse, can't stop     it's getting worse -- it can't
get worse! how could a body hold such pain? how could
such pain be here and how and what did i do? i want to
scream      i can't. my mouth is stopped     my mouth is dry --
so dry     god let me out of this hell     i did my exercises loved
my baby did everything i could, you promised if i was good
you promised if i was clean and pure and beautiful, if i was
humble like a child and loved them all the little children

(so far to the bathroom, so cold in the night loving my baby,
so far, so cold, so long) and no one to come and save me
from this pain i cannot stop oh god no one to save me....

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Last updated on March 10, 2008
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