Monday, July 5, 2010

My Birth Art

Recently I discovered and quite accidentally composed this word art (click to see full size).

The site asked for me to enter my blog address to choose words and as luck would have it that day I posted about labor induction.  The site randomly chose the words, sizes, and placement, and when I saw it I had that peculiar knocked-on-your-ass feeling.  The words it emphasized reflected so much of what I feel about birth as well as what I want from it.  In many ways, this art represents my birth journey thus far - my cesareans, my desire for normal birth, my unfailing belief that I can achieve it.

This picture is who I am as a birth advocate, but I felt compelled to make one more when I saw it.  So I made this picture.

It's the birth story I posted when this blog was in its infancy.  I wanted to get it in writing.  I thought seeing it would be hard, devastating even.   I imagined the words c-section, failure, epidural - everything horrible and unwanted about that birth - would take center stage. And I was surprised.

I was surprised because it just looked like birth.  And strangely for the first time I really realized that I birthed my babies.  Not in the way I had hoped and I pray this is not how future births look, but look at those words - contractions, pain, cervix, hours.  I gave birth to my children.

Words hold power to me.  The labels we use to describe ourselves.  The notes on our charts, margins, scraps of paper.  The stories in our books.  I love words.  I love the stories they tell.  These are my birth stories - my birth art.

In the future I will add these words - joy, power, vagina, trust - and all the words that come with them.


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