I drew two pictures

I drew two pictures, just like the book suggested.  I was home alone, beads of sweat pooling in the crease between my thighs and the swell of my baby-filled belly.   The crayola box was covered in a thin layer of  dust.  I selected brown and red and peach and yellow, blue and gold and pink.  I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply.

Fear: I drew a dark, windowless room. I drew myself lying on a bed. My big, brown bulging form was strapped down by black wires and cords. I drew two women near me and colored their  faces peach and gave them long blond hair.  I drew word bubbles rising from their mouths. “#*?! ”  they shouted.  On my right calf muscle I drew a large red X.

Hope:  I drew myself sitting up in bed and my husband Jon next to me.  I drew a brown-skinned woman smiling nearby.  I drew a river flowing out from between my legs and a small brown baby floating atop.  In the air above the baby, I drew a star.

A few weeks later:  I sat up on a delivery room bed at Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago and  pushed.  The room was bright.   I closed my eyes and went inside myself.  I sensed the people in the room: my husband, my blond nurse, and my friend Sandhya.  My right leg spasmed and I shouted incoherent commands to this team of supporters. “You!”  I pointed frantically towards no one with my eyes closed. “Rub my leg! Up! No, down!  Left. More left.  No. Outside!!”  I felt hands on my leg, easing the cramp into a dull ache.

The nurse’s voice warned me of the next coming wave.  “Focus on your bottom!” Words you only hear in a delivery room or at the gym.  I breathed in deeply, standing somewhere inside myself in the dark, wondering who this child would be. “Do you want to feel the head?”  I reached down between my legs and felt a patch of hard skull covered by soft hair no bigger than a quarter. I wondered why my baby’s head was so very tiny.  I imagined I was pushing out a small doll. It seemed very doable.

The doctor appeared between my legs.  “Hi Aarati, I am Dr. Starr. Your baby is almost here.  Let’s get another good push.” I pushed my soul against hers, willing her into the world. I felt a sudden gush, a rush, and thrust myself against myself. “Wow! That’s a lot of water! Here she comes!”

Asha. Hope.  Kimberly. From the meadow of the royal forest.  The hope from the meadow of the royal forest was born.  All hail brown-skinned, all hail pink-skinned.  Born on water and under a star.  She is here, she is here, she is here!

 

 

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