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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1 Comment

  1. Gail Smith said,

    September 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Aarati, your writing is so gorgeous and immediate that it brought me to tears and made me feel as if I’d been present at Asha’s birth. Happy birthday to wonderful Asha! And I hope you all are settling well in your new home. Please send snail-mail address when you have time (gailtsmith@gmail.com) Much love, Gail


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