This is posted for all my doula friends and other women who provide sacred space for birth.
Keeper of the Space
by Michelle Fonte, Birth Doula
she…on elbows and knees on the bathroom floor
naked body glistening with the evidence of her exertion
dad poised behind her
hands ready to catch
abundant curiosity and bliss on his face
she…hands grasping mine. holding. tight
me… mirroring her pose: knees and elbows on the cold floor
her forehead on my shoulder. pressing hard when the surges are strong
i meet her force with equal force
i shift my weight
she feels me
eyes raise and meet
she says ‘don’t leave me’
she feels the truth in my answer. again rests her head on my shoulder.
“don’t leave me” she said.
her words turn over in my mind and stroke my ego
wrap around my shoulders like a warm blanket
for a split second. i. feel. Important.
she grunts and groans and sings
looking under her body
between her thighs I see her baby’s head filling up her. blossoming. pink.
intensity of these universes colliding: the one baby has inhabited for 40 weeks and the one he is about to enter
makes her think she may come apart
in this moment. she believes that she needs me
with courage and power and will she perhaps didn’t know she possessed, she births her baby into his daddy’s hands
the midwives say…’mama…take your baby’
she. stunned. still between worlds.
reaching under i receive their slippery blueish-turning-pink child
daddy’s eyes meet mine.
i passing the gorgeous baby into her hands
eyes raise and meet again
i am humbled
i am not important
simply the keeper of the space
Michelle is the mama of six children, doula and birth activist. She currently lives in Miami, Florida.
Thank you to Womb Space, a page dedicated to spreading information on childbirth through essays, pictures, articles, videos, poetry and more. http://wombspace.tumblr.com/post/947981510/keeper-of-the-space-michelle-fonte-birth-doula