Friday, May 30, 2008

Unneccessary Use of Second Person in a Post

It is after midnight and you fidget to get comfortable in your hospital bed. All around you, the galloping sound of babies' heartbeats float through the walls from the various monitors in the observation ward.

Every woman in every bed has her own story.

You are dozing off when you first hear it; a long, low moan. It is intimate, uninhibited, the kind of moan a woman might make for her lover, and very out of place in the sterile hospital. Then it comes again, and you realize what it is.

It is the sound of a woman in labor.

Absent are the dramatic screeches and cries of television sitcom labor. This is the sound of someone exploring their limits. This is the sound of someone's life changing.

The woman moans through each contraction, and you feel a tug deep inside of you, an urge, an awakening, that you never knew was there before. Your body nearly sways with the force of it. There are entire oceans, planets, universes, in your womb.

You see your body in a physical way that is beyond the physical you've known up until now. You've always associated physical with the act of being seen, being noticed. For the first time in your life, you are able to really understand the true purpose of your breasts, your hips, your thighs, your vagina, and it is a sweet relief. Your nakedness belongs to no one but you. You are flush with power, pulsing with energy.

Even though you are wearing an itchy hospital gown and sitting on a lumpy hospital bed, you feel like a queen. You know in this moment that all women are queens. And warriors. You drift off to sleep again.

You jolt awake sometime later and the woman's moans are louder, faster, more urgent. This time, the woman is joined by a chorus of excited voices cheering, "Push! Push!" You wonder if the woman is scared. If she is hurting. If she is empowered, or if she's just so over this childbirth thing.

The moans and shouts build, build, build, then all is quiet.

The cries of the new baby next door start soft and grow louder and louder.

You know that someday, it will be you in that bed, drenched in sweat, wasted with effort, waiting for the moment you hear your baby cry for the first time. You are frightened, yet you can't wait to experience it for yourself.

You send your good vibes out to this woman you do not know. You do not need to know her. You are bound by what your bodies can do; in labor, we are all the same. We grunt, we cry, we moan, we bleed, we celebate.

We all have our turn.