Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Arriving Where We Started

Today I went to the Birth Center where Sage was born. I was able to see Chris, the midwife who delivered him, as well as the lactation consultant, Hope, who offered me support and encouragement during the first (very difficult) weeks of breastfeeding.

I sat for a time in a rocking chair in the room where Sage was born, thinking: This is where I first saw you, first held you. This is where I willingly experienced the most intense physical pain of my life in order to experience the happiest moment of my life.

I ran my hand over the wooden bed frame and the quilt covered with dragonflies. I noticed the details of the room that I had no awareness of the last time I was there. There is a black and white photo of a baby nursing. He has a wonderful grin on his face, like he can't imagine life getting any better. Sage often smiled like that while nursing, and I remember thinking there couldn't be a sweeter feeling than seeing my child so satisfied and content.

As I received the hugs and care of those women who walked with me on my journey of birth and motherhood, I cried. And I realized then that my return to this place was one of the many gates through which I have to pass. The building is so full of the memories of mothers, fathers and infants. It echoes with screams, sobs, and groans . . . and the speechless joy of holding a newborn. Sage, Michael and I are part of that place.

We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring

will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.

--T.S. Elliot


Anonymous said...

Hi Jessie,

Your writing brings me such peace. Like Sage, you are so wise. The many gates through which we have to pass. I wonder about that sometimes too. Thank you for sharing.

Julie said...

That was so beautiful. I am amazed at your strength and courage.