Mary: the urge to be alone

Mary tells us about her beautiful daughter being born — and how her dad went to get ear plugs to be able to sleep through the noise.


Even short before the birth started, I was still unsure of my gestation, only knowing that I was either 34 or 38 weeks, so it did not feel unrealistic to me to be having my baby in late May. Hah. Denial is a hell of a thing. I totally knew.

Yesterday I woke up with a crazy amount of energy. I spent my day shoveling seaweed in the garden, then going for a long walk on the beach with my love, then coming home and inhaling a huge lunch, immediately afterwards feeling a ferocious need to be alone and take a nap.

When I woke up from my nap, I went and socialized with the rest of the family for a bit and ate a huge dinner. It was about this time that I noticed a tiny bit of pink when I wiped. But hey, due in May, so I ignored it, and went on to ignore the tiny period cramps that started poking around till I went to bed at 9.

I slept for an hour or so, but woke up when my podcast was over. I pressed play on the next one in line, but found I was just not interested in anything they had to say. Hmmm strange for me.

So I decided to masturbate, thinking an orgasm would help me sleep. The second I reached climax, a big old gush of water splashed.- Well shit —  I guess this means something is happening sometime soonish…

I went downstairs and thought that I would fiddle around on some art projects, but my period-like cramps were becoming bothersome. I got out my towels and strung up my yoga hammock, thinking I would get that out of the way early in case it got harder later. Good thing, because after just an hour of barely noticeable dull aches, I started realizing that my cramps were coming awfully close together. It threw me off because they were still not very long ( I never timed anything, but I am guessing they were near 2 minutes apart, but only about 20 seconds long) and then each succecive one became stronger than the last, closer together, but still so short!

I was shaky, turned all the lights out, took my clothes off, and spent the next hour getting progressively louder and louder. I tried to go to my composting toilet but found that I couldn’t make it three steps between each wave, so I pooped in the yard😂

When I came back in, my partner was up and asked if I needed anything. I told him nope, to please go lay on the day bunk, and I didn’t hear another peep from him. Until the point where I was on hands and knees, wave after wave, bellowing like I literally wanted to expel my lungs from my body, I have never felt such intensity.

There are no words. Dad got up and went out the door to the shop for a pair of ear plugs. The next clench I felt was sublty different. Yes, yes, I know what this means, oh thank God. I am so grateful for all of the birth stories I read. I fully expected to labor like that for hours, not wanting to get my hopes up.

My only fear in the moment, the weird labor brain fear, was that I was going to asphyxiate because I couldn’t stop yelling through the non stop contacting. But then I felt her move down. Oh, the difference! I know what to do here! Eric! Come back! I half knelt, half squatted and in two lovely sweet pushes had her head in my hands.

Everything was quiet, but for my words to my daughter. Sweet one you are doing so well, turn for me now, boy this was fast, I love you, I love you, you’re doing so well. Oh, feeling her turn in my body, I will cherish that forever. Waiting, going with the gentle urge to push again, and she was out.

She seems so small, so quiet. No cries. I suck her nose and mouth, she is strong and grasping, just a quiet baby. Placenta is waiting just behind, comes out in one push that felt even better than baby. Now in shock. It was so fast, and it hurt so bad, so much worse than I imagined. It was amazing, the perfect birth for me, it couldn’t have gone any other way.

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