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Death and Dessert

by Samanda Rossi, owner, educator and doula at Naturally Prepared

I had a lovely postpartum visit yesterday. This family welcomed their third child three weeks ago, and I was so honored to accompany them. We talked about all the things you would expect at a postpartum – breastfeeding, sleep, pediatricians, family, plans for the weeks ahead. We also talked about death and dessert.

This Mama stated, “You know what’s amazing about birth? That it doesn’t kill you. Though you feel like you’re dying when you are in it”. Now, this client’s labor was intense. Her body did a lot of work VERY quickly at the end of labor. She wore an eye mask to help her feel safe (great idea!) and stood rocking through contractions while holding onto her husband. She was powerful. She WAS dying.
When a woman is in labor, when she taps into her most primal self, when she is physically, mentally and emotionally challenged, in this process she dies. This woman that she was before: a loving mother to two darling children, a strong, determined business woman, a runner, a wife and daughter. That person dies.

But, in those moments that she thinks she cannot go on any longer, that she thinks she is dying, her baby is born. And so is she. She is re-born as a NEW mother, with the instinct and love to care for this new soul. It‘s like the unfurling of a butterfly. After all those days and months of growing a human being, she takes flight as a new being, a new mother!

As she snuggled her newborn, she said, “She’s like dessert. You don’t need it, but you want it.” What a beautiful tribute to this sweet third child. A daughter born for the first time, and a mother re-born again, savoring all the sweetness life has to offer.