This is a human

I’ve been home for a few days now, resting mostly. My energy isn’t quite what it should be but I’m trying to be sensible and not push myself beyond what I’m able to do. I don’t want to make things worse by ignoring that I’m not entirely well right now.

When you leave the hospital and you’re evaluated for home care, the nurse asks you how you rate your health. It’s a subjective question, dependent completely on your own opinion. I’ve always rated myself ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, but this time I gave myself a rating of ‘fair’.

So I’m home and I’ve been sleeping a lot and watching television and reading books and taking short walks and tidying, and now I’m preparing to take a short term disability leave so I can regain my health and just take care of myself for the next month or so. I think it will be good for me physically and emotionally.

I helped my friends bring a brand new human into the world today. Someone asked how it felt to be there and I said it just felt amazing and perfectly normal all at the same time. I had no expectations. Mia said I may have found my calling as a doula, but I think I would only be interested in being there for people I love. It was a privilege to hold the weight of Mia’s head as she pushed, to stroke her hair while she rested between contractions, to be there alongside her boyfriend, urging her on, telling her she was amazing and that she was doing such a great job. And she was. And is was an honor to watch the determination settle on her face, to see her concentrate so hard on getting that baby out. And then he was out, and it was so fast and he gave a little yawp at being brought forth in the world, but then he bore the indignations of the flesh with quite the steely resolve. I got to cut his umbilical cord and take pictures of him, and listen to his papa begin to tell him all about Toronto, the city he lived in, and joke with his mama, and hold him and rock him and watch him find his mouth with his thumb. Yesterday there was no Winston but today there is Winston and I got to watch him come in to the world and it was perfect and right and natural. This is how it should be.

I thought I would cry right when he was born, but it’s only now that it’s happening. Happy tears, of course. Who wouldn’t be happy after watching this fellow enter the room.



About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
This entry was posted in Narratives, this is me. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to This is a human

  1. Mia says:

    Oh now you’re making me cry! So glad you were there!!! Can’t even imagine how I would have done it without you xoo

  2. Awesome! Tears of grace!

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