Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Life Story: My Birth Story


I was born in Colorado on March 11 1977 during a late season snowstorm. The substantial snow dripped over the entire city, slathered the streets and sidewalks, heavily weighted the vibrancy of the living. It was through this atmosphere of wet and wary my parents made their way from their home in suburbia (where my five siblings stayed behind, four brothers, one sister) to the Swedish hospital in Englewood.
My mother, according to the charts in her manila folder at the OB/GYN's office, was two days late to give birth. There was discussion of an inducement, no reason really, no one was at risk, and me, the babe was not particularly over-sized, but when my parents arrived at the hospital that soppy morning my mother offered her hand over to an IV and pitocin made the choice for her.
For us. Really.
Prenatal care was given to my mother by one of the most esteemed group of doctors in the country. Dr. Bradley in particular had developed the Bradley Method, a compassionate guide to helping women have pain-free, low complicated births which was published in a book called Husband-Coached Childbirth. At that point though, my own father wasn't educated on any sort of usefulness during labor, and he was fine to keep it that way. He was also fine to wait in the waiting room as he had with my previous siblings, but the birthing culture had changed, this time insisting his presence was at least in the same room as his laboring wife.
He was proud of her, I've heard him say about my mother during childbirth. He knew her body was strong and able, something she had certainly proven by the sixth time around.
My mother soldiered on that stormy day, with no sort of relief for pain, not in any mental game plan or intravenous encouragement, she anguished and pushed and cried for hours until at last I relinquished my holdings in her womb and came out to meet the world.
I was eight pounds and five ounces. 
Also in the room were a group of paramedics, male, grateful they found a woman who would let them observe a labor and delivery for training purposes. I was born in front of a live audience.
I've been a performer ever since.