beginnings and endings

she placed her hands on my belly and closed her eyes
‘six pounds’ she estimated, in her wise and witchy ways
being a midwife for over twenty years.. her hands are knowing but not full of ego

her life is the story i want to read.
well.. fuck that. her life is the story i want to hear, from her lips. with wild cackles and over steamy cups of tea.
her story is what i want to hear, while knee deep in her garden- helping her plant and dig as she tells me tales.

she was my midwife before she was my midwife… she was my midwife- before i knew i was pregnant. she was my midwife, from the moment i laid my eyes on her. when i hugged her, when i took the scent of her deep in my lungs, when my eyes met hers and.. i had a knowing. she. she will be the one to help me bring my baby earthside.

and as i asked her yesterday, at my 36 week appointment ‘how many times after the birth will i see you?’
i start to tear up with the thought…  (okay, i lied… i’m here bawling and snot dripping down my face as i write it out. )
she went into the days that she will come, every day.. and then a day off for me..and then again.. and again.. and slowly slowing down, to let the relationship transition as it’s meant to
…i’m already having the hardest time knowing that our relationship like this has to end.. the monthly, then every other weekly, then weekly, and finally daily blessings of having her in my home will come to an end. she will wean me from her like all mothers do with their children, and then she will move on- with other babies to catch, and midwives to train, and her beautiful life to live.. and i will be here, yes. my life forever changed with a new babe at my breast– and a piece of her story here with me in my flesh, in my soul.  she is part of my motherhood, my womanhood, my sisterhood.

i’m not very good with the distinction of endings and beginnings
and yet they all tie in together. cannot have one without the other
i linger with the endings… holding onto.. mourning.. unsure how i will move on and start *being* the beginning.

but the earth keeps spinning.. and endings and beginnings continue to marry
the winter melts away into the spring, the sun stays out longer.. and the first flowers push up from the earth
beginning and ending, without always definite. a random dusting of snow, just enough to remind you of the season that passed- but not enough to convince you of it’s stay.

‘are you ready?’ they ask
is anyone ever? how can you be? ready… what IS ready?
my body has been preparing me to be ready for the past 36 weeks so far.. my body and emotions all prepare ‘to be ready’
to blossom and bloom and feel wildly beautiful and ripe
and to collapse and cry and feel wildly uncertain about everything
ready…  i suppose, in only the way that you can be- which is entirely not ready at all.

the supplies are ready. the pool and pump and liner. the various things to soak up fluids and birth. the candles and herbs and love and intention.
the list is ready, the extra bits to get for just the labour and immediate post partum.
the date set for a mother blessing- with women that will gather around. to be quite honest, i have no idea what will unfold. i’ve never even been to a mother blessing.
the baby nearly ready, in a beautiful position. allowed to make their arrival at any point from next week onwards…

my mysterious one
in my dreams, i see your face squished in my red womb.
in my dreams, i have felt your head crowning from my body. opening up for you, dancing your body down from one world into the next.

in the bath, or in the shower, your body sways this way and that. your legs kick and hands tickle deep at my pelvis. we communicate silently, my hands lay on my belly. your flesh just beneath my own.

at night, when i light the fire to keep the hearth warm- i stand and sway my hips at the fires lick.
one night, i sat naked before the flames, feeling their heat on my bare flesh.  watching the shadows dance across my taut belly and swollen breasts. suddenly this overwhelming divineness. you, my dear one. will you choose to be born in the water like the pisces you are said to be? or will you be roared from my hips infront of the roaring fire- for some balance and heat
when will you even choose to come?
who will be present to witness your emergence? to see the steam lift off your body…  who will stand in the room while you take your first divine breath of air?
who will be there- to look into your mysterious eyes, full of knowing, of other worldly wisdom- and receive a gift you’ll bring with you.
whose hands will be the ones to guide you from my body? my own? your dads? our midwife?

you will be loved, that is for certain.
you will be cradled from one world into the next. i will welcome the quakes and shakes that is your impending arrival.  you will spiral through my hips and forever change me.
your sister will coo and croon over your tiny hands and feet.
she’ll watch you at my breast, and possibly ask to have some too
your sister… you’ll have made her a sister.

the day of your choosing, my dear one… the sun will rise for you. the stars will align for you. the earth will keep spinning for you.
for you, the world awaits
ready.. preparing to be ready.
for you.


  1. Niamh said . . .

    You have me in tears here Erin, that is the most beautiful post! I wish you a beautiful and peaceful birth, just as it’s meant to be, just as you desire. It will rock your world! xxx

    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:23 am | Permalink
  2. Natacha said . . .

    So, so, so touching. Love sweet girl. And the wish of light light light!!!

    Posted February 7, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink
  3. Karina said . . .

    I’m reading your latest post here at work, and my eyes are welling up at reading it…this is so beautiful….Oh how my body, heart and sould ache to experience what you are experiencing right now. Dear universe, bless this woman who will be giving birth to her child any day now…and bless my longing to meet my soulmate and start a family…that longing that is so deep within my being….

    Thank you so much for sharing this and blessings on the birth of your child…..

    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  4. Jo said . . .

    Beautiful, Erin. I wish for you a beautiful birth, a truly empowering female experience. xxx

    Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink
  5. Helen said . . .

    Beautiful. xxxx

    Posted February 11, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink
  6. Brooke said . . .

    Oh, Erin. You are truly wonderful. So eloquently written.

    It was hard for me too dealing with the fact that I wouldn’t be seeing my midwife anymore! I came to tears; it was so enriching to be with her. My husband was sad as well. We are so blessed to have these strong sage women in our lives to cradle us and inspire us to our strength.

    You are going to rock this birth!

    Would you mind emailing me your address? I have a little package I’d love to send you. :)

    xo Brooke

    Posted March 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

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