Once Upon a Time a Memory Grew

It grew and grew and grew. Once upon a time a memory grew so big it landed on today.

There’s nothing like a baby to turn you inside out. To twist you around and tie you up and split you open. To spit you out something similar to, but not the same as you were before. Raw. Every movement and word and look absorbed and carefully considered. I have never felt more real, more purposeful. I feel solid and whole and exposed.

The more time goes on the more I contemplate birth. I think a lot about Baby’s birth, her coming into this world. The further it steps into the past, the more the memory grows and establishes itself in my mind.

The feeling and abundance of pregnancy. The fullness.

The time that passed during labour, a slice of time different to any other memory. It sits separate and bold.

The feeling of her passing through me.

The smell of her.

The first moments of touch, her warm skin on mine.

The memory of myself and my life before she was in it.

When I was pregnant people constantly told me not to worry about ‘the labour’, it was just something you got on with and got over, whatever happens, happens and as long as the baby is healthy you soon forget.

But you don’t forget.

Quite the opposite, really.

I do remember. I want to remember. Sometimes I sit quietly and close my eyes and relive it. I try to remember the feelings, the thoughts, the smell and the light. I had Laura Marling playing in the background towards the end but I can’t remember which song.

The day I gave birth for the first time is the most precious memory I have. I still have trouble believing it was me there, in that little room with my husband and my sister. In that little room with my husband and my sister and my baby.

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