Rise of the Phoenix

Hello, R.M. Fans!

This week has been both physically and mentally trying. It seems that I am battling some cold bug. I am still making steady progress on Hearts Unbound and plan on writing a separate post about my progress. This post will be a part of a three post series about the emergence of parenthood. My little sister was gracious enough to allow me to use her experienced for this post. As always, comment without filter because I have none.

The birth of a child is an experience that no one can truly describe. For the parents involved, it often leaves them breathless and raw. When I gave birth to my children, I held my breath until the very first wail broke the serenity of the room. There will never be words within the human comprehension for me to give voice to something so profound. The experience is very different when you are the observer. You can see and sense things that generally go unnoticed. Today, I will attempt to take you through the journey of my niece’s birth. It was a long road that was traveled by crawling and not walking. The look on my sister’s faced post birth said it all.

My youngest sister is the baby of our family. Needless to say, she is adored and spoiled to a certain degree. I tend to turn into a grizzly and have attempted for years to fix everything so she would never experience a moment of pain or distress. Needless to say, I failed. She was always a headstrong woman determined to make her way in this world. There are many experiences I wish I could have changed or prevented, but she has always found her way. This particular journey is something I could never change, manage, or fix. She called me as the very first contractions began and I held my breath. Externally, I was calm and wanted to maintain a level of cool that would guide her through the process. Internally, my mind waged a battle with my heart for sanity. Could I watch her suffer in order to bring forth life?

Eventually, I made my way to the hospital preparing myself for the work of being a supporter and not a fixer. For hours, I watched her battle aches, distress, fatigue and the unknown. Each centimeter of dilation was earned through crawls in fire.  There were never tears, but the pain and fear were visible in her chocolate eyes. She bore it all in hopes of giving her daughter life. Through the long hours of waiting, I watched a miracle emerge. It was not the birth of a child but that of a mother. My little sister became a woman that would walk through lava for the life inside her. After 46 hours of pain and waiting, the doctor asked her to push. There was not an ounce of energy left in her body. She hadn’t eaten in nearly two days, and the monitors and machines had turned into a miserable symphony she would never forget.

This young woman began to emerge from the flames of childbirth with each push and finally her life giving Phoenix ignited the room. Her flesh stretched, tore, and burned in order to push out her heart and soul.  As the wail of new life cracked like lighting in the air, she laid back broken, exhausted, and raw. In her eyes I saw fear, triumph, hope, and rebirth. I entered the room to provide support for a child I had attempted to protect my entire life and I met a woman who understood the allure of both life and death.  This mother had crawled through scorching flames and would carry the mental scars for a lifetime. Absolutely nothing could have convinced her not to dive in especially knowing that her soul was waiting on the other side.

It has been almost two weeks and the experience still makes me raw. As a bystander, I was in awe. As a mother, I watched flames burn her and realized that two people were born on that day. A warrior and their soul rose from the ashes of life.  It is not being a mother that makes you superhuman. It is the ability to accept that you are nothing until you crawl through the forge of life and carry your child through the other side. Sadly many woman make it out but are never reborn mothers. Their Phoenix is never able to attach itself to the soul they bring forward.  The soul is destroyed or set adrift in a cruel world. It has been difficult to convey this experience through my words. My words are the equivalent of an amateur artist attempting to recreate a Renoir in pencil. It is the experience of birth that truly speaks to your soul. I remember watching the birth of my nephew and not truly getting it. I have always been madly in love with him but never understood my older sister’s 15-hour journey. This time, I saw it through the eyes of a mother.  I am grateful my sister saw fit to have me at her side. On that day, I fell in love with a little face that resembled the two people who would love her above all things in life. Thank you for reading.  Stay tuned for part 2 which chronicles the journey of my brother in law. Stay naughty because you are good at it.

R.M. Garry

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