The picture below was not the result of an overwhelming feeling of happiness of “yes I pushed this child out”

Nor of joy for the baby laying on my chest.

Those were my expectations at the least. That with baby number 5, I would somehow have the child exit my body and yes I will be happy with him here. The bare minimum of expectations.

The joy on my face is the result of one thing. ….. space

This five letter word had left me feeling like I ran a marathon and won. Let’s be honest I fucking kicked ass in my space.

My past births I catered to others and what they wanted to see in MY space during MY births.

Instead of being selfish I gave in.

I took back my space this time around.

My best birth experiences have been in a space of just women.

When I have my space to be uncensored

There is nothing more beautiful than a room full of women during a birth laughing, crying, and sometimes cursing each other out.

What made this birth even more special …. a room full of women of color holding space and welcoming a child into this world.

A room full of women of color with bonds ranging from just met you last week to I have known you for a few years.

Nothing more magical then laughter between contractions, the petty sister like comments.

I will even go out on a limb and say

Culturally centered maternal care combined with cultural centered birthing saves lives

not just physically but spiritually.

This past year has been spiritually hard.

This past year has left me nearly broken

My birth space was healing, forgiveness for things I cannot control was granted.

His birth was redeeming, homage paid to his grandmother my mother whose wokeness I didn’t not fully understand till this past year.

Confirmation of the calm after a storm ….

My birth space was reclaimed and it saved me.

Photo credits Amber Schwingle Zurst

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