My sister bought me the “Emma Press Anthology of Motherhood“, a collection of poems about family, children and mums. And there was one poem that stood out to me as being wonderfully evocative of the night I went into labour.
Obviously the realisation that it was a life-changing moment in our lives, a moment where we went from single and carefree – able to have impromptu beer garden sessions with in-depth conversations, and spend the whole next day on the sofa eating pizza, not knowing how precious a trip to the cinema or uninterrupted lunch were; to parents of a wildly demanding and amusing little boy, only comes with hindsight. At the time, I was screaming in pain and demanding someone come and get me pain-relief NOW. But now I can see that it was the moment my life changed beyond recognition and that makes me really emotional. We left the house as one thing and came back another, overwhelmed with love, wanting to shield him from the world, never to be the same again.
The poem is produced with kind permission of the author, Liz Berry.
And this is where it begins, love –
you and I, alone one last time in the slatey night,
the smell of you like Autumn, soil and bonfire,
that November the fourth feeling inside us.
There can be no truer wedding than this:
your bare hand in mine, my body winded
with pain, as you lead me to the car, to the
soon life. And we are frightened, so frightened –
Who will we be when we come back?
Will we remember ourselves?
Will we still touch each other’s faces
in the darkness, the white noise of night
spilling over us, and believe there is nothing
we could not know or love?