That’s how I view her birth, actually. By some reckoning, she was “early”, born at just under 36 weeks gestation. I often wonder what would have happened had I called my midwife the day before she was born, when I first thought my water was breaking. Would we have been sent to the hospital to have labour stopped artificially, to have steroids injected to try and plump up Peanut’s lungs “just in case”? When, then, would she have been born? At 38 weeks? 39? 40? She was done, ready to come out and meet us, ready to cry out to the world that she was here, ready to be named, ready to be cuddled and kissed and adored from curly head to tiny foot. I can’t imagine denying her her rightful birthday, the day she decided was best for her to be born. May 19 was her day, and she knew it; the rest of us were simply unaware. Our labour was timeless, as well. I didn’t watch the clock, didn’t time contractions, didn’t think about how quickly or slowly things were progressing, just existed within the liminal space which is labour, where only the mother and baby can exist, knowing that some things cannot and must not be rushed or controlled, but simply be allowed to happen, simply allowed to be. So many things can benefit from slowness. Buying a loaf of bread may be easier and faster than baking my own, but it doesn’t fill my home with the smell of yeast, the warm smell of baking bread, the sense of creating.
Slowness requires patience, requires trust in the gradual unfolding of things, and that, in itself, is challenging and work. There is a lesson to be learned in slowness.