Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Slowly, or, What rush?

I was recently turned on to a blog, Vancouver Doula. It's well written, positive, informative, and generally fantastic; I became an instant fan. In her most recent two posts she has written about the 'slow' movement, and linked to SlowPlanet. In reading posts there, I thought about the speed of my life, and how it has changed dramatically with Peanut's arrival. Instead of rushing to work everyday, sitting stagnantly at my desk, rushing through tasks, constantly watching the clock, Peanut and I have our own rhythm to life. We aren't scheduled because I see no reason to impose a schedule on her when I, myself, don't thrive on one. We walk about the city as we have gotten rid of our car (have I mentioned lately how much I adore living downtown?) and we take our time doing...everything. Consider that phrase now: we take our time. Not someone else's, not some prescribed routine, just our time, whatever that is.

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.

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