Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark | Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Morning After

Do you sometimes feel like you can't check the Facebook without seeing some beaming new mom, some tiny newt, some proud papa you knew a million years ago in high school? Is your fridge so covered with birth announcements and baby shower invites that you can't find the handle? Is the man getting you down? Are you just downright feeling old? Have you simply read one too many Jennifer Weiners?

Okay, maybe not, maybe not.

Maybe, after a long semester and a long winter and a long week, that's just where I am right now.

Anyway, it was all those things and so many more, until I read Elisa Albert's After Birth. 

Yes, my squeamish readers, it's about birth. Yes it's about being sad afterwards. Yes it's about being white in the first world with a good man and a good job, a good degree, good friends. And yes, yes, there is whining. There is bitching. There is menstrual blood.

Pick up a copy anyway, friends. Male or female, I don't give a sucky banana. Want to know what it's like to give birth and then have to inhabit this world? Too bad! You need to learn anyway! Too many new American moms are made to feel helpless, afraid, alone, torn apart, and sucked dry. Do you wish for a friend, a good listener, a good storyteller, a fighter? Do you wish someone would laugh in your face and shake you by the shoulders? Do you want to read something sneaky, deviant, angry, and true? Are you ready for a slap in the face and a bite on the ear?

All right, then.

Go visit your friends, the book shouts as you hold it in your hands. Don't leave new moms alone!! Don't assume they're okay! Don't fret when you see their beaming faces on your News Feed! Don't be jealous! Don't feel inadequate! Just go on over there now, and bring food!

Albert writes that giving birth "is not at all dissimilar to the time surrounding death: periods of profound change and transformation that demand our complete attention." She tells us not to be so afraid of giving birth, of asking for what we want, of seeking a second opinion, of letting ourselves truly feel. Let's let our bodies do what they have always known how to do. Let's trust ourselves. Let's read this book, and then let's make more books like this one.

1 comment:

  1. "As the New Year is fresh in mind, the dominant question in mind of everyone is, “How will you make 2015 a great year?”

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