C-section, live.

Yesterday, I had the tremendous privilege of being a good friend’s birth partner. This was the first time I had ever done anything like it, and it also happened to be a planned caesarean, something of which I had no experience either. So, naturally, I had to write a poem about it. This one is for you, M.



All I can see is your head
You are strapped to a bed
with what looks like pink parcel tape.

You smile and shiver while unseen
doctors work behind a screen:
to us they’re only sound and shape.

We chat about sci-fi and fantasy
and agree to disagree,
then we fall silent, you close your eyes.

On three hours sleep, you’re looking worn
and out of sight your child is born,
breaking the hush with disgruntled cries.

Birth for me was full of stress,
full of noise and blood and mess.
This gentle stillness is quite new.

I cuddle your daughter, hold her up,
as invisible doctors stitch you up,
and I look at calm and glowing you.

for sharing these first moments
as a mother of two.

(c) Judith Kingston, 2014

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18 responses

  1. That is really beautiful, and what a privilege! I’d love to be there for a birth, but my sister didn’t want anyone else there and I don’t have friends as close as that. I’ll just have to hope my daughter wants me!

    • You can start dropping the idea in now so by the time she is at that stage she is completely convinced that of course you will be there. 🙂

  2. I love the bit about ‘stress’. I’m a paediatrician and have been to lots of c-sections, to make sure the baby is ok. There are times, when I’m worried about the baby and whilst those clever obstetricians are pulling and pushing, trying to get the baby out of a tiny hole, my brain is screaming ‘get the baby OUT, get the baby OUT’. Child birth is amazing isn’t it.

    • Oh yes i imagine it must all be quite messy and stressful on the other side of the screen! They were doing a great job keeping the atmosphere calm though. In fact, while stitching my friend up they were putting in their orders for lunch!

  3. What an amazing thing to witness! Sounds like the opposite of my three messy ‘natural’ deliveries! You captured this feeling so well in the poem. #pocolo

  4. Lovely Poem!!!… I would love to be a birthing Partner, ive had 3 sections myself and so I would love to be a birthing partner to a “Normal” Delivery 😀 #PoCoLo

    • It is.. hm… quite eventful! I’m a little squeamish and was quite happy that I was high on gas and air during my own deliveries, and also grateful my friend had a section!

  5. Love love love this Judith. What an honour to have been there. I’ve always fancied being a birthing partner. Be nice to be present at a birth when you’re not being ripped apart yourself. Gosh, did that sound bitter?! ha ha. xxx

    • 🙂 Yes, it was very good not to have to go through the agony (and subsequent sleepless nights and breastfeeding start up issues) myself.

  6. I had an emergency c-section and was quite nervous! The way you described this birth makes it sounds so peaceful. It’s wonderful that you were there with your friend, it can be quite scary!

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