I remember the day of Naavre’s birth in snippets of scene.
The morning walk with Mojo, when I felt that this would be the day.
Caleb’s call, saying he had a feeling to get in touch with us today, and wondering if we could use some help.
Caleb helping Santi with a model of of planets. “I remember,” Santi said. “It was way far!”
“I bet it was,” Caleb said.
Xirra stopping by.
“It’s time,” she said. “Are you ready? This little one is ready!”
Xirra’s laughter. Though she was an experienced doula, and well-acquainted with a mother’s pain, she laughed so much.
“It kinda hurts,” I said, through clenched teeth. And she laughed more.
“I’m not laughing at you,” she explained. “I’m not even laughing with you! I’m just laughing! I’m so happy! I can’t help it. I’m sorry! I’m not. I’m happy!”
Xirra can be so infuriating.
My screaming. I don’t remember the pain, thank heavens. I guess our mind-body protects us from that, glossing it over, to keep the memory of the day one of joy. But the screams. I remember them.
Sept’s back rubs. His thumbs, pressing into the pressure points along my shoulders took away the pain, even if only for a moment.
“It still hurts.”
“Why are you laughing?”
“I’m so happy.”
“See?” Xirra said. They weren’t helping.
“What next? Mallory OK? Why baby inside? Hurt?”
And Xirra’s patient answers in Vingihoplo, explaining anatomy and the birth process in a way that Santi could understand, even the biology lesson was a little bit shocking.
My water breaking, and the undeniable urge to push.
“It’s time! Oh, God! Fuck!”
“Sanghi, moMallory!” Santi said.
And then the birth. I stood. I squatted. I panted.
“You’re fine!” Xirra said. “You’re doing great.”
“Fuck, Sept!” I yelled.
“You’re beautiful, byu!”
“Screw it ALL!”
And then, with a final push, the baby in my arms. Naavre. All gifts.
He was beautiful. We dressed him in the suit Xirra brought, to help support his tiny heart, liver, and lungs in this dry environment.
Waves of love came from him, like when he was inside of me, but stronger now, amplified by his eyes and his tiny cries.
And Sept. Sept’s joy.
“EOo inna-inna EOo.”
“I have a son; this son has a father,” he said, over and over.
And that was when life changed, yet again, and suddenly, everything seemed to matter so very much, this planet, the rebellion, the riots–all of it. Everything was real, and everything mattered.
That was the day of Naavre’s birth.