I haven’t written any fiction since I finished short story last week. I’ve been trying to get some other personal projects out of the way: emails and letters to people, (slowly) cleaning and organizing the study so I can write there again, and oh yeah, scheduling enough sleep into my daily life, especially with the guaranteed night awakenings with the baby and the certain early mornings with the older two.
One writing project that I did manage to complete last night (at 2400 words) was Aaron’s birth story. It was longer than I would’ve liked since I kept comparing this experience with the labor & deliveries of the older two–who never got their birth stories written, so I was (over)compensating there. Part of the urge to record this experience was a sense of completion, the desire to add closure to a part of my life that I am pretty certain I will not revisit. Another motivation was to fix on paper some of those little sensory and emotional details that I may otherwise forget–the sting and burn of penicillin through the IV, a livid purplish-blue bruise on my forearm from a needle-poke that didn’t work, the post-delivery euphoria (forget exhaustion, I just wanted to call up everyone and yell, ‘I had a baby!” at them), the wandering wondering eyes of a newborn. The birth story ended up being a strange mixture of facts and numbers (times, dates, centimeters dilated, inches and pounds) and those vivid details that are unique to my experiences (crickets chirping on a wet, foggy night, for instance).
For those interested in birth stories, Real Birth: Women Share Their Experiences by Robin Greene is a good read that showcases a whole range of childbirth experiences; hospital and home births, single and multiple births, complications, unusual circumstances (like the woman who planned to give birth in a motel??) and more.