Tag Archives: birth

Introducing Joshua

Introducing my beautiful new grandson
Joshua Reuben Galliford
Born 10.27 pm Monday, 28th August
At Southmead Hospital
Birth weight 6lb 12oz (3.62kilo)

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Image: Joshua, 18 hours old.

With gratitude to the delivery team at Southmead Hospital. A special thank you to the amazing midwife, Sandy, who delivered him.

I watch,
knowing that which she
can only imagine, yet her agony
does not outreach her anticipation.
Even the searing pain fails
to twist her into anger
or fleeting regret.

As I watch, I remember
the first time I held her,
hoping that her life be joyous –
a hope which she now fulfils.

Sandy is reassuringly calm, but I detect a flicker of urgency as she glances toward the monitor, the instant before she tells Laura to grasp her legs, pull them toward her, and push. The baby needs to emerge very soon.

For an instant,
fear traps our lungs,
but Sandy silently commands
our trust. We exhale and it feels
like the room breathes with us.

Laura is magnificent,
as if she had given birth
a hundred times before.

My chest swells with pride
while I try not to enter the space
that exists between this mother
and her successfully married child.

Tomorrow, she will speak of trauma, not comprehending the strength she showed as her son was expelled from her womb. I will tell her she she was brave. I will say she made it look easy, but she will not believe me.

After a time,
the recollection of pain
will dim, becoming little more
than a tale she tells; an acceptable
paragraph or two
in her unique story.

One last push
and the room explodes with love.
Mother and son are skin to skin.
She holds him, kisses him.
He is beautiful.

She speaks his name, Joshua.
crooning in the soft tone that she used
all those months while he grew inside her.
He turns his head. His blurry eyes
seem to seek and quickly find
the face of his mother.

Birth
is a violent, traumatic act, and yet
within a minute or two of his emergence,
he is contented,enfolded by
my daughter,his mother,
his whole little world.

He recognises her.

When she speaks,
the very sound describes the deepest,
truest love.

In the days that follow,
Laura’s is the only voice
he responds to.

I leave my miraculous Phoenix
smiling softly, watching her long-awaited son
as he suckles at her warm breast.

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Didn’t she do well…

While this is about Laura, her husband deserves an honourable mention. Dave is a caring, experienced father who adores his new baby son.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Love In Ten Sentences

I am proud to be one of 12 people selected by Rosalyn to go on a mission.  I am to share my thoughts on “Love” with an axiom of ten lines, using four words in each sentence and each sentence to include the word “love”, then give my favourite quote on love.

If any of you haven’t read Rosalyn’s words, I suggest you visit her spaceship as soon as you finish reading this post. Not only are her thoughts and poems a treat to read; she also radiates love and happiness, lifting the reader’s spirits and making them smile.

Strictly speaking, these aren’t sentences, but lines. I’m sure I will be granted poetic licence!

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When love was born

love made no sound

a soft loving caress

the infant’s first love

a love that learned

to love family, friends

to love a man;

nurture a love seed

in a loving womb

rotating love’s sweet circle

© Jane Paterson Basil

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I can’t choose between my two favourite quotes on love, so here are both of them:

Love -Mahatma Ghandi

Good things are to be passed on. So, I hereby nominate the following  bloggers to spread “love”.

POSSESSION

My mother was on the rant again. I suppose I shouldn’t have been baiting her, but any conversation we had ended up this way, so I thought I may as well get some entertainment out of it.

”You can’t put a fun head on old shoulders,” I had said to her, twisting around the old adage she had just slung at me.

Her fingers bent and straightened as she wrapped and re-wrapped the yarn around knitting needles which click-clacked furiously. The scarf was growing at an alarming rate. Already it was so long that it would probably wrap around the house. She knitted when she was mad about something. She was often mad. Almost anything could incite her ire:

The neighbours cat, sitting on the wall, looking at her. ”It’s staring at me again.” she would say.

Conversations between characters in Eastenders. ”What did he have to go and say that for. He’s really hurt her feelings,” she would say, as if it was real, as if she was somebody who cared about the feelings of others.

Puddles in the street. ”They should do something about it,” she would say.

The whir of the cooling fan in the corner shop. ”It’s so loud I can’t think,” she would say.

The sound of my father’s voice. ”That horrible man is on the phone for you,” she would say.

Yes, many things made her angry, but most of all, I made her angry. My presence and my absence, everything I said and everything I didn’t say, everything I did and didn’t do, everything I was and everything I wasn’t.

Which made life a little tricky, as I lived with her.

Now she stopped knitting, and pointed her needle at me.

”Fun?” she spat. ”Fun? You talk about fun? I had fun once. And what do you think the result was? You! Planting yourself inside me, stealing my nourishment, taking my space, growing and making me fat and ugly. Pushing on my spine and my bladder. Scrabbling through my tubes, pushing your way out of my body. Expecting to be fed and clothed! Screaming and shitting all the time. Don’t talk to me about fun.”

I yawned, and looked out of the window at the sky. A dark cloud was forming overhead, signalling an upcoming storm.

The phone rang.

”Well, answer it!” she said.

The voice at the other end asked for her by name. Irritably, she slapped her knitting on the arm of the chair.

I watched impassively while she held the receiver.

”Speaking,” she said, curtly. ”Yes, that was me.” Then ”Is this a joke?”

A long silence as she listened. Finally she said ”This is ridiculous, but yes, I can make it tomorrow.”

She put the phone down. She put her knitting away. She was subdued for the rest of the day.

The following day, she went out. When she came back, she hugged me tearfully. I took in the hitherto unexplored fragrance of her hair, surprised by the smell of flowers and musk, of disinfectant and human being.

She told me about the woman who had given birth on the same day that I was born, and had always claimed that she was given the wrong baby to take home. babyAfter years of being ignored, a doctor had finally carried out DNA tests, and had found that she was right. An enquiry had been opened. My mother had gone in today for a DNA test, but it was considered more a formality than anything else. They were pretty sure that I was the other woman’s child.

”They can’t have you. You’re mine,” she wept. ” I wanted you. I fed and clothed you. I wiped your tears away. I watched your first tentative steps, and I urged you forward. I encouraged you. I taught you right from wrong. I loved you, and I will always love you. You are mine!”

I disentangled myself from the woman. I looked out of the window. Yesterday’s rain had left everything clean and sparkling. The world looked new and fresh.

© Jane Paterson Basil