I taught a course a few Mother’s Days ago for women seeking to rewrite the stories of the birth of their children (I have an itch to offer it again this year, so keep a lookout if you missed it). In it, I got to witness a gap between something that is commonly known among midwives, doulas, and witchy wisdom guides: we don’t get the birth we had imagined. This is less commonly known among the millions of women who give birth every day and then go on to blame themselves for life’s imperfect delivery of miracles. This gap causes incredible amounts of distress for everyone, especially the babies whose mothers’ milk is filled with apologies.
We don’t always get to know why, but it’s often the first question we ask when we find ourselves in the underworld. It’s also the first question we ask when we break through to the light. We demand to talk to the manager when our nails are still coated with the dirt of our descent. But why is overrated, and certainty does nothing to suture the wound of an emergency C-section.
If you’re still in the tunnel, this is not the time of why. This is the time of it is. Let that be the sturdy shovel you are looking for.