When I imagined contributing my own little piece to the ever-popular discourse on births - and I wasn’t sure I would - I didn’t think I would need courage. It’s all too easy for women whose births didn’t quite go ‘to plan’, or who in fact endured something quite traumatic, to feel disempowered to speak about it. Writing a birth story almost seems like an anticlimax, or at best a cathartic exercise that won’t actually inspire anyone else! And so I decided to write up my humble experience for a number of reasons - to describe with words of truth and love a birth that is far from perfect; to encourage all those women who have felt disappointed or upset by their births to still feel capable; and to not - on principle - remain silent because the story isn’t conventionally worthy of admiration.
As we move closer together on this contracting globe, as we encounter difference more and more, and open our eyes, ears, taste buds and hearts to other cultures, I feel that the way we care about others truly deserves some attention. Acts of targeted violence unfold before our eyes in a disturbingly rhythmic, predictable pattern; and the reaction is similar. Shock, outrage, sadness and despair are voiced alike by the media and our friends. And then? Mostly, everybody forgets. It is almost becoming a habit. For a few days - a few weeks at most - all our attention is turned to the latest horror and we break into a ritualistic - albeit sincere - outcry of solidarity. But is this model of engaging with the state of our world actually very helpful?