… this image of a newborn is a poem …

The instinctual reaction of the new born after being separated from the dark, warm womb is to find a position in this vast, bright space. When boundaries dissolve we are challenged to a total reorientation, and something or someone to welcome, hold and protect us. Here the infant thrust into the light grasps the nearest thing, the doctor’s face-mask.

What impresses me is the sheer life force in that tiny fist.

My welcome happened, though delayed; since fate had it that the midwife decided to let me cry for many hours, determining my mother should rest after a long delivery. The midwife convinced my mother that it would be good for my voice. Once I was taken to the breast I drunk myself stupid. This early condensed experience triggered shifting periods of failures and triumphs, insufficiency and sufficiency as a pattern in my life. The birth process is given scarce attention, though Stanislaw Grof has given us plenty to think about… https://courseofmirrors.com/2015/05/22/a-cartography-of-the-psyche/

The image of the newborn that I consider a poem was posted by an Italian Twitter friend. We don’t know the photographer who caught this poignant moment, though I’d like to give credit if she/he is found or comes forward.

And I’m curious to know what the image/poem of the newborn invokes in you, my readers …

16 Comments

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16 responses to “… this image of a newborn is a poem …

  1. My birth was a travesty, so the picture brings out anger and frustration. When mom was about 8 months pregnant with me, some one threw a firecracker in the window of her car. I was in the down position and did a flip up as the explosion scared me so much. Mom had to go back to the doctor and have him turn me back around, but I wasn’t cooperative. Finally, upon entrance into the world, the doctor used forceps on me and ended up severely twisting my pelvis. Now, my vertebrae are twisted in backwards and a few of my organs are twisted. I was 61 when I found out why I didn’t have full range of motion and why I couldn’t do so many activities. All those years of feeling like an idiot. Now, I realize my spine is a corkscrew – just call me Twisted Sister.

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  2. Oh dear Gwynn, what a twist of fate. We’re blessed getting to know about such early imprints. The knowledge equips us to make peace with fate, and make the best of what is dealt to us, for better or worse. In the end it’s why the stories of our lives are so varied and interesting.

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  3. Yes, indeed, newborns themselves are poem.

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  4. Lovely photographs….both are poems.
    ~nan

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  5. Rob

    Thankyou for sharing these beautiful, poignant pictures Ashen. It seems unbelievable that the mid-wife left you crying in that way when, from what I have seen, all mammalian mothers suckle their newborn almost immediately after birth. Seems to me things could and should have been done rather differently, with the baby being given somewhat more consideration. There you must have been….. left feeling abandoned and deserted because of the latest stipulations from the kind of “expert” authorities who tend to conceive of us as machines.
    I know of a couple who had apparently so much lost touch with their natural selves that they wouldn’t make so much as a move with their newborn, and soon to be infant , without first consulting the “manual”. And I suspect that we lose touch in this way because this culture that we live in quite often drains rather than reinforces our self-confidence.
    Mothers are probably especially vulnerable to this.

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  6. Thanks, Rob. Not an easy subject this. Because I became aware of what happened to me as an infant, through my mother’s confession, and her sadness over having given in to the advice of a draconian midwife, against her feelings, I opted for a home birth for my son, despite adverse advice. Also, because I heard of many birth stories in my practice that were induced, for pragmatic reasons, with mothers dis-empowered. Sad, but it’s still happening. A was luck to have a wonderful midwife. She called Yeshen her Snow baby, it was her last delivery before retiring.

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  7. Unfortunately some medical practices within hospitals, although thought to be best for Mother and baby can be traumatising for both parent and child. I had a kind of instinct about my babies. I defied the nurses that told me I should only feed my baby every 4 hours, whether they cried or not. I decided to breast feed on demand. I remember having a stand up verbal fight with a nurse over this, which left me feeling very upset and nervy. But something inside me just told me that this was what was needed. By the time I had baby no 3, the hospital policy was to feed on demand.

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    • Brilliant. Good for you, and your family. Policies change with every upcoming know-it-all expert. But the people who have to actually deal with a new policy are hardly ever included in the research, in this case mothers.

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  8. Poetry within both of these images, Ashen. The first is the elation of the surgeon, the incredible strength the baby shocked into this world! The second picture is one of serenity, a beautiful baby and the absolute joy of the mother.

    My own birth was one of drama; my mother died before being brought back to life, I was so premature I barely survived. We were united briefly after three days … we both feel these events created our close kindred bond that remains to this day. A blessing.

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    • Thank you for your sharing, Annika. This close kindred bond … a blessing, no matter how short. You survived. No matter how many explanations we seek, and there are always plenty, fate also gives us the strength to make something beautiful of life. And if our hearts stays open, we’ll appreciate the kind mothers we meet later in life.

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  9. Both images contain so much poetry and power.

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