I had a great time at Cathy Crabb's book launch - Mumb, an exploration into the darker side of motherhood, at Manchester Central Library. It's a great collection of poetry, available at Flapjack Press. I had a guest spot and it prompted me to write a couple of poems. I've never written about motherhood before, I have two young children and think it's because I've been too knackered!
Passed down from generation to generation,
'They don't call it labour for nothing.
It's the hardest days work you'll do in your life".
My friend said not to worry,
the midwives had been so good with her.
Teaching her to breathe with the rhythm
of the waves of pain washing through her body.
Controlling the ebb,
breathing slowly through the flow.
'Just ask them' she said.
My time came,
reassured, expectant, vulnerable.
Blood red toilet, bright strip lights, eyes wide, mind tight, public.
I asked, 'please, can you show me some breathing techniques?'
She snapped 'You know how to breathe ALEX!'
I love the NHS and I'm pleased to say my second labour was brilliant, I think this midwife was having a bad day.