Scene 1: December 5, 1986, Sandusky Ohio, hospital room. A young woman attached to a fetal heart monitor lies in bed, passes out between contractions as Darvon pushes away all consciousness and Pitocin-induced pain. Admonishments from the nurses that her cries are scaring the other women force her to stifle her voice and to be quiet. Two hours of pushing pass as she waits for the doctor to be available to deliver her baby. Her beautiful baby boy crowns and is born without complications. Love blows her mind as her son is placed in her arms.
Scene 2: August 31, 1989, Richmond, VA, home. The same young woman wanders peacefully around her backyard feeling the waves of contractions. She sits on her back steps and contemplates the opening of a rose, comparing it to her cervix. Transition finds her on a toilet, bearing down, groaning, focused, remembering that the pain is her power. She squats to deliver her daughter, roaring for all the world to hear. This is the most empowering moment of her life as love once again blows her away.
Scene 3: March 25, 1992, Richmond, VA, home. Same woman, now beginning to feel her years and the stress of life. Stomach flu, diarrhea take over her body all night. It’s hard to kneel, hard to propel the vomit over her huge belly.
Scene 4: March 26, 1992, Richmond, VA, home. As morning comes, so, too, do the now familiar contractions. She sits in the warm tub water encouraging the baby to delay his arrival, but he is insistent. Exhausted, she lies down to gather her strength. As she waits for the midwife, a friend soothes her with kind words and chicken soup. The midwife arrives. The woman affirms she has all the energy and stamina she needs to birth her baby. She gyrates her hips, belly dancing as millions have done before her, finds her way through the day, delivers her son - another precious and oh-so-welcome life - with joy and relief.
Scene 5: 1996. The woman is now a single mom sharing custody of her three precious children, trying to constructively fill the time when they are gone to help her bear the agony of their absence. She begins to do art. Her first drawings are of herself when she was pregnant. They teach her to love her body, to have compassion for herself, to love the woman gazing at her from the photos. And they lead her to become the artist she is today.
Scene 6: Feb 11, 2015, Germantown, MD, Dayspring Retreat Center, Silent Retreat. In meditation she receives a leading to create a book of Birth Affirmations combined with the many drawings of pregnant nudes and babies she’s done over the years. She returns home filled with a longing to create this gift for young women ready to give birth and to raise their own precious children.
Scene 7: July 7, 2015, Richmond, VA, home. The woman, no longer so young, anxiously awaits the arrival of her new baby, her book Birth Affirmations. 2000 copies are delivered by a kind driver who recognizes her excitement and watches her delight as she unpacks the very first book and gazes into it for the very first time. Immediately she begins offering the book to the world, arms wide open, heart bursting with joy.
Scene 8: April 21-24, 2016, New York City, Bond Conference. Still filled with excitement and desire to share her creation, the woman arrives at the Paper Factory Hotel, full of anticipation, excited to meet others whose share her passion for birth and babies and raising sane children in a sometimes-challenging world. She gives each participant a copy of Birth Affirmations, hoping they will love it as she does and will share it with their circles. She so wants this little book to make a difference in the lives of mothers, babies, fathers, and care providers. She wants women to feel their own strength and power, to trust their own truth, to love their babies with a ferocity that conquers all fear. And she hopes her book will help them do that.
You can reach this mother, artist, writer, friend, Susan Singer, at SusanSingerArt@msn.com and can learn more about her book Birth Affirmations at www.BirthAffirmationsBook.com. Susan Singer is delighted to create commissioned artwork of the precious moments of your life, to provide you with copies of Birth Affirmations, to speak with your groups about the power of affirmations, or to lead art workshops for your community. She would love to fill your life with art and empowerment!