Monday, 23 September 2013

Jesus Was A Home Birth

When Mary imposed on the hospitality of a full house, she was shooed
down to the domestic quarters, where servants and oxen dwelt,
to bear her child, enfolded in the peace and love that would be his trademark.
A wrathful tyrant terrified of being usurped hunted them into Egypt,
taking out infants wholesale, like the first male physicians whose callous
unclean hands ripped new-borns from the womb a century ago.

            Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
            Do you observe the calving of the deer?

Having long shunned human generation, dodging the maternity bed, now
the masculine penetrates silent holy nights with gadgets and egos, all bull
in china-shop, closing ranks around the damage done by strict procedures,
hysterically shrieking blue murder at common complications caught under
the midwife’s flexible watch, micro-monitoring her every move, zooming in
for the smoking gun, judge and jury at their beck and call and in their pocket. 


Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
            Do you observe the calving of the deer?

Until Ternovsky, with child, stood up, like David with Goliath, to The Man.
She won the right, in theory, for women to tender preferred terms during
nativity, in this era when the instinct to seek out dark quiet spaces away
from ward-like mayhem is blinded and numbed by emergency flurries, when
the impulse to relax in a private place, only a mothering presence
nearby for an exultant welcome, has almost been driven extinct. 


Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
            Do you observe the calving of the deer?

For safe home birth, women still take flight, politically-motivated pillars
Of society hot on their heels barking out doctored books of evidence,
the pro-life posse nowhere to be found in their defence, the crux of trained
attendants ignored, a public panicking to make sense of a power struggle
raging at the threshold of life. Time is money. Wham! Bang! Thank you, Mam!
As for the rest, don’t ask if refusal offends; there’s room at the infirmary only. 

©Caroline Hurley 
Aja Teehan's story
Irish midwives suffer setback
Midwives response

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