A few weeks ago, I remembered a co-worker of mine telling me how shocked he was when the EMS had come to our work placed when there had been an accident.
Unimpressed, I said, “Why?”
“Because there was going to be blood everywhere. Besides, ambulances and hospitals in general give me the creeps. Are you not scared?”
I said, “No.”
He, then, proceeded to look at me like I was some sort of crazy person.
I had thought about the reason behind that for the rest of that weekend, until a vivid memory just entered my brain.
When I was about seven years old, my parents had separated and I was sent to live with my father, two younger brothers and paternal grandparents. Now my father was an architect and he would stay at the site of his job for about weeks and we would not see him for quite a while. So my brothers and I were quite attached to both our paternal grandparents, whom we called ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’.
Now, my Mommy was a midwife and my Daddy was an ambulance driver. I remembered that my childhood revolved around trying to study the medicine that my Mommy brought home or just trying to tag along with my Daddy whenever and wherever he drove his ambulance. Yes, he got to take it home and we would drive around it sometimes. Kind of creepy to think about how people must have died in there, but I did not care at all.
My earliest memory at our old house in San Pedro, Laguna (Philippines) was trying to memorise scientific names of medicines like ‘carbocisteine’ or ‘paracetamol’ or the likes. When I would run out of books to read, I would read the labels of the medicine in our house.
I once told my friend that I had seen so many vaginas with children coming out of them before the age of ten.
Naturally, she freaked out and never spoke to me again.
You see, my Mommy was one of the only midwives in our town and every single time she would get a call from her clinic, or from somebody who was about to give birth, it was only natural for me to tag along. I remembered the room being so hot with sweat and blood and everybody being frantic or nervous. I remembered every scream that came along with every push that a mother tried to do to rid herself of her baby that is inside of her. I remembered my Mommy trying to calm everybody down. Then there it is, the very first cry of a newborn child right there in her arms. I remembered how she would hold the child’s feet up in the air so that the child would cry, meaning the child was healthy and alive. I remembered how some children would be the colour of a blueberry and my Mommy would do her best to make them cry so the parents know that their children were alive. Every delivery was a success, and with every child came a miracle.
Sometimes, I would forget how it felt to be that curious little girl in the delivery room. Just patiently waiting for an unborn child to be delivered by this superhero that I get to call my Mommy. I looked up to her so much, heck, she was the first person who ever saw me ever. She was the midwife that operated my mother. She brought to life, quite literally. For that, I am eternally grateful.
For every cry that I heard in that delivery room, laughter and miracle was exchanged. I loved the feeling of seeing something purely magical. Honestly, I feel like this was something that made me believe in the power of women. Because it was very painful, yet here we are. I think that all women deserve to be praised for their strength and role in today’s society just by giving birth.
This eventually lead into myself being a feminist and, for the longest time, wanting to become a mother. But lately, I have been telling everybody that instead of being a mother, I shall be the world’s best aunt. I am confused. I guess we shall see where that wind will take us.
I guess these parts of my childhood were necessary for me to be able to adapt, to be brave, and to appreciate life more and more. How many people do you think grew up in delivery rooms with their grandma’s delivering someone else’s baby and you just staring at a complete stranger’s vagina that is filled with blood like a blank canvas with red paint splattered all over it? I bet you could not even think of one. Well, here I am. Think of me instead. Think of me.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Ephesians 2:8 NIV