Tag: birth

Labouring Through Birth and Death

“Birth is a kind of dying and dying a kind of birth. These transitions are in many ways the same.” – Alana Apfel recalls the words of a therapist in her new book; Birth Work as Care Work.

As my baby son learned to climb a flight of stairs, my mother-in-law found it increasingly difficult to reach the top step without losing her breath. He began to explore solid foods as she lost her appetite; and he became more vocal as she gradually withdrew. They passed one another through a period of rapid transition, in opposite directions, and for a few short months they brought each other a comfort that was heartening for the rest of the family to witness.

Within a year I lost my mother-in-law Sonia Markham to cancer and gave birth to my first child, Isaac; both ground-shaking events that demanded a lot from myself, my partner, a number of family members, friends and professionals. They won’t be my last encounters with life and death, so next time I hope I can draw on the experience to support others or feel some degree of readiness.