Birth (and rebirth?)

Birth, a beginning, a change. Most creatures are quite well formed when they are born, so there was quite a lot of development and growth prior to that moment.

But what about that moment, when the baby animal climbs out of the birth canal and the umbilical cord is severed, or the tiny animal comes out of the shell it has cracked? Isn’t that the quickest change of all. Changing from a dependency on the link to all that is needed to a dependence on what the body can obtain for itself.

Do we somehow have many ‘birth’ experiences? Moving from one state to another, some gradual, some fast.

I have been watching from the sidelines as someone I know has gone through a painful ‘rebirth’.  She contracted cerebral malaria, a killer for so many in Africa.  By the time they realised what it was, she was in serious trouble, her body functions shutting down in shock.  Two weeks in intensive care, out to a normal ward, and back again when the infections in her feet developed at an alarming rate. Then the quick decision, amputate or she will die.

More than a month of daily life or death decisions.

Then slowly she began to recover, like a human baby’s development. Her kidneys finally returning to sufficient functioning to allow her to be taken off dialysis, her liver beginning to work, though probably somewhat compromised for the rest of her life.

Her work in the rehab gym, building the upper body strength to cope with moving her body around, watching the wound heal, and getting the stumps ready for artificial limbs.  The time it takes to get use to them and how to stand again, let alone walk.

Along with that has been a journey she and her husband have shared with a select few, from his realising how dreadful it would be to lose her, to his relief at her survival, his daily visits to hospital and rehab, necessitating many hours of travel daily while trying to cope with a demanding job and two children. His realisation of what she means to him.

And her discovery that the marriage she had thought was ending, from which she had been planning to move on because it seemed to hold nothing but habit. Now realising how much he cares, and how much she needs his care, not just physically, but the emotional support and love that he has shown every day along the way.

I feel privileged to see the re-birth of a marriage. I suspect it has been more profound that the original.



10 thoughts on “Birth (and rebirth?)

  1. Oh wow. More than the rebirth of the marriage, I keep trying to imagine how it must feel to have survived all that, and then to have the prospect of a new life with this person who, I suspect, your friend would never have credited her husband to have been. Very moving. Thought provoking.

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