Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hugh Michael Rose’s Birth

The day was icy cold, just one week into January, and the snow was starting to grace us with a white blanket of fluff. It was a Friday and that night was the opening gathering of a weekend workshop with Alan Chadwick, a biodynamic gardener and Shakespearian actor from England. He had started a Rudolf Steiner based community in California, Covelo, that was quite well known for its teaching of this synergistic way of gardening.

We had been living at Claymont, the Gurdjieff School and community in West Virginia, for a couple of years. Our room was situated on the second floor of the large Washingtonian mansion that overlooked the rolling hills and woods of the Panhandle. There were about seven bedrooms on the same floor. Ours was the biggest, because we already had a child. Suryananda was two and a half. We even had our own bathroom. What luxury!

I was feeling a bit out of sorts when Hugh, my husband announced to me that he was going to go to a movie that night with an friend, who had arrived from out of town for a visit. I didn’t know why I wanted him to stay home, I just did. After all, our baby wasn’t due for a couple of weeks yet.

Well, off they went on that icy night to Frederick, Maryland, a good forty-five minutes away. Surya had eaten dinner with another family who lived in a side cottage of the Mansion. I ate in the main dining room and after dinner got up to wash my dishes. Then, I coughed. A warm trickle started down my leg.

“Oh no, I am peeing myself”, I thought as I ran up to my bathroom. But it didn’t stop. I knew that my water had broken. As contractions started, I went in search of someone to help me, but everyone had gone down to the Ballroom, on the main floor, to begin the lecture for the workshop. I ran from room to room, until I found a lone soul writing in his room.

“Go; get Deborah out of the lecture!” I demanded. She was a nurse. I knew that my midwife was very far away and the contractions were coming on strong. She brought another friend with her up to my room. We set up the bed. Jack went to call Hugh out of the movie to get back on the double. How like Surya’s birth in India it was, only this labor was progressing very fast.

I felt that I had to push, but Hugh hadn’t returned and I really wanted him to be there. I started to blow so that I wouldn’t bear down. Suddenly, he burst into the room and, of all things, I said, “Don’t touch me if you’re cold”. I was pissed that he had gone and that I didn’t have enough self-confidence to trust my intuition to ask him not to. I had taken a back seat to “King Kong”.

There was no need to hold back any longer and with two pushes, the baby crowned. I screamed with the intensity and it was heard in the ballroom. At that very moment, Alan Chadwick was explaining that the emergence of a seed from the ground was the same as a baby being born; that all the forces of the Universe were aligned for that unique moment. Of course, no one even knew that I was in labor.

My baby slid out, the cord was cut, and he was handed to Hugh. I was thrilled that he was a boy. I had been waiting for Hugh Michael to come into my life for several years. There he was, swaddled and held by his father over in the rocking chair. As I took him and brought him to my breast, my thought was, “At last you are here”.

Prema Rose

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