My first daughter was born when lupines were blooming, June 18. My second daughter was born just as tulips began to come up, May 15. My mother likes to remind me of this, or actually, she’s the one that put this idea into my head. Don’t you wonder how many memories or thoughts are just there because someone else said them once, or one time? My mother likes to remember the girls through what flowers were blooming at the time of their birth. It’s appropriate, I mean, what could be more evocative of birth than a flower opening? Something bursting through the ground, some tight bud changing color and widening overnight, only to keep widening and unfurling until it’s unrecognizable and needs to be cut back for the sake of everyone’s who has to look at it.
Anyway, I’m obviously talking about vaginas and vulvas now, in case you’ve never seen a Georgia O’Keefe painting.
The prompt for today is Tulips, and that’s the first thing I thought of. I’ve never been wild about tulips, but as I get older I’m finding beauty in any living thing. Hostas, for example, a plant I used to hate, astound me now. There’s a little farm close to us called Seek No Further, and they forced tulips for Valentine’s Day. I’ve gotten tulips from them once before, last year, for my mother in law’s 79th birthday on April 11. Amidst a massive snowstorm they had tulips ready in April. My second daughter was born a month four days after my mother in law’s birthday. I pushed through frozen ground, through a previous cesarean, through a pandemic, and had her safely at home in the nest of our bed.
I tore and bled and was sewn up and healed and couldn’t stand straight or walk or go up and down stairs. I was like the tail end of a bunch of tulips. When you look at them, totally busted, and are like “okay, I think it’s time for the compost pile”.
I didn’t know this Joey Bada$$ song before I made this post. I didn’t know any of the lyrics, I was just looking for a song about tulips or two lips.
I feel like a fresh air force’s first step
Like some fresh flesh, first pack, first sex
And then I doze off for a sec
And see the hand of god pick me up like forceps
You told me never to forget and never to force it
To embrace the time and glorious moments
Cus you could die in a second
So open up within, fore I get to dissecting
What’s closer to death than birth? Not that I feared death, but you push through this unknown and wade through the deepest darkest parts of yourself. Open up within, fore I get to dissecting.
I hemorrhaged a bit after my daughter was placed on my stomach (her cord wasn’t really long enough for her to reach higher on my body), and things moved fast. There was pitocin and uterine “massage” and some gentle tugging on the umbilical cord. Everything was fine in the end, and I trusted my birth team wholly, but never forget to embrace the time and glorious moments.
A friend dropped of a bouquet from a local farm to table restaurant. Among many flowers, there were tulips.