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Pain and Power...


In the last two hours of childbirth you enter a phase called "transition." If you ask most mothers who have delivered naturally I think they would have a few other, less neutral, names for it. You can feel your body splitting open- the rupture, the loss of control, the fear that you might not make it out of this moment in one piece. The pain is so intense that you finally stop thinking, are totally consumed by feeling, and find yourself desperately grasping for the strength to harness that pain and turn it into power...


My son turned eleven this spring, sheltering at home, eyes wide to a world that is changing. He is a child of multiple ethnicities, and part of a family made up of many nations. Yet, here in the country of his birth he may find himself marginalized, denigrated, accused, or murdered simply because of how he looks. People frequently ask us "Is that your child?", "Is she your mother?" - because despite him being built by, of, and inside my body, our skin is not the same color.


The pain we are feeling right now in our families, in our communities, in our countries- let it not be for waste. Let the tears fall, let the anger burn, and let us affirm that the freedom to breathe is a basic human right, not a privilege. Let our pain become the power that gives us the strength to bring a new world into being- one that allows a boy to just be himself, no matter what he looks like.


A birth is always messy, and chaos is always necessary for creation...breathe and PUSH.





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Photography by Nisa Ojalvo