The hardest won battle I have actually fought is giving birth, both times. The first was forty-eight hour labor and the second was thirty-six. The second child I literally roared out of my body with no interventions. Twenty or thirty minutes, my entire being rolled with the last contractions as I stood squatting above the laboring tub water, she was caught by Daddy. Must have scared the nurses as I have never before nor since made such loud guttural noises from a place deep within, as recommended by Ina May’s brilliant writings.
No late 20th Century war images are complete without the quintessential tropical shirt. I had to include at the end of the shoot and Sam obliged my requested signature.
The real battle after bearing the first child was adjustment to life with baby whilst recovering from life-threatening blood loss. Roughest and darkest two years of my life, plus nine months of an unexpected pregnancy to follow. I suppose that second birth was the mark of a new disposition for me to take back some of myself and not just roll over to all that had happened the previous four years. I wanted to offer my children a real person to look to, and not a “martyred mother”.
Whatever battles you are fighting today, may you fight them well and with honor.
More from this series here:
First shoot with Sam Nesbitt wearing his dad’s World War II uniform, tail gunner
Life is a Battlefield