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“It took me more than two years to dare to write about my birth.”


Highlights: Leticia Sala wrote a book about her birth after an unnecessary cesarean section. Sala: "I was deprived of the experience of having seen, having felt my daughter emerge from my sex" The writer: "The negligence of leaving me alone for four hours in the delivery room destroyed forever the very toxic belief that if you want you can, that the fatum of our life is ours alone" The book is published by Snow Society, priced £16.99.

The writer Leticia Sala tells us how an unnecessary cesarean section deprived her of the experience of “having seen my daughter come out of her sex”

I have a secret game: open the World Population Clock page and count the number of “Births Today” increases in the time it takes me to blink.

This morning there were five.

In the blink of an eye, five stories of births on Earth have been born that I will hardly be able to access.

I never heard the story of a careful birth until I became pregnant with my daughter.

Only then did I begin to become interested in what it means to bring a person into the world.

Another game of mine that no longer excites me was finding myself in the middle of a huge crowd and thinking that all those hearts would stop beating one day.

Since August 4, 2021, I have been more amazed by the idea that we have all been present at at least one birth.

What also unites us all is that we don't remember it.

It is this amnesia that makes the presence of stories difficult, and which in my opinion gives ownership of that experience to the mother, the only one who remembers it.

As if there were a transplant in the possession of our very life: our birth is not ours.

Yes it is that of our children.

I ask the RAE if when I refer to “The story of my birth” I am referring to when I was born or when I gave birth.

He answers: “The expression 'the birth of' is ambiguous, since it can be used in reference to the mother or the fetus.”

Could it mean that the language allows for the possibility of it being ambiguous which of the two people present in that act is actually being born?

Looking back, I see how I prepared for my birth in the same way that until now I had faced any challenge, academic or psychological: by reading books.

I read dozens of essays on the subject, I knew all the phases, the advantages and disadvantages of giving birth in one way or another.

And yet, on the day of the final test, all the questions changed.

Two years, five months and nine days are how long it took me to dare to write about my birth.

I was afraid to go over all the details, all the hours, with the same tension as when I was a child watching Agent Jack Bauer in trouble in the series 24. I have done it, I have it all in writing.

And now, with the clarity that the present gives me, I see this traumatic experience in three acts.

Each one demolished a hidden belief and illuminated a new one.

The first act was that of contractions, 18 hours feeling waves of pain in a place where until now there was only heat and candid kicks as a first form of mother-daughter conversation.

That act destroyed a tendency of mine since childhood to keep silent about my certainties.

I already knew I was in labor.

However, that was not proof of anything for the health personnel.

When I wanted to indicate where the birth plan was in my bag, her response was: “Don't worry, we have everything on the computer.”

I had never sent anything electronically.

The document in which I expressed my wishes on how to give birth did not leave my bag.

What was born: a new speed when it came to putting my certainties into action.

The second act was the bidding.

The negligence of leaving me alone for four hours in the delivery room and that this led my daughter to position herself poorly when she was already fit to go out and I was fully dilated, destroyed forever the very toxic belief that if you want you can, that the


of our life is ours alone.

It is not, it also lies in the policies that fight for a health system capable of meeting the needs of an August dawn where there were not enough midwives on duty to care for us all.

What was born that day was that the inexplicable strength of the human being is not only seen in

The Snow Society

: look at a woman giving birth, five stories in a single blink will take you to that same revelation.

Who cut the umbilical cord that forever separated my daughter and me?

What did they do with the placenta that they didn't want to give me?

My wishes on these points remained crumpled on a piece of paper inside my bag.

The third act: when they put her in my arms after an unnecessary cesarean section, I was deprived of the experience of having seen, of having felt, my daughter emerge from my sex.

What was born was my desire to give truth as a form of love.

That is the opposite of condescension, it is based on the assumption that the person who receives it has the ability to assume a more nuanced version of things.

By the time my daughter reaches the point where she starts asking questions about how she came into the world, I will have already lost touch with the person I once was.

And even if we now ran to our mothers and questioned them, we would receive a time-altered, probably idealized, narrative that will have forgotten what seemed unforgettable.

Memory is merciless.

And now, in our ordinary lives, we don't remember, we don't usually remember, that we went to war with our bodies and that they were the ones who saved us both.

* Leticia Sala is a writer.

In 2023 she published the book of stories Los cisnes de Macy's (Reservoir Books).

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Source: elparis

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