MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



Two sets of consciousness journeyed earth-side that day.

Two births.

The birth of a son, and the birth of a mother.

It began the day her mother in law had finally moved out of the apartment-

two days before Gemma’s due-date.

She’d left early in the morning and so Gemma decided to head to the nearest store

for cleaning supplies so that she could clear out the mess left for them.

As soon as she started up the hill the pains began,

but she’d been having braxton-hicks contractions often

and so simply pushed on until she was back home and able to clean most of the house

before Caleb arrived back from work.

“I can’t believe how much you did.”

“I think they call it nesting.

I kinda had to push mine aside all this time

so I’m pretty much ready to explode. Agh...”

She put her hand to her rounded belly and leaned over to

b r e a t h e

through the pain.

“Are you having contractions?”

Caleb stumbled over to her.


She said in an exhale.

“I thought they were just B H like usual,

but they are getting alot worse.”

“How far apart?”

“Ten to twelve minutes,

still nothing to worry about.”

Caleb made her dinner while she relaxed and they went to bed early.

But Gemma could not sleep.

Her contractions were very consistent and strong, though still only recurring every ten minutes.

Caleb slept soundly and she knew it could still be a while before her child journeyed into this world so she

q u i e t l y

got out of bed and tip-toed into the only room they were able to paint while they lived here. The room Gemma spent finishing up that very morning.

The very room her son would come to know as his own sacred space.

She sat on the antique rocking chair that her mother and step father had redone as a gift for their first grandson.

Every ten minutes the contractions would come and she would breathe and whisper

down to the tiny being in her belly sweet songs of

l o v e and l i g h t .

She could feel his own incantations

e c h o i n g

through her,

and she was overwhelmed by his beauty,

anxious to finally meet him.

She sat there waiting patiently for him until the sun came up, and the contractions were now at seven minutes apart.

She sent a message to both sets of parents:

It won’t be long now

Before tip-toeing back into the room Caleb slept in, curling next to him in the bed and whispering into his ear:

“It’s time to wake up, he’ll be here soon.”

The pain grew deeper and Gemma could feel her mind and body begin to tire.

Her parents showed up around ten that morning, with paint and furniture and hands to help set up the home they intended to bring their son to.

Gemma did her best to rest until the sprouts of pain came forth at five minutes apart,

but it became increasingly difficult without sleep.

The day pushed on, her family went back home nearing dinner time,

and Gemma decided to take a warm bath around 9 O’clock that night in an attempt to relax.

Her eyes were heavy, and her limbs shook

u n s t e a d i l y

in their movement. She was nearing 38 hours without sleep and over twenty four hours of steady


The human body could only bare so much and she knew she needed strength

for all that it was about to forgo.

She thanked all that is good for the pain that broke forth with urgency when she stepped out of

the bath.

Her contractions were only separated by a mere five minutes,

telling her that her son would soon be here.

Two friends of Caleb’s drove them to the hospital while Gemma tried to breathe through the pain quietly with eyes closed.

She could not remember how she got into the hospital room, or when her mother and sister Kylee had arrived, but she was thankful to see the faces of her female supporters alongside Caleb.

Hours passed and Gemma did her best to breathe through the pain, using the natural scent of

lavender to help ease the process.

“We can break your water for you, to help it along.”

“Yes.” She said tiredly.

She did not know how she could go on.

Once her water broke, the pain multiplied in tenfold.

There were no longer any minutes of reprieve between the bursts of pain for

b r e a t h i n g ;

simply contraction after contraction so that she was certain she was going to lose consciousness.

“I can’t do it. I can’t do it.”

She sobbed quietly.

“Yes you can, you are amazing.

I can’t believe you.”

Caleb was right there at her head,

using his silver voice to help her gain strength.

“Go and get the doctor.

I have to do it now.”

The doctor entered the room within seconds, as Gemma was the only woman having a baby in

the entire hospital that night.

A few nurses followed in and began preparing while Gemma lay there with

q u i e t t e a r s .

Upon the doctor’s instructions, she would push and stop when told.

“The heartbeat dropped,

give her some oxygen.”

They placed an oxygen mask over her face but she was too

disoriented to try and figure out what was happening.

She knew one thing.

I have to see my baby.

She pushed and drew from strength that she did not know existed within her

or how it came to her in her greatest time of weakness...

She felt a

r e l e a s e

and knew her son had made it safely earth-side when they placed him on her chest.

C l a r i t y .

Suddenly there was nothing beyond the place where her son tucked gently into her neck.

She smiled and sobbed with relief and

a wild tide of love that collapsed over and into her.

They quickly took her son away before returning him to his rightful home, in between which time Caleb and Gemma looked at one another-

Already changed by the grace

the birth of their son had brought forth.

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