Tag: motherhood

Through the Waters | Deeply Rooted Blog

I had read books about childbirth, books that described contractions as “waves”—manageable ones, if you had the right attitude—and birth as a warm, glowy experience best concluded with champagne.

But when I went into labor with my first daughter, I felt no glow of incoming life, just the repeated beating of city-high waves that, from the beginning, thundered over me without a break between them. My tiny boat of coping techniques promptly capsized; I couldn’t think or breathe. After ten hours of pummeling, the doctor handed me some papers, said something to my husband who tried to translate it for me (but I was underwater and couldn’t hear him) and then: the OR. An unexpected c-section. Lots of light, but not the kind mentioned in the books. Our baby’s face as a nurse on her way to the NICU held her up for me to see.

Birth stopped being something I did, and became a thing that happened to me. It required, in the end, not strength but surrender.

And so, I would learn every day afterward, does motherhood.

My first daughter was born on Mother’s Day. This week, as we celebrate her ninth birthday, I got to celebrate my entrance to motherhood by writing a piece for Deeply Rooted on becoming a mother and being one.

You can read the full article here.

Whatever is Pure and Lovely | Story Warren

So. I spent a year writing two different articles—two very different articles. I spent a year tinkering with one of them, altering this sentence and then that one, cutting passages and pasting them elsewhere or—in a burst of spontaneity—deleting them altogether.

The other arrived half-complete: in a single morning, I wrote a promising opening, but no ending. Nothing for months, no matter how many times I opened my draft, stared at the blinking cursor and thought my thoughts.

And then I grew a baby, which meant I spent a lot of time sleeping. I had the baby, which meant I spent a lot of time not sleeping but not writing either.

But a few months ago, I opened the one article, dusted it off, cut or rearranged a few more lines.

I opened the other and, in a sudden gust, wrote the missing last half. In a single morning, they were both done. I sent them off, washing my hands of them in two clicks of the Send button, and did not see them again until this week, when they appeared on separate sites within days of each other.

Of course that makes me happy. It always does, when the words I shuffle around each morning go off into the world to connect with readers. But this piece, the second article, is especially dear to me. It’s a quirky one, a story that seemed just right. I don’t entirely understand it myself and there’s something about that that seems fitting. I hope you enjoy it too:

At 9:30, my daughter comes downstairs—she can’t sleep. She’ll be seven next month and the world is expanding around her, I can see it. She’s more aware of other people now, more aware of adult conversation, more aware, in this instance, of volcanoes.

“Volcanoes?” I repeat, settling down next to her on the couch. “What do you mean?”

“I don’t know,” she says. “I’m just worried about them. I read about them in class today and I . . . “. I know that she sees it clearly, whatever she read that day, as real to her as I am. A definite fear shapes the set of her mouth and she gives into it for a moment before drawing away and finishing lamely, “I’m just worried about them.”

I want to offer her comfort—immediate, tangible comfort—in the shape of a promise. They’re far away. We don’t have to worry about that here. Things like that don’t happen anymore. Or the great silence-killing assurance, “It’s okay.”

But I can’t say any of that.

You can read the rest of the article here.


Whatever is Pure and Lovely
Théa Rosenburg, Story Warren

A Letter to My Daughter About Beauty | Deeply Rooted Magazine

Some essays start as a note scribbled in the margin of my grocery list; others arrive as a complete draft, written swiftly and sloppily on the pages of my composition book. But a few begin as entries in the notebooks I keep for my daughters, like the essay that appeared on the Deeply Rooted blog yesterday.

A Letter to My Daughter About Beauty (Thea Rosenburg on the Deeply Rooted blog) | Little Book, Big Story

There are certain things that I wish I could tell you, but I suspect that they are the sort of things that you will have to learn for yourself—the sort of lessons that stick better when they come after years of struggle. Perhaps there is something in the struggle that is important, I don’t know. But here is one of them: you are beautiful.

And so on.

I’m so happy that the post went up on Mother’s Day, because that is the day I became a mom—the day that my first daughter was born. We’re celebrating her birthday today with two dozen mint chocolate cupcakes that we can’t take to school because she’s home sick with a fever, so if you want a cupcake and don’t mind risking a fever, you know who to visit. But if you’d rather not risk the fever and still want something sweet, then the essay is probably a safer bet.


A Letter to My Daughter About Beauty
Théa Rosenburg, Deeply Rooted blog

Deeply Rooted Magazine, Issue 4: Root

I have an aversion to reading birth stories on the internet. It’s not that I don’t care about birth stories—quite the opposite, in fact. I love hearing them told in person, when I can watch a new mother gesture with her hands as she tries to wrestle those first moments into words. I love laughing with her over the things people said, the things she said, during labor, and over how far away it all seems now, as though she has crossed a great chasm and we’re standing there together, looking back at the bridge that brought her to safety.

Birth stories are personal stories, and not just because they have to do with bodily functions: their power lies not in the litany of details—minutes, centimeters, hours—but in the fact that each story is truly unique to the woman who lived it. No one else can share your story with you—not fully, anyway. And while the rest of us can enjoy your story and be moved by it, we eventually have to back away and leave the experience with you, where it is meant to stay. Telling these stories on the internet, then, feels to me like shouting from a platform what ought to be treasured among close friends.

Yes, I have an aversion to reading birth stories on the internet. And so it is fitting (and just this side of hypocritical) that my first full essay for Deeply Rooted opens on a scene from the night of Phoebe’s birth. It seemed right, as I was writing, to include that moment, and so I did. That took me down a peg.

Deeply Rooted, Issue 4: Root | Little Book, Big Story

From there the essay moves into a consideration of the birth of Christ—what we know happened that night in the stable, what might have happened, and what it might have meant to Mary. But the essay isn’t a birth story: it’s mostly about Mary. And it’s in the newest issue of Deeply Rooted. (You can purchase a copy here.)

Deeply Rooted, Issue 4: Root | Little Book, Big Story


Deeply Rooted Magazine
Issue 04, Winter: Root