Adrenalin Cradling

No hunger, no thirst, the temperature perfect, the cells split and split
Again and again. Floating here in this place, a growing soul. A new person.
No past, not able to imagine future, just floating. Able to wriggle, and kick,
And suck a thumb. Turning and turning, no hunger, no cold, and in the background
The swoosh  swoosh swoosh of  a  beating heart. All safe.

I’m remembering, or more likely imagining, how it might have been,
When suddenly, out of the blue, adrenalin courses through my
Growing  body. My arms and legs shoot out in fright. From a distance,
Muffled but distinct, the sound of loud shouting voices filters into the womb.
As mama’s anger rises, cortisol and testosterone flood my tiny veins.

The crisis passes, but now I’m not just floating and being, in the safety
Of the womb. I’m on high alert. Every sound outside may be this thing again,
Which makes my tiny heart pump fast, and my arms and legs shoot out
In fright. The next time (I’ve been waiting for it)  - still – it catches me
By surprise. And the next time. And the next. Soon I’m just waiting.

I grow, and as I grow, I learn that this is what life is. Peace, then panic.
Panic, then peace. Always alert and waiting for that rush of adrenalin.
Always vigilant and listening for the sounds of the next crisis approaching.
The walls slowly close in, a sense of tightness, no space now to startle
When the rush arrives. A tight holding of fear.

I learn to lie quietly and hold the panic in a quiet still place. If I open 
My baby eyelids, I see shadows and light. Staring hard as chaos mounts, 
I find a white calm place. Leaving my baby self curled up and waiting for birth,
I go to that place. A place of white calm. A place of dead calm. 
It serves me well. 

I’ve learnt to survive and I’m not yet born. I’m outside my body, 
Peering around at a strange and gorgeous landscape.
I’m learning how to not be where I am.
A gift for life.
A shadow.


  1. Lovely. In birth or rebirth, there is peace and panic. Preparation and celebration. So glad you wrote this.


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