15 Haikus on the Joy/Horror of Giving Birth

My feelings on human birth are first and foremost that it’s a miracle, and second/most importantly that it sounds horrifying. Perhaps I’m still harboring ill-will from the time I had to exit a train because a graphic birth story by Meaghan O’Connell made me hyperventilate, but I’m not sure the thought of pushing a baby out of my uterus via vagina will ever sound appealing, physically. Not even my touching interview with a doula changed my tune. “Crying is a very human response to witnessing birth,” she told me. “It’s so beautiful when a little baby enters into the world.” (I thought that was going to end differently.)

According to the women in my life, my fear is both misplaced and accurate simultaneously, because giving birth is so much more amazing and so much more painful than anyone gives it credit for. And we already give it a lot of both, so can you imagine? I asked those women to write me a haiku about it just in case they could get through to me via prose, and above is what they sent back. Click through (they’re really good) and then add your own, or continue your haiku cruise through virginity, mediocre sexpubertyboobs and first kisses.

Slides designed by Emily Zirimis.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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