I’ve Just Had a Baby

ISSN 2516-5852 (Online)

AIMS Journal, 2021, Vol 33, No 3

To read or download this Journal in a magazine format on ISSUU, please click here.

I’ve Just Had a Baby
After Annie Ridout

By Danielle Gilmour

I’ve just had a baby.
Will you not remove your shoes?
Wash your feet?
This is holy ground.
Watch you doff your cap as you approach my throne,
Bow your head,
Lay palms where I tread.
Please speak in more reverent tones.

I am Lucy – honour the mother of mankind.
Here, I’ll show you what to do –
Kiss your fingers and touch your navel,
Light a thousand candles, cast me a circle,
Bring me offerings, keep my vigil.

Do you think I willed this baby into being?
The least you could do is pour a libation
For the blood I’ve spilt and that flows from me still.
Trace my sacred scars and name them a constellation.
I am Elastigirl – my heart and parts have stretched

Beyond recognition,
Even to myself.

I am Eos – where is my golden chariot as I bring you this pink new dawn?
And just moments before, I was Athena, roaring as I rode to war.
Where is my chapel among those raised
For each temple built in a body – cradled in pelvis or hidden by ribcage,
To hold our babies however long they stayed?

I am the Earth,
I am the Sun,
I am Wonder Woman.
I am my mother and yours who allowed us to breathe.
I’ve just had a baby.
Walk backwards as you leave.

Author bio: Danielle, from South Gloucestershire, is a mother of three children, one dog and four chickens. She is a Peer Supporter for The Breastfeeding Network, a Volunteer for AIMS, and a poet and member of the Mum Poem Press. You can find more of her work on Instagram @mummy_juice_writes.

Danielle Gilmour with baby


AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.

The AIMS Journal spearheads discussions about change and development in the maternity services. From the beginning of 2018, the journal has been published online and is freely available to anyone with an interest in pregnancy and birth issues. Membership of AIMS continues to support and fund our ability to create the online journal, as well as supporting our other work, including campaigning and our Helpline. To contact the editors, please email: editor@aims.org.uk

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