Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mothering Outside the Lines

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Former LM Under the Saharan Sun columnist Jennifer Margulis is now writing a column for Motherhood magazine called Mothering Outside the Lines.

“The thing is, I don’t know if I really want a midwife,” I said to James when I was nearly five months pregnant and still had not chosen anyone.

“Oh God.” He furrowed his brow and looked unhappy.

We’d been having “conversations” like this one for months. Every time we interviewed a midwife, James would say, “Great! She seems great,” and I would hesitate.

The midwives were great—I liked every one I talked to on the phone and the three I met in person. They all seemed smart and knowledgeable and compassionate and interested, definitely women I’d like to have as friends.

The problem wasn’t with the midwives.

It was with me.

Though I liked all these women, I didn’t want them touching my belly or sticking their fingers up my yaya or telling me what to eat or to have blood work done.

No one had been in the room when James and I conceived our baby. I was beginning to feel like childbirth is as private and intimate as making love and I had trouble imagining having anyone else present.

“I don’t think I want anyone at the birth,” I tried to explain to my worried husband. “I think I want to do it by myself. With you.”

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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