The birth of baby

I’d once read a line about women in labour leave this world to fetch the souls of their babies. It was an arresting metaphor that didn’t mean much until I witnessed you unravel it in the delivery room. My baby’s mumma, retreating within yourself with every contraction, smashing the waves in the ocean of consciousness to find your little sleeping angel. You walked willingly to the edge that we all fear – to be swallowed whole by pain – armed only with your breath as mindfulness, a cloak of essential oils and the resonance of Sigur Ros.

I did what a husband uselessly can do in situations like these – effleurage, running heat packs, words to sharpen the focus of serene memories. In our case glaciers and waterfalls tumbling off mountains in Iceland, of the cold in the arctic landscape – like your pain – sharp as glass and as lonely and pure.

It was a journey only you could complete and you grew distant as birth progressed, replaced by an inner primal being – the universal mother – the kind that is served by the strength of all mothers who have come before you. And then it happened after six hours, you arrived back having found your twinkling little light in the caverns of darkness and pain. A minuscule human, two point six kilos dressed in membranes and vernix.


You surfaced with her into this world at the pulsey end of Svefn-g-englar of the album Ágætis byrjun on the fifth of the fifth. It’s strange how life has its soundtracks. While we love their music, we always forget the titles of Sigur Ros tracks. I looked it up and was astonished.

For Florence Rose Boudville you brought her to me with Sleepwalking Angel (Svefn-g-englar). It was you who breathed life to her – her Good Beginning (Ágætis byrjun).