Baby Forest

Every day since finding out she was pregnant, Vee took long walks along one of the many paths trailing near her house in the forest. As she walked, she’d rub her tummy and tell a made up story about the forest to her growing baby.

No matter the weather or how she was feeling, which was pretty awful most days of her first trimester, she’d walk, rub her tummy, and get through a story. Vee’s ability to think quickly and creatively in the moment impressed the forest. All of it listened as the woman walked by daily, intrigued by what she’d come up with next. Most of all, the forest loved that all the stories’ themes were about man and nature understanding each other, thriving together, and becoming one again.

The forest couldn’t help itself but to eventually participate subtlety. When Vee’s baby first kicked, the forest danced in joy. Vee was so overwhelmed with her own joy for her baby’s first kick she didn’t notice there was no wind, just the independent animation of trunks, branches, and leaves. If something in her story moved the forest, a leaf or branch would coincidentally sway or fall. Sometimes even the animals would participate, especially if the story involved animals.

Vee had experienced some magical things happen while walking, a reason she always came outside no matter what. Walking helped her body feel good, too, but most importantly, it gave her time to connect with her inner imaginative child who was now bonding with her growing baby.

Vee had an interesting pregnancy nonetheless. It wasn’t every day you hear of a pregnancy with no complications. Her midwife of course attributed it to low stress, balanced diet, and exercise. While Vee did seem quite balanced, inside she was scared. She never knew her mother and never had a mother figure. Before her pregnancy, she was working 40 hours a week and now she had to transition to being a full time stay at home mother months before the baby was even born. While she and her husband had agreed on her staying home, it was still difficult for Vee to spent so much time with herself. It left a lot space to worry about if she’d be a good mom if she never had one. Telling stories about nature to her unborn baby made her feel connected to motherhood somehow. She told the baby stories so they’d know anything was possible.

The forest knew all about Vee’s history of course. She had had many loud fights fueled by insecurity with her husband over it. Yet the forest appreciated Vee for doing the best she could. Mother Nature was the best mother of all after all and her daily gift to Vee was health and vitality. Every breath Vee took in that forest was infused with nature’s blessing.

When her contractions began a month early, Vee didn’t feel them. She kept waddling down the path, pacing her breath and steps as she rubbed her tummy and told another story. Vee did have a feeling something was going to happen that day, but she didn’t imagine it’d be birth until she felt water running down her legs.

As this was unexpected, Vee didn’t have her cellphone and she’d taken the path with no houses along the way. She’d just have to stay calm and start the walk back home. In her gut, she knew she wouldn’t make it back on her own. Vee ended up sitting by a tree as she felt everything seemingly happen too fast. She thought this would take hours, not minutes.

“Please help me,” she whispered to the forest as tears formed and fell. She didn’t know why she asked or who she was asking, but it felt like she should ask.

A few moments later, a strong wind gathered and animals started to wander into the path a few feet from Vee. She could hear branches and leaves moving though the wind was gone, which was especially eerie now that so many animals and insects were in the path watching her silently. The birds began repeatedly singing one word that sounded like “vee, vee, vee”. It felt as if the world was both stopping and moving for the first time. Some part of her wanted to be scared, but her calm was stronger.

The sound of the branches and leaves were so loud now it was like one big person coming up behind her. Vee looked around the tree and saw a bundle of leaves shaped into a cradle moving towards her by way of branches. Her jaw loosened as her eyes widened. When the cot of leaves stopped a few feet from Vee, all the birds flew over it and sang what she was sure was her name louder than earlier. The animals and insects slowly surrounded it as well, some making a pathway of sorts from the leafy cradle to Vee. Suddenly she felt strengthened and stood up with ease before walking in amazement towards the nature woven bed.

The cradle moved them through the forest like a boat gently gliding on water or air. The birds flew silently overhead now and Vee felt no pain because the forest had been releasing natural relief for months in every breath she took. She only now felt the sensation of pushing.

The woman squatted and pushed repeatedly until a new sound, one of a baby’s cry, filled the forest. Several branches snaked towards the baby and wrapped him in a big leaf blanket. Vee sat down and the branches handed her her baby as the forest carefully journeyed the two back to their home. Vee was overcome by the mystical generosity of the forest for safely helping her bring in new life and by the life now in his mother’s arms.

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