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Oct. 12th 2016

'Less than 24 hours ago I had seen a new tiny person arriving into the world.'

By Laura Mugridge
 
Rehearsals for the show started on a Monday, about 4 weeks ago. I wasn’t there for the first two days, I swanned in on Day Three. I wasn’t there because I was in St Thomas’s Hospital. I spent some time sitting on a birth ball, some time lying on the floor and a fair amount of time standing up. I also spent a lot of time staring at a floodlit Houses of Parliament, the rather extraordinary view from the window of the ward.
 
Last year, after the first tour of Kicking and Screaming, I trained to be a doula. A doula is, in essence, a birth partner, someone who is there at the birth of a baby to support the parents and can also offer pre natal and post natal support.  This was my second experience of being present at a birth (third if you count the birth of my son in 2012- I was very much there for that) 

The person doing all the work was my beautiful warrior friend Jules, someone for whom I have more love and respect than I ever thought possible. To see someone be so strong, so vulnerable, so primal and so beautiful all at the time was utterly overwhelming. I left the hospital at 5pm on the Tuesday, emerged blinking into the sunlight, and the world seemed a little bit different. 

Coming back into the rehearsal room on the Wednesday was a strange, exhilarating and generally odd experience. There I was onstage, talking about giving birth, when less than 24 hours ago I had seen a new tiny person arriving into the world, all tiny hands and crinkly feet and beautiful peepy eyes.  I’m not going to get all boasty and Daniel Day Lewis on you, but I reckon that as far as research goes, this was pretty extreme. 
 
 
Talking about birth in the show feels different now and I am fired up to be present at more of them.  It’s such an enormous topic, one so full of emotion and politics and unanswerable questions. I have had to release the pressure to try and sum up all births in the show, as there is no way we could do that. There are as many different births as there are people. 

So, this little blog is for you, darling Neve. My new little pal. And the show is a little bit for you too. 

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