Articles on Death

Windows in space and time

Windows in space and time: A personal perspective on birth and death

Robbie Davis-Floyd

This article appears in Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, Vol. 30( 4):272-277, Dec. 2003.

The author gives permission for its reproduction.

My daughter was born through a window in my uterus, and she died through the windshield of her car. I don’t know what to make of this beginning that became an ending. There are easy parallels: cesarean birth is a rapid transition in which you are suddenly taken from one reality to another. Certainly Peyton’s death was like that. But she worked to get born, just as I worked to birth her, for 26 hours before the cesarean was performed. In the end we were both rescued from our mutual travail–I by the epidural and the c-section, she by the doctor’s hands pulling her through. Am I then to assume that it was God’s hands pulling her through that windshield, tossing and tumbling her body 50 feet down the highway, breaking most of her bones and smashing her internal organs beyond repair?

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