mybeautifullostchildreniknowwhatitsliketobeonthebrinkofexistingMy beautiful lost children, 2013

 

My beautiful lost children looks at my near-fatal and extremely difficult birth through photographs, whilst also addressing each ‘lost’ egg that leaves my body.

I was scarred from birth and I find a certain comfort in that. It’s some form of proof of something I can never hope to remember. I wonder how many babies’ first sensation from the outside world is pain. Probably quite a lot of them, even the ones that aren’t difficult to deliver.

Apart from my mother and I, the only other ‘thing’ that experienced that painful, traumatic event are the eggs inside me. I do find it slightly ridiculous how I seem to attach these eggs with an identity but it’s always a painful monthly goodbye to a potential that was never going to be realised.

It’s fascinating that in that blink of a second with that specific sperm getting through to the egg at that very moment, there lies the moment that made you exist. Without that moment, like every period, we would not have existed, at least not as we are today…

About Jasmine Gauthier

Jasmine Gauthier is a young British artist, born in South Africa, whose photographic and written work currently explores the relationship between the maternal mind and body especially as a ‘childless mother’*. Her work often blends fiction and autobiography, creating its own narrative…Read more

Website: http://www.jasminegauthier.com

More posts by Jasmine Gauthier

5 Responses to “My beautiful lost children”

  1. Helen Sargeant

    That’s pretty much how I feel about my periods too Jasmine. I reluctantly came to the decision not to have any more children. As I approach the menopause, each period leaves me with a sense of loss and sadness.

    I have two beautiful children who I feel very fortunate to have. I dreamt of having a big family like my mum. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. Family life was very full, very hectic, I was never alone, though I often felt alone. If I had begun having children younger I too might have had more children like my mum….But our house is full up, and so is my head space, and physically I am a bit tired for babies now. So reluctantly I have tried to put the idea of another away. I still imagine a third and a forth child though.

    I like your ideas about pain. I was thinking about a house that I used to live in when I was a child. I thought about a long tight corridor that led to a bathroom at the end. I often felt scared in that space. It was suggested to me that perhaps this was something to do with birth trauma. Maybe so. Babies feel pain, mothers feel pain. Life is full of pleasure and pain, the two often come hand in hand.

    When I was giving birth to Sydney in hospital in London, I was attached to a heart monitor. The monitor lost Sydney’s heart beat. The birth then became very urgent, I had to push Sydney out quickly. The fear and adrenaline helped me through.
    Each birth, each baby born is miraculous, when you think of the journey from conception to birth that a life has to take. It really is amazing…….

    Reply
  2. Jasmine Gauthier

    Thanks for your thoughts Helen.
    As I’ve said before it’s my deepest fear to never be able to have a child. Often I feel like this fear is real and that I will be denied a child in the future. I also come from a family of four children, and we lost two to miscarriages also, so perhaps it stems from that.

    The part I find so fascinating is that my face was scarred when I was at my most vulnerable and innocent. The cuts probably hurt, like they hurt my mother, but over time it softens and merges into my face. So much so that I can only see a glimpse of the evidence of that pain when I lose weight or if I lift my hair on my upper forehead. It doesn’t hurt anymore but it’s made ridges into what feels like my skull, like a rock carved by the sea.

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  3. Helen Sargeant

    The way that you describe the scar on your face/skull is so beautiful. I would love to see an image of your scar.

    The story behind your scar is so powerful, how it was made, how it forms a permanent link with your mother. The experience of pain that you both shared. Your descriptions made me want to see an image of your scar, and also made me think of your mother and how she must of felt ? The trauma that she and you went through must have marked her.

    I can understand why you have a deep fear about never being able to have a child.

    Reply
  4. Jasmine Gauthier

    I find the touch of the scar and it’s form much more strange than the look of it but perhaps that is more to do with the fact that I feel it far more than look at it, as it is my body.

    https://static.squarespace.com/static/51460965e4b057e4bb6f534c/t/53034473e4b0d77f953b9b7a/1392723062227/scar%20tissue?format=500w

    Forceps cut into my skull, cut into my mother, cut into my forehead and into my cheek. There’s another faint scar on my cheek like an extension of a smile. Probably due to the other side of the forceps around my head. In the images of the birth I can see her exhaustion, the pain and yet the relief when I’m finally in her arms. Damaged but a healthy little girl.

    She tells me she’d never really considered losing a child until that point. My brothers’ births were no real problem apart from her initial wounds from giving birth to me would inevitably reopen and she’d have to be stitched back up again. That means that despite my vulnerability then, my mark on her was far more lasting and painful in the years after than the mark her body and the metal made on me.

    Reply
  5. Helen Sargeant

    Your scars , your marks on your body then are a permanent memorial/connection to your mother, to your shared pain through birth. The scars themselves become language, become stories written on your body.

    Reply

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