the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Giving Birth to Myself

I want to be politically correct with my large female readership and say right off the bat that as a man I will never fully know what it feels like to give birth to another human being. But, to be devil’s advocate, let’s imagine that I DO KNOW.  And I am giving birth… to myself.  To a  new version of Neil.  The man who is not married to Sophia.

You will notice that I didn’t used the word divorced. Divorce has connotations of loss to me, as if I lost my wallet.  I will not walk around with the self identity of a divorced man.  I will be a man who learned important life lessons during his first marriage, a man now better able to love.

But this person is yet to be born.  He is inside me, growing.  And as most woman know, giving birth is a bizarre combination of pain, blood, joy, and medication. And it takes time.

But soon.


  1. Nancy P

    Beautifully written.

  2. The Honourable Husband

    Pain, blood, joy, medication…and time. The new Neil might not burst out into the world fully formed, all grown up. He might take some time to grow to his full potential. As every mother will tell you, it’s after the child’s birth that the hard work, and sometimes pain, begins.

    To quote some nice books I read from time to time, parent the new Neil with gentleness, humour and love. He’ll be learning for a long, long time.

  3. Sari Judge

    The “born again” man. Beautiful.

  4. Bridget


  5. slouchy

    I can’t wait to read about the transformation.

  6. Amy in Philly

    Growing inside you, ready to burst forth… just like Alien. 😛

  7. Megan

    Pain, blood, joy and medication. Yes. xo

  8. Chrisy

    Thinking of you, Neil. Just don’t forget to breathe…

  9. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    I’ve felt that way myself, which is why when you posted that photo on Instagram I looked at it and said it was really a self-portrait.

  10. Kara

    Here’s to new beginnings!

  11. Jenn

    Just…oh. You know. You know. Love.

  12. Jenn

    P.S. If you really want to give birth, however, you could try turning yourself inside out and climbing through the hole in your hoojackapiffy. That would give you a sensation in the ballpark. Take pictures.

  13. Tracy

    As someone who has given birth sans epidural (after 60 hours of labor), & who is currently going through a divorce, & who has been trying to rebirth herself for years, I can say with absolute certainty, without even knowing your situation, that giving actual birth is much, MUCH easier than THIS. Hugs, Neil.

  14. subWOW

    Good luck. I hope you don’t suffer from morning sickness. I am looking forward to meeting the baby Neil. Eh, is that how we should call the New You?

  15. 180|360

    Gah. Everyone stole all the jokes I was going to say! 🙂 Anyway, at least no one will have to change your diapers. PS. I owe you a phone call.

  16. The Culture Mom

    Wow. So beautifully put. Let the new chapter begin.

  17. Missives From Suburbia

    I can tell you there will come a time when divorce won’t feel like a label. In fact, I’m so far removed from mine (ten years, a wonderful husband, and two kids removed) that it seems like another life. Someone else’s. I hope you get there sooner, rather than later.

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