Have you ever wondered what it was like to be born?  If so, I know of the perfect experience for you, it’s called Parturition and it’s brought to you by the folks over at Screenshot Productions “What We Learned Here” series.  I attended Parturition a few weeks ago ad it’s taken me those few weeks to fully comprehend what I experienced. I’m excited to share my experience with you, just keep in mind, it may get personal, as this was not an experience I was prepared for. The best way to start this is from the beginning…

Earlier that day I had received a cryptic email stating where I would be going and to open the door at precisely 10:15pm – not a minute before or a minute after.  I arrived on Lankershim Blvd in Los Angeles 15 minutes prior to my scheduled event.  As I sat in my car I took in my surroundings and prepared myself, as best as I could, for what laid ahead of me.  Keep in mind, I had never done an interactive haunt and/or experience before.  All I knew was that I was going to relive being born and I was hoping that it wouldn’t be too brutal for me.

At 10:14pm, I got out of my car and walked up to the door of a nondescript building.  At precisely 10:15pm I opened the door whereupon I was grabbed immediately.  I was told to not speak and to listen and do everything I was told.  The man who grabbed me asked if I understood everything and I nodded that I had.  He led me to another individual who was waiting for me and at this time, my birth began.  For the next half hour, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from relaxation to confusion to anger to fear to sadness and finally hope.  Prior to this event, I was asked to fill out a form with questions about my birth.  These answers would be integrated into my birth experience so it was important for me to be as honest as I could.  The only issue during birth was I had gotten stuck and in order for the doctors to get me out they had to dislocate my shoulder.  When I thought about it, I didn’t think it was too big of a deal, however, experiencing it during this event really put the whole thing in perspective.  I had “doctors” hovering over me, taking my vitals, placing an oxygen mask on me, and acting like at any moment I could die.  It was a really intense moment and one that made me think, what must the parents be feeling when this all happens to their child?

However, things became emotional after I was finally “birthed.”  I was brought into a room to watch a video of a young family, and this is when the tears started. It made me miss my family, it made me briefly miss my dad.  Having just moved to California 6 month prior, this was the first time when I really realized how much I missed my family (who are located on the East Coast).  I missed when life was simple, when I was a child and had my whole life ahead of me. I missed the ignorance and innocence I had when I was kid, which was taken away from me much too soon.  As I started to pull myself together, a woman appeared and held her hand out to me.  She brought me into another room, which reminded me of a nursery, and proceeded to tell me how much she loved me and how happy she was that I was alive. She held my face, held my hands, and hugged me deeply, all the while tears streamed down my face.  She told me that the world had so much to offer me and that I had so much to offer the world.  This stranger was acting as though she was my mom and talking to me as if I had been the child she almost lost.  I have never been so moved in my entire life and that scene and that interaction has left a profound impression on me.  As the woman hugged me tight, she then looked in my eyes and told me that it was time to live, that it was time to really live my life.  She opened a door and I stepped outside – back into the real world.

It took me probably a good 20 minutes before the tears finally stopped.  I drove home in silence and tried to digest everything that I had just experience. To say it was incredible, life changing, profound, and immensely emotional would be an understatement.  I have never experienced anything like this before and I’m not sure I ever will.  For all the events that I typically do, this one in particular has left a huge impression on me and it’s an impression I don’t soon want to forget. This event may not be for everyone and you have to go in with an open mind and an open heart.  I typically have my guard up constantly but as soon as I entered the building I promised myself that I would experience everything that “Parturition” had to offer me.  I’m so glad that I did because had I not, I don’t think I would have had the experience that I had.  All in all, I’m happy to say that this is one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve been through and I look forward to seeing what Screenshot Productions has for the future.

Shannon McGrew
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