One of the most memorable births I have attended was last spring. It was what some midwives might refer to as a biodynamic birth. A biodynamic birth is one where the birthing mother is in full control of her experience--her body, mind, and spirit. And because she is able to really be empowered, she actually does not need guidance or instruction, just support. In a biodynamic birth, the mother listens and moves with her body. Her birth becomes of unnecessary interventions...The birth I attended in the Spring was like that. The mother labored in such a beautiful and gentle way. Oh, don't get me wrong, she made plenty of noise, but she was so in tune with herself, that I think we just fell right into the experience with her. Her husband at some point took a meditation bowl off the shelf and began sounding it. Evidently it is a Tibetan way of calling the spirit of the child to the family. Whatever the reason or the belief it was very beautiful and we all got caught up in the energy of the birth. When that happens, the birth attendants start talking in their own silent language--vitals are taken, exams are performed, fetal heart tones are recorded, but it all happens softly, gently, and often without anyone else noticing or remembering. Sounding a meditation bowl is similar to sounding a bell. You use a wooden mallet to tap the edge of the bowl to make a resonating tone, or you take the mallet and sweep it around the edge of the bowls edge to keep the song going. When you play the bowl this way the tones seem to take on a life of their own. The tones get soft or strong or loud and I at least, felt as though I was not in control of that piece. At this particular birth, the tones seemed to grow in intensity and peak with the contractions. It sounded like a resounding OM and the mother moaned-sang along, contraction after contraction. This went on for what may have been hours--it is hard to recall, we were so caught up in the energy of the moments. Eventually though the mother to be began to push, her husband leaning over the edge of the birth tub in support. I don't think that she pushed for very long--but at last the baby came swimming into the wet, watery world and into the arms of her lovely and exhausted mother. Every bit of the birth seemed sacred and graceful and blessed. There were no complications, no panics, no big fears. It was all a dance that had been done a thousand times before and so we danced the steps perfectly.