Friday, December 02, 2005

Birth Story 2

One of the first things I have learned since attending birth is that they never, ever go the way you expect them to go (although now that I have said that the next one probably will). The most recent of birth I attended was happened completely unexpectedly. I was at work (I nanny three 18 monthers) and a bit worried that the parents had decided to drive to the Ape Caves on Mt. St. Helens for the day. I had the fleeting thought of "what if (mom) goes into labor? I doubt there is cell service in the Ape Caves." Needles to say, I was relieved to find Hope home when the triplets (Connor, Riley, and Sean) and I returned from the park. I found most of this odd, because the mom I was on call for wasn't due for another couple of weeks. But, within five minutes of me having these thoughts, the midwife called and let me know the mom was in labor.
I want to add here that as I attend more and more births I feel like my instincts and intuition grow stronger. It may sound odd, but I have found other ways of knowing what is happening than phone calls, conversations etc. For example, a few months ago I dreamt that I had a dream that a client was trying to tell me she was in labor. I woke up and within a minute received a phone call from that client. Sure enough, she was in labor.
So, you see, these random thoughts often have deeper meaning. Anyway, we spent most of the day setting up the birth tub and getting everything set for this birth. Mom labored beautifully. She was surprisingly quiet. Kept going back and forth between the tub and the bathroom. Moms as a rule love to labor on the toilet. This was one of the first births where I was told to "step forward." Meaning, I was doing more work than usual--or rather more coaching and support. This also meant that I was going to catch the baby...
When a mom begins pushing, the energy of the birth becomes much more intense and deep. This mom pushed for a long time, common with first births. But she did so beautifully. I had my gloved hands on her perineum, could feel the bulging as she pushed and opened and brought the wee one closer and closer to this world. It feels really strange when a head is being born right into your hands. It is amazing how slowly the head is born and how quickly the body of the baby follows. Babies truly swim into their new life...This one came out with a big gush of water and a lot of sweetness. He seemed very tiny and precious. I just sat there on the bed, stunned. I was yet again, so amazed to have been witness to this experience and to have held this wee one as he entered the world. It is such a gift, to be the first to touch such innocence and beauty. There is really no way of describing the connection you feel with the universe, god, goddess, new delicate life. This time I felt almost helpless. I couldn't move from the cocoon we had just created. The midwives talked above me--checked the baby's breathing, made sure mom was not bleeding. They worked quickly and quietly to ensure everyone was safe and healthy. I continued to sit in awe for what seemed like forever wondering, how exactly is it that we are able to give birth?

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