Saturday, January 21, 2006

January Births

So there is this rule in midwifery. If you want to go to a birth you don't say "tonight is the night" because it just won't happen. And if you don't want to go to a birth you can't say "no babies for blank days" or whatever...Recently though this rule was broken....I was called to a birth around 11 pm on a Wednesday night and after the birth (around 11pm Thurs) one of the midwives I worked with said "ok. NO more births for at least a few days." Needless to say, about 2 hours after arriving home and finally being snuggled down in my bed, I got the phone call: another woman in labor, 6 cm. dilated. Grrr. So off I went on virtually no sleep...
Both births were long and hard, not that birth is at all easy, but we as the birth attendants had to pull out our bag of tricks--herbs, homeopathics, visualization, soft and firm encouragement, position changes, hip rotations--and then we had to let it all go and just trust our own knowing that these women were strong, powerful, and going to birth beautifully at home.
The first baby was born in the water, with the amniotic unruptured. This little white ghost came swimming out and then behind and into it the head. Dad's hands right there with mine, waiting. Behind the white film of the amniotic sac (caul) I could see tufts of hair floating in the water, and the smallest, sweetest ears. The baby moved slowly, with his mother's body, birthing shoulders and heart and limbs into Dad's waiting arms. And then we brought this new, calm spirit up to Mom's heart so she could discover and fall more deeply in love with his perfect face and perfect soul...The old wife's tale goes that babes born in the caul are put on this earth as spiritual leaders, healers, or midwives...

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