Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Birth Story.

E and J

This most recent birth I attended (shared with elated permission) was just so gorgeous that I simply have to try to paint a picture for you with words.  I talk a lot with my clients and students about how different each birth can be, how many variables there are relating to the "progress of labor" and how incredible the female body is.  This is a powerful example of that.

We had been patiently waiting for this little ? to decide that it was time to join the world and at around 10 days post dates, this mama was the epitome of calm.  She was ready, but not impatient; eager but not anxious.  I received a phone call in the evening, around 7:30pm, and was informed that her water had broken.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I did what any Doula would do, sent her to bed.  No contractions yet, so I was hoping for her to get a few hours of sleep in before things kicked in.  Well, it was a nice idea, good on paper, but alas the phone rang about 30 minutes later with the report that she was having some contractions.  Irregular, and still spaced out considerably, I sent her back to rest/sleep between contractions as best she could.  Mother nature had other plans, and after another 30 minutes, I hear her honey on the other end of the line, and can hear Mama audibly moaning in the background.  While talking with him, I was throwing my clothes on and running out the door, "I'm on my way, but you might want to give your midwife a call and let her know whats happening".  I knew that the astute Ashley Raiche with the Eastside Birth Center, would likely want her to head in to the birth center based on what I was hearing over the phone...sometimes logic has to be overwritten because it really didn't make a lot of logical sense that this first time mama would have gone from 0-60 in no time at all, but sounds don't lie and my gut usually doesn't lie either.  I didn't make it out my neighborhood before I got a call back from Daddy telling me to head to the birth center, and so I did.

I arrived first, and kept my nervousness in check by getting the birth suite organized the way I've seen them do it for years.  Filling the tub, stripping the bedding, placing chux pads strategically, moving carpets, etc.  Ashley arrived and concentrated on getting her medical supplies set up, her student and the birth assistant arrived, and then the car rolled up.  I met them at the car and we got her inside. Following closely behind them, Auntie and Grandma to be.  I was really impressed that her sister, who was also pregnant (due in 10 weeks or so), immediately stepped in and became photographer and doula with such a natural, relaxed presence.  Mama was clearly in her active exam needed to let her into the tub. Things appeared to be moving along swiftly and the tub, with candles lit and a new favorite Pandora station was playing from Aunties phone.  "Birdy Radio" was so lovely with the whole scene before me, a strong, feminine, playlist with songs titled "Light me up", "Fire Within", "Heart of Gold", Birdy, along with other artists with positive, empowering messages provided a strong soundtrack that, at least for me, added color, tone, serenity, and joy to the whole laboring experience.  Back to the scene, Daddy sitting on the edge of the big corner tub, supporting Mama and helping her to relax between contractions and beginning to support her in positions to push, and working together as a team to position her legs to get some leverage. After a while it was decided that a different position might bring the baby down more effectively, finding his/her way around that pubic bone.  Over to the bed we went, and on she pushed.  Now she did not push for a long time, but in comparison to the practically non existent early labor and the rapid progress of her active first stage through transition, there was a definite sense of slow time as we waited for contractions and had the privilege to witness the strength of a mother, eager to meet her baby and find out if she has a daughter, or a son.  It was additionally powerful to witness Daddy witness this event, hoping for a little girl, as were the baby's two big brothers.  E was focused and every single push was a deliberate effort to move the baby down.  The room was warm and infused with an energy that was just purely positive.  As the head began to slowly show a little, and a little more, the excitement was building.  Glances at Daddy showed moments of strength, pride, awe, happiness, and fervent anticipation. It's always a distinct honor for me to see the depth of gratitude, humility, respect, honor and service that overcomes partners during the birth process. I imagine that it is the most a person can feel, short of being in labor themselves, the biggest feelings we may ever be capable of in our love relationships.  Anyway, this slow time continued and with great effort, but combined with a tranquility that just filled the room, this little girl joined a wonderful, very happy family.  A very lucky little girl, may she be everything imaginable and so much much more.

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