It has been a long time since I’ve written anything in this space. Four months, says the website time stamp of the last post. Too long. But I’ve been a good kind of busy and those four months have flown by.
This weekend brought a few babies to the outside world and I’m waiting on another coming soon. One of these babies was #4 for his lovely family, and #3 to be born at home. I was assisting at this birth so when I got the call from my good friend and fellow midwife that this mom’s labor was moving right along and her babe would be here soon, I slow motion scrambled to get out the door. Slow motion scrambles happen when you are sleepy at 1am, trying desperately to put on birth clothes while not falling over and waking the baby, and hoping the two shoes you just put on are from the same pair because you’re already somehow in the car and zooming away. When I got to this family’s house I was greeted by Grandpa watching TV on the couch, guarding the entrance for his daughter laboring away in the back. I followed her sounds to her bedroom, got a quick status update from my friend and settled in on the floor occasionally listening to baby’s heart beat but mostly to hold space for this mom to continue laboring. Occasionally she would express her doubts as to whether she could “do this” – do the amazing and intense work of birthing her baby that she was already very close to completing. Her birth team of my midwife friend, dad to soon-to-arrive babe #4, and Grandma would listen and gently acknowledge this mom’s statements and reenforce what was physically happening, that her body was working hard to accomplish the magic of bringing a baby Earth side. And then, just like that, baby’s head was born, and for a minute, he hung out there and opened one eye to check out his dad. Dad thought this was pretty wild, and it definitely can be a little startling, like looking at a doll that just woke up in front of your eyes. One more push and the rest of him was out and up with mom, very happy to be done with the hard part.
All the while, this mom’s sister had also been present behind the camera, stealthily taking what I knew were amazing shots. I sort of assumed that everyone in the room had seen a birth before, probably because this was baby #4 come to join the party. But it was birth #1 for this sister, something that gets imprinted in your brain and changes you. I was so thankful that her first experience with birth was with her amazing sister birthing by the side of her bed with the love and support of her team and family. I was also very thankful that I got to witness and be a part of this birth, which will stay with me too, and I will carry to all the other births I have a privilege to be a part of.