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Birth Watching

Yesterday we went to see one of my mamas and we watched her birth video. It was December Birth #2 if you want to go back and read it again before I talk about it here.

It was so nice watching it! I am so proud of myself as a midwife when I watch myself on video sometime. I know that must sound so arrogant, but I keep my hands to myself and it isn't even a struggle to do so - you can tell in some videos when midwives are struggling to keep their hands to themselves... hands moving towards mom's perineums, then back towards their own bodies, then again towards the baby, then back again... unsure of where to BE. I keep my hands still, tight against my own body. I love that. I am so proud of myself.

This mom was so beautiful in labor, but the video was turned on about 4 minutes before the birth or so, so she didn't get to see a lot of that herself. She did she to see right as her water broke (which she loved and thought was the greatest!) and as she was delivering on her hands and knees, the assistant midwife (who was going to help the mom catch the baby if she needed it, which she did) and I laid on the floor behind mom to watch the decent of the baby. Mom told me she couldn't be a midwife because she thought that was the oddest position for us to get into... right there lying on the floor with my face mere inches from a woman's perineum (she was backed up against a wall; there wasn't room for me to be anywhere but inches away); to me, it is absolutely normal... I don't even think twice about it. She said, "Exactly!"

If you recall, this was the mama who didn't want the hat and who, at the home visit made me laugh when I said I really wanted a hat on the baby and she said, "That's nice." She said she'd settle for a blanket on the baby's head and I told her I'd also bring an extra heater (which I do anyway because of the Odent findings that women who don't shiver also don't bleed - so far, I have the same experiences as he does).

So, on the video, the baby is born and this is where you can see my discomfort and I slip a blanket on the baby's head (we all did ask permission to come near the baby, though, and didn't touch the baby for at least a couple of minutes) and we turned the heat up because it was still cold in the room. And just as it was warming up, we blew a circuit and the room went black.

Watching the video, the mom, my apprentice and I laughed our heads off! It was so ironic, my worry so much about cold stress and the Universe turned the heat completely off. In the moment, it wasn't funny at all, but after the fact, it was a hoot. You can hear us talking in the black and someone goes to get a flashlight and we use the flashlight pointing towards the ceiling while dad goes to work on the circuit breaker. (He wasn't involved in the birth.)

This part of the video is like a black & white movie... we are quiet and every once in awhile talking softly about the birth or the placenta. It was really nice. Someone went to get a blanket for mom and we covered her and the baby up. You know I was happier. laugh

Once the lights came on, we felt they were far too bright, so chose to turn them off and used the flashlight on purpose! We had the heat on and had the flashlight for about another hour or so of the video... it was so much fun. Mom's oldest daughter had woken up and was with us in the birth room, so there was mom, her best friend (one of my clients, too), my apprentice, my assistant, me and the daughter who is 3 - so much chick energy! Watching the video, we giggled watching ourselves looking like we were at a slumber party! My apprentice made the astute comment that all that was missing was braiding hair and talking about sex.

Every once in awhile, the flashlight was used to go under the blanket to see what the placenta's progress was and to check bleeding. Watching this, I laughed and said it looked like we were under the blanket telling ghost stories... "...and then there was a bloody placenta...."

I have rarely seen such an amusingly sweet birth video.

This mom, too, was back into her body nearly the moment the birth was over. That is rare, too. There is a "look" and a way that women talk after birth - women are so high and not in their bodies for an hour or so (and it so way cool!), but this mom was right smack down into her body again right away... and that was way cool, too... just very surprising (and much more noticeable on video than when we were with her at the birth).

When I wrote her birth story, I forgot to mention that on the drive up to her house, I saw a very long and bright falling star... it lasted at least 3-4 seconds. I haven't seen a falling star in so long - it was a true introduction to the wonderment of the birth that was coming before us.

This mama, who'd had a UC the birth before this one, has taught me so very much. I'd expected her to be a pain in the butt with her requests and demands and instead, she was gentle in letting me know her needs and desires. It was easy to work with her when we clarified what she needed of me (remember when I didn't know she didn't want to do postpartum visits?). She didn't get all snippy and holier than thou as some women have done with me. I respect and honor her so much for that. Why can't all women be this way when we disagree?

Anyway, I laughed and loved so much while watching her video with her yesterday and she let me hold her beautiful sleeping baby girl as she (mom) talked diapers with my apprentice. It was a great afternoon of sweet friends and a delicious baby.

Who could ask for a better life than this?

Reader Comments (2)

The birth video (and the birth) sound incredible, lovely, tender, real, raw, and perfect. Thank you for sharing. It instills even more hope in me...if people can continue to hear these birth stories and witness these women, maybe our birth world will shift. And the shift will be felt everywhere, in every canyon and cell of our body. Oh, I hope.

January 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

What a great birth! I just wanted to comment on the Odent findings that you mentioned. For what it's worth (which may well be nothing), my own limited personal experiences have been the opposite of that. I have had five children, three of those are homebirths. The second baby was meant to be a homebirth but ended in transfer and c-sec due to caregiver distress and a lying doctor. Anyway, the only birth after which I did not get the shakes/shivers was the last one, and ended in transport for hemorrhage.

January 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSkye

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