Contrast that birth with another one I attended in March, just a few weeks later. She began labor in the early morning, came for a prenatal mid-morning with light contractions, and I was called to her home in the afternoon. She was progressing well in the tub until she hit an impasse around 10 cm. We tried having her change positions, drink tea, lay down to sleep...all to no avail. Finally I suggested I help her with pushing and try to get the baby to come into the birth canal. She gave a few, good pushes and the baby's head was born. She felt the head and smiled and lost her urge to push, so I suggested she just push out the rest of the body. As she did out came a torrent of blood and then I knew why she had the pause in her labor earlier. Her placenta had partially separated and her uterus was tired and she was exhausted. It had been 12 hours since her labor pains began and mentally, as well as, physically she was beat! If she had been rushed to deliver the baby against her body's wisdom she could've had a total separation and risked her life and the life of her baby. I was able to quickly remedy the hemorrhage using herbs and got her into bed to eat, drink and rest. Her baby did wonderfully and was nursing within 10 minutes of her birth.
Both situations turned out well, but the experiences were very different. As I attend each birth I am learning to trust my intuition and allow the body to follow its natural course. It's a challenge to know when to leave things alone and when to jump in and do something. What I have learned from these two births is that I am there to hold the sacred space of the motherbaby and to protect them and encourage them to listen to their bodies and follow that wisdom. Each woman and baby has their own journey and as their midwife I am there to respect and honor them and the process. I am truly enjoying where I am in my practice right now and hope I can continue to bring a greater knowledge and wisdom to my clients and their families and continue to simply trust birth.