Saturday, October 4, 2008

We Birth The Way We Live

I recently attended several moms who had their babies within hours of their first pain to holding a baby in their arms. I was surprised by how quickly they went and how efficient their labors were. Both commented on how they imagined their bodies opening up and giving birth easily and smoothly with each contraction. Visual imagery really works!
Another similarity between the women is the way in which they live...the way they carry out their daily parenting and other responsibilities. From my perspective both women have very peaceful, matter of fact ways about them and when it came to pregnancy or other life experiences they kept any drama out. They chose to calmly ride the waves of their lives and their labors and, therefore, gave birth fairly easily and with much intention and very little drama.

At the end of each woman's pregnancy I make a home visit. This gives me a chance to see the woman's surroundings and help her imagine where she will be giving birth in her home and where all of the supplies will be when I need them. I also find this a wonderful time to observe how this woman arranges, decorates and moves within her own space. I can usually tell at the home visit whether this woman will birth quietly and privately or if she'll be someone who needs extra attention and who may choose to complicate herself unknowingly by inviting less than supportive people to her birth.

We have seen in the media since we were children the scenes of dramatic childbirth and how the woman is rescued from her pain or emergency by medical personnel. This has made an imprint of fear on each of us, whether we believe it or not, and it often comes up in homebirth. Women may feel isolated or alone or too far away from a hospital and the quiet midwife in the corner doesn't always satisfy this underlying fear. Some women will be very vocal or dramatic with their contractions or feign exhaustion when in reality they are doing well and their labor is progressing normally.

With homebirth you don't get as much drama. The labor and birth happen without bright lights or clanking instruments or a room full of people. Babies slide out of their mother's bodies with grace and hard work and relative quietness. At homebirth you will hear the songs of birth moms singing their baby's into this world... bringing them down and out. Midwives sit quietly with watchful eyes and quiet hands and are a witness to the miracle unfolding.

As humans who share the same species as mammals, we can birth in a lovely, unscripted way without all of the drama that the media has put upon us. We can trust our bodies and our minds to take care of the birth of our babies without intervention or control by an outside person. We birth the way we live...whether that be in a chaotic, controlling way or in a more gentle, peaceful way. It is up to each woman to decide how she will birth her baby and it is up to me as her midwife to guide and support her on her own journey.


Tami said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. You are a beautiful writer. Thank you so much for helping us have a peaceful home birth and for being such a quiet, yet powerful support! I am so glad that we chose to have a homebirth! Thanks again!

Lori Wrankle, Traditional Midwife said...

You are the star of this blog entry! You are one of those peaceful women I am talking about. You made your birth wonderful because of the way you are. You never fussed or created chaos in your life to change your sucessful birth outcome. It was an awesome pleasure to be your midwife. I hold you in high regard and thank you for the wonderful opportunity!