Births that make me smile...


There are some births I have that I can’t help smiling throughout the entire labor. I had one of those births the other night. The mother came in with her second baby already in what I call fast and furious labor. She had a birth plan, requesting an unmedicated, non-intervention birth with skin to skin contact immediately after birth, delayed cord clamping, basically what as midwives we do anyway whenever possible. 

What I loved about her birth was that she was CLEAR about her needs. She verbalized, sometimes vehemently to her husband, her mother, the nurse, and me what she needed. She was not apologetic or polite. It was awesome!  When her mother kept talking, she asked her clearly to please stop talking. She and her husband were working through each contraction with a system that worked for them as a couple. He would say, relax your belly, relax your chest, relax your back, and she would breathe deeply and focus. At one point when he strayed from her side, she told him clearly I need you here. While these points of reference would not work for most women, it worked for her. Then when the nurse kept talking about IV placement, she told her, "I don’t care! Just do it."   I know from years of experience that when a women is clear about her needs, sometimes impolite that she will birth her baby. It makes me smile to myself and congratulate her in my mind.

When it came time to push, she loudly welcomed her baby into the world. Some people would call it screaming but I just thought to myself, "Yes, go for it!"  When someone is letting their air out through moaning and yelling I know it works because they are allowing the baby’s head to be born slowly. You can’t push as hard when you are letting all your air out through vocalizing.

After the birth she apologized to me for screaming and I told her, "No, you did great! That’s what I wanted."  We usually try to have women blow as the head is being born to minimize or prevent tearing, but yelling also works. No one said birth should be quiet! You are welcoming a new soul into this world. Celebrate it any way that works for you!

It was a beautiful birth, this mother embodied everything I know about childbirth. She was unrestricted and unencumbered and welcomed  her daughter with everything she had. 

With love,