Birth is with out doubt a powerful experience and I feel that home birth can be even more so. This is because in a families own space they can feel safer to really let go and do what ever they need to birth their bay. My last birth is still buzzing in my head and has actually transformed something deep with in me. This journey is just beginning for me but the switch was switched just last yesterday when this birth began.
A few months ago I was contacted by a lovely mum. She was living in a different European country which did not have the infrastructur to support her in her home birth at the time she was due. This was her second baby and as she had birthed at home with her first she wanted to birth at home again. Somehow she found me and we began emailing and skyping until she felt happy to take on my services. Her previous birth had been very special, moving and empowering and though she was aware that all births are different, she wanted to have the same kind of experience of it being really her and her husbands birth.
She and her family moved near Barcelona soon before her due date and settled in to preparing themselves for their new life. On finally meeting this lovely lady and her family, I felt they were very close with each other and understood immediately that they had chosen to put their trust in me and were allowing me into their very special and private world.
Their family energy was very powerful and at times I wondered if I could be what they needed me to be in their birth. Of course I am who I am and my practice as a midwife is unique to me, but not every midwife is right for every woman. I have in the past supported women who were very unhappy with my care and style of midwifery. This has allowed me to reflect on and hone my ideas of the kind of midwife I am and want to be. So in the case of this family I felt I was in for a new lesson in how I could be as a midwife. This was both exciting and of course a bit scary. I always want to ensure that a woman has the best experience she can have with me, but life is not always that way. I have learned that if I truly stay open, in heart and mind, then 9 times out of 10, she and I manage to connect on a deeper level in th time of her birth and I am able to give all I have to support her. But that 10th time can be very hard on ones ego and heart. I prayed that I could really open my life to this family and truly be with this woman.
This was not only because she had come so far or that she had had such a great experience in her first birth. I wanted to help create something special for this mother because she had shared with me her heart and trust. One year previously she had lost her unborn baby. The time of the loss and the due date of her new baby could possibly coincide and I felt very deep with in my heart I needed somehow to be a source of light for this family during this very special birth. I was unsure how to be this but I knew I needed to be open to what ever was needed from me.
In the end I was able to attend this family with 2 lovely doulas y my side. Her labour began on a beautiful winter morning. Pre labour did its on and off dance until later in the evening when we all went for a walk on the beach in the moon light. This mum had felt the need to go to the sea during the early hours of her labour but her partner did not feel secure in the two of them going alone, so we all took the stroll together. This for me was when I felt something begin to transform in my life. Watching this couple and their intense pure love for each other affected us all deeply. My doulas and I were so loved up on this couples vibes we were nearly floating.
At the edge of the sea they came together in their loss and expectation. Walking together, talking together and praying together they made they peace with their past and moved into their future. We, the doulas and myself where very aware in those moments that we were witnessing a moment so intimate and precious. It was a true gift of life and of birth.
On returning to the house we were all swept up in a profound energy of love. Tantric mantras were playing in the background in their little house and I felt such a rush or warmth and love inside me and around me, it was reminiscent of my rave come down days. Cuddled on the sofa sharing the love energy and feeling the power of these two peoples relationship with all that was privileged to be around them, labour began in earnest. Over the next 3 and 1/2 hours we chatted,cooked, ate, rested, laughed and when finally the tears came from this beautiful lady, I knew transition had begun. As we spoke about the intense love she had for her first child, I encouraged her that her was big enough to love both her children with the same intensity.
This time for me was a time of such purity and fragility. This woman, heart so grand and strong and yet created in the fragility that only true love, love based in courage could create, laboured with this courage, as so many women had done before her and will do after. We can only sit in awe at these women at this time. Each contraction rolling over her body and threatening to rip her sanity from her. Testing every ounce of control, courage and belief she has, all the while she moves closer to the portal of life. Each contraction a step deeper into the dark forest of birth as she clings to the promise of the brilliant light of new life on the other side.
Watching her face and encouraging her to trust her body, her baby her process, I felt such calmness and confidence in her and in her partner who I could see, with his heart was walking each step with her. In these moments, no poem or love song has the power to describe the enormity of the power of this kind of love.
Soon before baby was born this mum expressed her feeling that baby would be born on the day that she lost her baby last year. She and her husband discussed this with such honesty and openness. But I could hear in her voice a bit of sadness in her realization. Soon after this I noticed that her contraction were more intense and very close together. I felt that this wee baby was coming before the night was out and would have her own birth day. Things moved very quickly and nearly 1 hour after the discussion a beautiful cherub of a baby girl was born to this family. She came with such softness. She was breathed into the world, not pushed. She came quickly but with such smoothness and as we embraced and surrounded this mother, doulas, husband and midwife in a moment of intense power this lovely wee girl slipped into our world.
Before we left this family for the night the new father commented on how light the whole time felt. I thought he meant in weight of emotion but now on reflection I understand he meant light as if out of darkness. After all in Spanish to give birth is to give light.