Repost of an original blog I wrote in October 2016...........
All birth is beautiful. A brand new soul starting their journey on this earth. A woman’s body completing it’s most primal purpose. But sometimes you witness a birth that stands alone, that is raw and powerful and leaves you in awe of the beauty of a birthing woman, completely submitting to her body and blossoming into a birthing goddess. Watching a man support and comfort the woman he loves, watching him journey through a million emotions, seeing his face as he catches his baby as she is birthed into his capable and safe hands.
I had the privilege to experience one such birth recently. It was quick, it was intense and it was completely inspiring.
Beth contacted me looking for some extra support. Her first birth had been fast and furious and left her in shock and ended in a hospital stay. Her partner Myles missed the whole experience and it was hours before he got to meet his son and be there for Beth. This time she was planning a homebirth and was aiming for a much calmer experience fully supported by Myles.
During pregnancy we spent time chatting about ways Myles would be able to support Beth, I was available to chat things through and offer information on things Beth needed to make decisions on. We drank tea and got to know each other.
Then the day arrived, Beth woke early that morning feeling niggly. She had a bath and pottered around the house. Beth rocked on her birth ball as the niggles started to turn into stronger sensations, her son Oak (3) was determined to join her on the ball so she decided to move to the sofa. Just before 8am Myles called to say things were getting pretty serious and they would like me to join them. Luckily I live pretty close by so by 8.15 I was there. When I arrived Beth was labouring well on the sofa, on her knees leaning on the back, taking each contraction as it comes, breathing through each one. Oak was getting a little upset that Mummy was hurting so I had a little chat with him about what was going on, that he was going to meet a new baby soon and that Mummy was doing so well, I promised him that Daddy and I were going to look after her. Myles and I got him set up with some toys and snacks and he seemed much happier.
By this point Myles had done a great job of getting towels and a duvet set up on the floor with one hand pretty much permanently pushing on Beth’s back! Beth was really feeling the heat now so I got her a cold cloth to put on the back of her neck, this can bring so much comfort when a labouring women is feeling hot, Oak also helped by bringing his duplo fire hose over and pretending to spray mummy to cool her down. I took this opportunity to call the midwife. Beth was progressing fast, her contractions were getting closer together, lasting longer and taking all her focus to deal with. I was pretty sure that birth wasn’t far away. After letting the switchboard know what was going on they said the on call midwife had been notified but was going to be a while. I was sure pretty sure at this point the midwives were not going to arrive in time, so we were on our own. We had discussed this possibility during pregnancy as Beth’s first labour was very fast and we knew there was a chance it would happen again.
I went back to check on Beth and she was hitting transition, her noises changed, they became deeper and more primal. She had a brief moment of panic where she let us know that she felt she needed something to help her cope, followed quickly by wanting to push, Myles and I quietly comforted her and let her know she was doing amazing and that she was safe and free to follow what her body was telling her to do. With that Beth gave a push and her waters went with a huge pop! I quietly let Myles know that things were going to go even more quickly now and that the midwives weren’t going to arrive in time. We cleared up the waters as best we could and got Beth to move onto the floor on her knees.
Myles was in a great position to support her and rub her back, Oak was happy playing and Beth was in those last few intense moments before bringing her baby earthside. I stepped back to give Myles and Beth some room, to allow them to do this together.I was in complete awe of how beautiful the scene in front of me was. The last few moments before birth can be frantic, there can be loads going on and midwives can be doing lots of checks, there can be lots of “push” “hold it” “breathe”, all these things can get in the way of truly appreciating the beauty of birth. As another contraction came Beth gave a push and Eva’s head appeared, there was a pause, Myles looked at me and I told him to get his hands ready for his baby. With a final push baby Eva made her entrance into the world, straight into Daddy’s waiting hands. 45 minutes after I had arrived, with her big brother playing quietly next to us. I will never forget Myles’ face as he caught his daughter. Whatever happens from this moment on, nobody will ever take that experience away from him. He will always be the first person to lay their hands on her skin, to look into her eyes. Beth took a couple of moments to get her breath back while Myles cuddled his beautiful daughter. Then Beth was passed Eva and we got them both wrapped up. As we cleared the sofa and got it ready for Beth, the placenta was born.
So Beth, Eva and Placenta were set up on the sofa wrapped in lots of blankets, a quiet time to meet each other and really take in the experience.
Oak came and met his baby sister straight away, said she was cute and then went back to his snacks. It was so lovely for him to be part of the experience and he was so amazing throughout. There were an incredible, calm 45 minutes of skin to skin, breastfeeding and love before the midwives arrived. Once all their checks and paperwork were complete, Beth had a bath and got into some comfy clothes before getting back snuggled on the sofa with her beautiful daughter, a cup of tea and some porridge.
Oak holding his new little sisters hand while he has his first feed after birth. and below is a picture of the placenta print Beth did.
Once I left I spent some time reflecting on how truly amazing the experience was. The raw power of the birthing woman. How when birth happens, uninterrupted in a respectful and calm environment it is magical. This is how the majority of birth should be, a family experience, a normal part of life. The more birth becomes something we talk about openly and in a positive way, the more women will have the support to have positive births. All women deserve to be a birthing goddess. To feel supported, safe, calm and respected. As a doula this is my mission.
To find out more about homebirth check out these sites-
Homebirthers and Hopefuls
Homebirth reference site
To find out about unassisted birth look here-
UK Freebrith information
As always check out Doula UK for everything you need to know about doulas. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss how I can support you through your pregnancy and birth whether you plan to birth at home or in hospital. I support women in most of Cornwall, I can offer flexible packages of Antenatal, birth and postnatal support.