A birth

April 28, 2009

At the last birth center birth I was privileged to attend, the mom was a woman from one of the Centering classes I had gone to several times.  The midwife who led those Centering classes was on-call that day, so it was exciting she was able to catch this mom’s baby.  The parents already had one son, an adorable 2 year old, who was over 9 pound at birth.  I was a little … not nervous, but well … ok, maybe a tiny bit nervous.  I know that some moms grow big babies, and this lady was completely healthy (very rare for the population served by this birth center), and she had one big baby already no problem.

There’s just always that moment of adrenaline rush when the head comes out and you think, god, that’s a big head, I hope the shoulder comes out soon after … and then it usually does.

I wanted to write a quick note about this birth so I don’t forget it.  It was such a positive experience for everyone involved, even me, and all I did was stand there.  The mom coped so beautifully with labor, the dad was such a perfect support for her, and the atmosphere was completely peaceful and quiet.  She stayed in the tub until she was almost complete, when the midwife broke her water and there was light meconium … another moment of “oh my god I know that’s normal but what if it’s not oh god I hope the baby’s okay” for me, standing in the corner.  Paranoid student.  A  minute  later she got out of the tub and onto the bed, we turned the lights down low and J (midwife) started encouraging her to push.

I loved the two births that I was able to see with J catching.  I mean, I loved all of them, they were all totally awesome in their own way.  I should really write about them all, I think I’ll do that … but J had this incredibly calming and reassuring presence that I aspire to have some day.  She is older than the other midwives at that birth center and more experienced.  As the mom was pushing this day and getting distracted by the pain, J would catch her eye and say, in a quiet voice, “Everything is fine.  Everything looks very normal.  Take a deep breath.”

But my favorite moment was after the head came out.  Mom paused, saying, “whew, that’s better” after the widest part of the head was delivered.  A moment or two later, as my shoulder dystocia nerves were making themselves known again internally, J looked at her and said calmly, “Ok, push the rest of him out,” and she did, one big push and a huge fat baby boy was born and was the most vigorous baby I have ever seen.  I think he was crying before he was even all the way out.  He looked EXACTLY like his brother, and he ended up being even bigger.  9 lbs 9 oz, I think.

(And she had not even one stitch worth of tears on her perineum.  Gorgeous.)

An hour or so later, she was back in the tub with the baby, relaxing and watching her new son enjoy the warm water.

This is why I think I want to work at a birth center.