Today I attended the birth of an experienced mama who welcomed her 4th sweet one. This was their first homebirth. I remember the first time we sat together, exploring her options and choices for where and with whom she would welcome her baby. I remember having a heavy heart as I listened to her previous birth stories.
What she sought were the universals most expectant mamas are seeking and have a fundamental right to. She felt deprived and robbed of this and still carries the deep memory of how she felt during each of her previous birth experiences.
Her desires: where to be listened to; acknowledged as the expert of her own body and life experiences; she desired a trusting, caring, respectful and honest relationship with her birth companions; she wanted to know that she had options and could adjust those options when she changed her mind. Her visions included: an environment where she could be truly herself; receive empowering affirmation; hands that would hold her, wipe her brow and touch when the time came for deep or soft loving touch; kind soothing words; she was asking to be loved and to have someone truly witness her journey, power and amazement as she brought this little soul into the world.
I have many blessed friends who serve in hospital settings and I know their hearts; their compassion and support is present and endless. I also listen to their stories of frustration and conflict with knowing what is ‘right’ in this moment for this mama/baby is not something that is policy or peer sanctioned. Oh how my heart aches for them and the dilemma line they walk daily. Somewhere in our current maternity care system we find ourselves so lost in what meaningful, supportive and helpful during this very sacred time. The imprint we leave on mamas and babies when there hearts are wide open, this lasts a lifetime.
Today I was amazed and honored to sit with this mama and her beloved as she sweated, vocalized and in the end asked the strength of three birth workers, a friend and her beloved to simultaneously to press deeply with her as she brought us her sweet baby.
Extra special wink for this little one who blessed us all with a rare daytime birth.