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On my way to a birth yesterday, I texted the dad suggesting he might want to run a bath for his wife who had started having strong contractions. ‘Not sure that’s going to happen, she’s in a corner, on all fours,’ he wrote back.

I smiled when I read it – it had been a stressful journey across London in rush hour and my adrenaline was high and the need to say something/ do something was a way to get rid of some of it. It was for MY benefit.

So how glad I was to be sent that great wake-up call before arrival; a salutary reminder not to gear, not to steer, to never meddle with a mother in labour who has – and FEELS that she has – what she needs.

Home brings out the best in a birthing body – women feel their own authority, and find their own way – and this was never clearer than yesterday. At every single joint and juncture, she knew what she wanted and knew what to do.

There were no assessments, and her body naturally segued from one phase to the next without the need for accouncement or conscious awareness. It required us attending to let go, to follow her flow…to trust that each blow-breath, each ululation was taking her somewhere, as for sure she herself never seemed to doubt it.

On the outside, the final phase seemed to take a while – and in a hospital setting under timed conditions, someone would have certainly created a deadline and said something was wrong. But thanks to a fabulous unobtrusive midwife, and the fact that we were in her own low-lit kitchen with a couple of onlooking cats and some great folk waltzes as accompaniment, nothing was said, and nothing was done.

Thanks to the quiet, it was obvious to all that the mother knew everything was as it should be – that she was unconsciously attuned to every little shift and felt full confidence that her body and baby were getting on with things just perfectly.
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June 09, 2017 at 07:27AM

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