It is hard for me to write about birth. It is an experience that eludes the power of my pen. But I did want to share a few things about this strong mom's birth and since I have been given permission, here I go!
I thought this mom might be having a big baby but not a word did I let slip from my mouth. I am not sure why I thought the baby might be big. It might have been because her first baby was almost 9 pounds and came more then a week early and Caitlin was born at 41 weeks and 3 days. Perhaps it because her mom's belly was a big, big belly. Perhaps it was intuition. I appreciated the fact that the midwives in charge of her care didn't make any comments either and wondered why doctors talk so much about "big babies" in front of their clients.
When I arrived at the mom's house, I remarked how well she was listening to her body's needs in labor. She moved into a kneeling position, leaning on the couch for contractions, and then sank to the floor immediately between contractions. She rested, supported by her partner, snuggled among pillows, the memory of the contraction already part of the past. Regularly during her labor I observed her ability to deeply relax between contractions, her facial muscles loose and limp, there was little need for me to remind her to let the contraction go.
When it was time to push, despite her exhaustion, despite the fact that she had been laboring on a comfortable bed, this mom propelled herself off the bed with a strength surprising for a mom who had been up all night and laboring all morning with little to eat. She assumed a very nice kneeling position with knees wide apart on the floor, leaning onto the edge of the bed, a good position in which to birth a nice-sized baby. Although she had had some trouble with pushing at her first birth, this time she pushed like a champ, without hesitation, and slowly, easing her baby out so that she wouldn't tear (she had only a small first degree tear that was not in need of suturing). And she was indeed a big baby though her petite mother birthed her with a grace and ease that was awe-inspiring to witness. Caitlin weighed in at 9 and 1/2 pounds. Welcome to the world little one!