A HOMEBIRTH FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A DOULA
BIRTH STORIES | CINCINNATI + DAYTON DOULA
It is about 10:30pm. She's calling. I had just fed my baby to sleep, we were dozing off together. My other three are already snoring in the rooms down the hall. I jumped up to the ring of my phone.
She is quiet. Internal. We don't talk much. I listen to her moan. She doesn't have to say anything, we both know it is time. I reassure her that she's doing wonderful, and let her know I'll be there soon. Kiss my baby, kiss my husband, blow kisses to the closed doors that hold my sleeping children in their bedrooms. Grab my coffee, my keys, my bag. Walk outside, take a few meditative breaths. In, and out. In, and out. Ground myself. Into the car, onto the road, to her home.
Step quietly through her front door. Her partner is straight ahead in the kitchen, I walk to him. He updates me on the events. Mom is in the bathroom. Internal. I walk to the door, I listen to her moan. I reassure her that she's doing wonderful.
Mom comes out, reaches for my hand. I hold it. Surges. Sensations. She's breathing through contractions. Slow. Steady. Intense. I admire her. Momma, you are so strong.
She's listening to her body. Following her intuition. Squats. Leaning over a ball. Squats again. She wraps her arms around my neck. We sway. We dance. She's bringing baby down.
Partner is there, quietly circling around us. He's following his instincts. Protecting the sacred birth space. This is their first baby. He's not nervous. He's grounded. He trusts his wife's body.
The midwife now walks through the door. She comes in without a sound. The midwife pulls out a few traditional supplies in another room. She heads to the kitchen to prepare soup. The midwife keeps herself busy, hands off mother. A facilitator of undisturbed birth.
Mother's moans turn into grunts. She's pushing. Standing up, she's bearing down. She reaches down. Her fingers touch her vulva. Baby's head? Not yet. But just inside her vagina, she finds baby's head. She's bearing down again. Grunting. Growling. Louder. Deeper.
It's the full moon. She's howling. Her wild self, unleashing. Awakening. Coming alive.
The midwife peaks her head in, and heads back to the kitchen. She's centered. She's confident. Her wooden spoon moving through the soup. Circles. Spirals. From the outside, into the center. Like the journey the mother in the other room is going through.
Mother cries that she can't do it anymore. You can do it, you are doing it. The partner get's closer. The midwife steps in, hands still off. The end is near. Grunting. Grunting. Grunting. Crying. Squatting down.
Baby's head is born. Mother laughs. Dad cries. Midwife smiles. I smile. Mother stops grunting. She's breathing baby down. Deep breath. In, and out. In, and out.
Baby's shoulder slip out. Mom catches, places baby on the ground. She stares at baby. Dad looks confused. Isn't she supposed to bring baby up? Midwife gives him a reassuring look. She's a facilitator of undisturbed birth.
After a moment, mom picks baby up. She's admiring baby. She brings baby to her chest.
Baby cries. Mom cries. Dad cries.
They move to the couch. They lay down together. The placenta is born moments later. The cord is kept intact. Baby finds mother's nipple. Latch. Suck. Suck. Suck. Mom is elated. Mom talks about how wonderful it feels. Dad talks about how proud he is.
I bring her water. The midwife brings her the soup. Together we tidy her home. Do a load of laundry, clean her dishes, make her bed.
Mom is ready to be alone with her family. Midwife goes over medical guidelines. I remind her how wonderful she is.
I grab my coffee, my keys, my bag. Walk outside, take a few meditative breaths. In, and out. In, and out. Ground myself. Into the car, onto the road, to my home.
I step quietly through my front door. My partner is straight ahead in the kitchen, I walk to him. I update him on the events. Kiss my baby, kiss my husband, blow kisses to the closed doors that hold my sleeping children in their bedrooms.