what i wish our culture afforded us is more honest portrayals of birth. something other than the stereotypical sitcom scene: water breaks at the store, rush to the hospital, scream in pain and say terrible things to your partner, huff and puff, push baby out...all while laying flat on your back and all within about an hour. it's absolutely misleading.
truth is that birth is intense and arduous work, but it normally doesn't make you hate your partner, nor say nasty things. truth is, birth may take 30 minutes or 72 hours, but either is normal. truth is, birth can be and often is serene, even without pain medication. truth is, there can be peace like a thick blanket laying across the entire space, even when there is groaning and other vocalizations. truth is that women normally move around a lot when they labor, unless they cannot (epidurals, monitors). truth is that women are powerful and in command of themselves, even as they are surrendering to something even more powerful than themselves.
so when my clients allow you, dear blog followers, to see snippets of their birth stories, you are being given a great gift! you're being allowed to see how birth really is, or really can be. as we witness these stories, we can begin to let go of and live outside of the media stereotypes and to move past our own fears about birth.
now, onto amy and darren. this couple, from the moment i met them, were obviously uber prepared for birth. they studied, they trained, and they lined up appropriate support (stacy beene of serenity holistic health was their doula, and she was awesome). when i joined them in triage at the hospital, amy was in the zone. so focused, steady, rhythmic. she was putting into practice all that she learned from hypnobabies, as well as utilizing the second-nature movements she gained as a dancer. and throughout her labor, as she paced, rolled on the birth ball, hung on the squat bar, and swiveled her hips, her breathing and humming were a constant, quiet soundtrack. at transition, she expressed the classic "i can't do this anymore" statement. but her loving support people knew what to do, and after saying just two carefully chosen sentences of encouragement, amy was back in the game. it wasn't long after that that her sweet babe was born. a girl.
and you should have seen her daddy's face!
thank you so very much, amy and darren, for the honor of being a witness to your birth story. can't wait to see you soon for ellison's newborn session.