Saturday, April 9, 2011

Star is Born

It is a great privilege to be a birth doula. It is one of the highest honours I have ever received. It is especially rewarding when I support families who I feel a special connection with. As soon as I met the Faux family, I fell in love. They are the sweetest little family. I helped them with the birth of their 4th girl, Star.

Women are amazing and they really shine during childbirth. I am re-amazed at their strength and endurance with every birth I attend.

Mrs. F. was in labor for quite some time. We shared stories, laughed, and breathed through contractions as we walked the halls of the hospital together. She was handling the pressures very calm-like. Finally in the wee hours of the morning she was fully dilated, but there was one major set back: the baby spontaneously decided to turn in the transitional position. I called my dear midwife helper friend, Heather Shelley to get instructions on how to turn a baby. I had never done that before, but we tried the method and the baby turned....feet first instead of head down. Argh! We tried again but with no avail, Star was presenting breech. The new complication was that Mrs. F. was fully dilated and ready to have the baby, but because of liability insurance policies, the hospital will not deliver a breech baby. Cesarean birth was the only option.

I watched the birth from the window with tears streaming down my face. I wasn't sad as much as exhausted. She had been laboring for hours and reached full dilation on her own and didn't get a chance at a vaginal birth. No matter the method of childbirth, it is a miracle. As I watched Star coming out of the womb something magical happened, time stopped enough for Star to light up the room. I saw and felt her light right away. I've never seen anything like that. It was the most peaceful experience- words cannot explain the enormous greeting and light surrounding Star's arrival. Then more tears fell- of course.

Who knows why baby's turn last minute or why hospital's find breech deliveries too risky or why Mrs. F. labored so hard and so long. But I do know that birth is miracle and that it is bigger than we as a culture and community are allowing it to be.