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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the sounds of birth

probably one of the most uneasy and self-conscious parts of birth is a woman's concern around the noises she is bound to make in labour.

the sweet songs that she moans as she rocks back and forth, going deeper within herself. hypnotizing herself. the vibrations activating her moola banda. stimulating her pelvis. preparing it for the work to come. 

this is the unquantifiable aspect of birth. beautiful. powerful. awe inspiring. 

i was at a birth the other night. i met the woman in labour for the first time. not an ideal situation. i'm good at integrating into the birth space. not being intrusive. even if the first time i am meeting her is while i'm sinking my hand into her birth tub to listen to heart tones. 

over the course of the evening i began to support her more intensely in her labour. her back ached with each contraction, suggesting a posterior baby. sitting at 8cm for a few hours also suggestive. i asked her if she wanted to get out of the tub and sit on the toilet for awhile. her contractions surged. as i pressed on her back she began moving with each contraction, leaning on me. finding her rhythm. we moaned a low primal moan together. taking deep yogic breaths in between. 

i was humbled by her words telling me that i was helping her, that i had calmed her, that she was figuring out where to go because of my presence. i wasn't doing anything. counter pressure. a few words. relax your toes. sink into your bottom. let your body work. 

the other midwife joined us in the bathroom, the mother now on hands and knees, draping her upper body over a birth ball. she was surrendering herself to her intensifying labour. she found herself surrounded by her women. 

the power of this is unmistakable. sometimes that is all a woman needs. to be surrounded by other women. light touches, soft words. but the presence. it's that union. walking that right of passage with those of your kind. 

i haven't given birth. i haven't walked that path. but i have watched and learned as many women have. i have been there as mothers have emerged for the first time. i have been there as mothers five, six times over have rocked those babies out their bodies with knowledge and power. 

all births fierce.

the moans, the squeals, singing, screams, the howls. 

the innumerable sounds of birth.

the power of women.  

i don't think i will ever stop being amazed.

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