Sunday, May 3, 2009

Just a little break...sorry it's a long one.

When I chose to enter the path to becoming a Licensed Midwife I knew that my life and the life of my family would change. I anticipated middle of the night phone calls, being called away during family events and relying on the help of family and friends to care for my children. This week was a test of my dedication and passion for birth and all it encompasses.

Monday morning I received a call at 7:30 a.m. that a mama was in labor and progressing rapidly. I got ready, grabbed all of my gear and ran out the door ready to meet the other midwives at the home. This laboring mother lives approximately 30 minutes from my home but the I-1o freeway at this time of day...ugh. I arrived around 8:30 and found the mother laboring in the hallway. She greeted me with a smile and told me that "it was time." I helped her into her birthing tub so that she could have the "water birth" she dreamed of. This was her first homebirth and second child. Her two year old daughter looked on, curious but relaxed. In between contractions the mother sang "Twinkle Twinkle" and played games with her daughter. I sat back amazed at the serene environment that this family created for the arrival of their new child. We listened to calming music and chatted about Twilight books (we had this addiction in common :). During contractions and pushing she closed her eyes and entered her "zone." At 9:05 a beautiful baby boy emerged in the water as his mother pulled him to her chest. She cried and repeated, "I did it...I did it and he is perfect. I am so happy we were at home." It was a beautiful birth and I feel incredibly blessed that this family chose to include me in this intimate moment.

Tuesday morning began with prenatals at my precepting Midwife's home while she attended another birth. At 2:30 p.m. we were off to do a 24 hour prenatal at the home of the mother that had delivered the day prior. All was well and at 5 p.m. we headed to another client's home for a "home visit" to prepare for the upcoming birth. We always schedule home visits at 36 weeks of pregnancy so that we can see the client's home and meet the people who will be attending the birth. We go over the labor process and answer any questions that the family may have. This is a very important meeting and lasts approximately 2-3 hours. I got home at 9:30 and went to bed.

Wednesday was a fairly uneventful day. The kids and I had a chance to visit with friends (have I mentioned how ecstatic I am that the DeWitts are back!!!). It was a wonderfully mellow day.

Thursday morning my phone rang at 6:30 a.m. with another call from Karen (my preceptor) that another mother was in labor. She also mentioned that THREE women were all in labor at the same time. I immediately started thinking full moon, new moon, something. But no, there weren't any lunar issues responsible. We simply had anxious babies that wanted to greet the earth.

I arrived at the mother's home at 7:30 a.m. and found her laboring easily on a birthing ball. She was quite comfortable and I assumed she was early in her labor. The other midwife arrived at 8:30 a.m. The mother's family began to arrive and over the course of a few hours I saw her progress to the final chapter of labor. This birthing mother participated in yoga classes and daily stretching throughout her pregnancy. Many time through contractions I swayed with her, stretched with her, squatted with her. She was flexible and allowed her body to move the baby exactly where it needed to be. At 12:45 p.m. we welcomed a beautiful baby girl. Her older sister looked on in amazement. I later found out that the first night following the birth, the older sister stayed up most of the night holding her baby sister, quieting her and telling her how beautiful she was. She was so proud. Incredibly proud even for a 4 year-old. It was a beautiful experience. Several hours later I went home to be with my family. It was a wonderful day.

Friday morning began with a 24 hour post-partum visit to the mother's home to see how everyone was doing. I brought Sophie with me so that she could see the new baby. She loves what I do. If the family doesn't mind, then Sophie comes along here and there (another amazing aspect to midwifery). She loves asking me about all the births and the "baby catching" that I do. She is intrigued and tells me that someday she is going to be a midwife. Jay just laughs and reminds me that she could become an obstetrician and what will her hippie mother do then? Ugh...we'll deal with that situation later.

The remainder of Friday was dedicated to our family. We all went to Long Beach and took the kids on the Queen Mary and then they got to go on a Russian submarine. Alec really enjoyed the submarine. We finished the day off with an impromptu trip to California Adventures for a few rides. It was just the day we all needed. A little family rejuvenation...

By Saturday morning our group of midwives had "caught" 7 babies. It was an incredibly busy week and everyone slept quite well by the end. All of the births went well and it warms my heart to know that each mother and babe are in their homes resting and being waited on. They are in their own "germ field" and are not in a hospital being exposed to ridiculous amounts of bacteria and germs. Have I mentioned the Swine Flu??? That's a whole other post...

I text my husband each time a baby is born and he always has encouraging comments and "high fives" to share with me. He supports me 1,000,000% and reminds me that I am finally doing what I have always wanted and what I was born to do. I pray in the silence of my car each time I am driving to a birth and leaving a birth. I wouldn't, couldn't do this without knowing that my God is the one in control. Just as a I remind all of these mamas, I am not in control of your birth, you are. I am there simply to help the process and remind you how capable you are of birthing your baby. This is your birth and you can do it.

Have I told you...I absolutely love what I do.


Brigitte said...

Wow! It is too bad pregnancy was so traumatic and rough for me. I would have loved this process. It sounds so amazing and peaceful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Vanessa said...

You're doing a wonderful thing for these moms :)

The Fisher Family said...

You are amazing! Although I miss you...can you pencil this pregnant mama in soon? I love you and am so proud of the person you've become.

Supermom said...

Jay is right, You always wanted to do this since I can remember. It is soooo you and I can just see you glow whenever you talk about it! I'm so proud of you for accomplishing your goals! Your such a wonderful mother and friend. I love ya!

Shutt Family Simple Life said...

Jen you are so amazing! I am so proud of you!!

A Boy Named Demetri said...

Beautiful stories. Thanks for sharing. I hope my next experience is as peaceful as these.

Much love.