For me, to be with birth is to be with Divinity. To hold this sacred space and to welcome this new soul to the world is a true blessing. I have a sincere belief that if every adult human could be present for a healthy, supported and planned physiologic birth, we could be many steps closer to peace. Is it possible to sit in that space and not recognize the glory, honor, courage, compassion and integrity of each precious being, both old and new? Perhaps, since I come from a personal background of a deep faith, this belief is pre-disposed in me. But I find it hard to believe that a person could be in that space and not be moved on some level.
The Divinity of a partner offering love and support through the wiping of a brow with a cool towel, gentle touches massaging tired muscles, sweet whispers of encouragement and offering sips of water.
The Divinity of supporters joining in the birth song to lend strength when needed, laughter when called for and even silence when necessary.
The Divinity of the “second wind”; that well of fortitude that a birthing person is somehow miraculously able to dip from when they have exhausted all other energy sources.
The Divinity of the power that can pour out of a birthgivers head, heart, muscles and very soul as they work to birth both a baby and themselves.
The Divinity that I have felt, moving through my heart and hands at birth. Honestly, I have been taught such humility in response. I have, in times of great stress and need, felt the support of Divinity working through me. To breathe and massage and speak life into a tiny baby. A deep knowing of when to stop “pushing” a laboring person and their baby. A sudden need to have a woman get out of the water, for no apparent reason, but then to have the reason become clear. In these circumstances, I truly feel unable to take full credit for these actions. Yes, I have trained and observed and prepared for these situations, but ultimately, they are not completely in my control. This has been a hard lesson and one that I will most likely be continually working on. I must constantly be on the lookout, the often spoken of ‘eyes of a hawk’, and open to the power of the Birthgiver and the power of Divinity.
At a birth, I was literally at the end of my rope, I had done and tried everything to help this family. At that moment, of surrender, my hands just started doing. An obscure maneuver, from deep in a text book, that I had never done and only seen once years ago. My hands simply took over and did it, and wonderfully it worked! It was just the trick to help this sweet babe out. I didn’t even fully realize what had happened until it was over. I believe that my hands were guided.
I have been attending births for over 15 years. I studied formally for seven years and have been a midwife just over nine years. I have been blessed with fantastic teachers and mentors, wonderful families to support and an amazing family of my own. Throughout this journey, I have had many experiences that truly reinforce, for myself, that this is my calling. I believe, that when a person finds their calling, and that when they are serving a higher purpose, there is a well of unconscious knowledge to tap into. That the Divinity will guide your hands. That through all the training, observing, reading and studying moments will coalesce and actions will be taken without conscious planning.
At another birth, after a beautiful labor and with a healthy, happy baby skin to skin, my client truly started hemorrhaging, a lot, a dangerous lot. The placenta had not yet been birthed and before I was able to consciously think, my hands just started to do, to enter her uterus and remove the placenta. This was of course, difficult and very painful for the my client, however, it saved her life. I had never done this procedure before, only studied it and observed it, but in that moment, my hands knew exactly what to do. Again, I believe my hands were guided.
Of course, there is the acknowledgement that I have trained and studied for these situations, which I have done with dedication. Of course, there is the necessary ability to think quickly and remain calm. However, above all that, there are moments when I honestly believe and have felt something more than myself in the room. I am by no means special in this way and feel that this “well of knowledge” is present for all to dip into. I have seen many others experience this sensation. When have you felt/seen/experienced this? Do you even agree with me that it occurs? I would love to discuss this.
Image credit Monet Nicole