thinking back 3

Today has been a day full of snow and reflection. Snow often brings me to points of reflection. My thoughts have been wondering to memories of my own births and pregnancies…so very different from each other…for many reasons. I have had three pregnancies and two births. My first pregnancy was almost 13 years ago, boy that is scary to say…I have a 13 year old!! How does that happen?

When I was pregnant with my son, I knew nothing of what I was heading into. The pregnancy was a surprise but welcomed. However, I seemed to know two things, strongly and instinctually. I knew that I had to have a midwife and that I had to breastfeed my baby. In hindsight this is amazing to me…where did this knowledge come from? I had never consciously heard of midwives and I had never been around mothers who breastfed. Somehow, I just knew of these things in my bones…maybe some crazy genetic memory. I was blessed to find a great group of CNM’s. I had a difficult pregnancy that involved a serious car accident, bed rest and PUPP’s(a difficult skin rash). The labor and birth continued with the pattern and were also difficult. My son was direct OP (posterior or sunny side up) and acynclitic. It took four hours and every ounce of determination and strength in my body to work him out. Afterwards, we had a tough time with breastfeeding, including a tongue-tied baby and a full blown case of mastitis. Looking back now, it is almost comical, at the time it was almost tragic.

My next pregnancy was tragic. (I have written about it before in the post titled ‘Just a Flutter’.) It was a desired and planned pregnancy…that was not meant to be. Near the end of my first trimester, the pregnancy presented itself to be ectopic. The baby was lost and I was very nearly lost as well. It was devastating and is something that I still work through.

My last pregnancy was also planned and desired. It also had its share of tough issues, including pretty serious morning sickness, that had me loosing weight. The birth however, was glorious. My daughter was born at home, in a pool in our bedroom. I was surrounded by friends and family and had a great midwife. It was empowering and humbling.

Although my two births were so very different, they did share some aspects. They were both drug free and I had supportive people around me. Additionally, I had a similar experience during both. In the depths of labor, that point where you feel that you cannot possibly do or give more, I had the sensation of being in a great line of women. I could see them flowing through time, all behind me, and feel them supporting me and offering strength. This experience during my first birth was also the moment that I knew, deep inside my being, that I would become a midwife myself. So, here I am, on a snowy winter day contemplating these memories. I sit here as a midwife…the journey has been a long and twisty one…but so worth the effort. I also know that it is a journey that will never end, it will always grow and expand, like the never ending line of women flowing through time….

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3 thoughts on “thinking back

  • CountryMidwife

    Oh, Aubre, the "great line of women" thing is soooo lovely. Here's a favorite quote from a great book, Gap Creek by Robert Morgan..

    "This is MY work, I thought. This is work only I can do. This is work meant for me from the beginning of time. And this is work leading me through an endless chain of people all the way down to the end of time. Other women have done their work down the course of the years, and now it's my turn. There's nothing to do but take hold of the pain and wrestle with it. It was not a choice to give in".

    I sometimes try to encourage women by saying, "this is your work, this is work your grandmother did, and her grandmother did, and her grandmother did. And they did and you can do it too". I also try to help women frame labor as more "work" than "pain". They are hard workers, they know they can work hard for a day or a half day, and feel proud of it 🙂

  • Aubre

    Thank you so much. I absolutely love that quote, I will have to look that book up. I am not surprised that others have had a similar 'feeling' as birth is universal and language-less…