the midwife`s journal < contents

30. women together, with woman
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I have been waiting during these busy days just past for the opportunity to sit down quietly and record my thoughts, reflecting on our time together last Saturday morning. Each of us must have gone away with something very special and important from that joyful, exhilarating event.

I don’t want to portray your birthing as simple, or easy. I have often said to women that labour is hard work, that your body demands that you engage in something that goes beyond anything that you have ever experienced, physically or emotionally, and then some more. And you have to do it yourself.

The women you chose to be with you are very special people. Petra, a young mother, with whom you have shared a great deal over the years, and Barbara, a soon-to-be mother, who has become your friend more recently. Petra, the only woman in the group not a midwife, had intuition and knowledge from her own experiences of giving birth; and Barbara’s midwifery knowledge and skill from practice in Germany, as well as her development in her own pregnancy combined beautifully to empower you. When I arrived at your home I was immediately aware that these two women were quietly attentive to your needs, and that you were confident in their care. I could bring in my gear, organise my notes, have a cup of tea, and wait. There was no need for me to interrupt what was happening.

Your labour progressed well, and in a couple of hours I called Annie. Your team was then complete.

There seemed to be a fluid interchange in our roles and positions. Each of us focused our attention on you, each had a slightly different purpose, and no-one seemed to get in anyone else’s way. I asked Barbara to speak to you in German, to speak as a midwife in your mother tongue. I felt this may help you focus within yourself, the woman, not the midwife. Your man’s role was one of being there, a little more distant, allowing us to get on with woman’s work.

I spent some time alone with you as the sounds of second stage became more obvious. It was early morning, about 7.30, when that first precious sight of your baby’s head was visible in the soft candle light. I waited a while before going out to tell the others that it was time for the baby to come.

The weariness of a sleepless night was brushed away as new energy surged through our bodies. Each one found their place, their role. There was little talk as we all focused as one on you – not a demanding focus, but a supportive team, ready to work together.

As your beautiful healthy boy child, supported by his father’s hands, was passed to you, we all shared a moment of exhilaration, awe, and thankfulness. The photos Barbara took show the most amazing smile on your face. There were hugs and kisses, tears and words of praise. Together we had birthed your baby.

A comment that Annie made at some stage, I don’t remember when, is "The woman has to trust her carers, and the carers have to trust the woman." This is so true. The partnership would falter if that bond of trust was threatened at any point.

You have entrusted me with a great deal. You have trusted yourself. And you have trusted your team, gathered intuitively around you, to work together with you. Your team supported you in making the separation from pregnancy into birth, from the known to the unknown. The support continues as you learn and engage in your new role as mother in the nurture and nourishment of little Marc.

You and your team have shown me a new facet of a beautiful gem, which the more I look at, the more I see. Thankyou.

back: a mother`s experience | next: partnership tested