This week has been incredibly busy with bookings and enquiries; must be something in the water! I was also privileged to attend a home water birth on Bon Fire Night. Instead of watching the local fireworks display, a beautiful little girl entered the world very quickly and swiftly much to her parents surprise and delight; this time we did make it into the pool but only just!
Well my waiting finally came to end (much to the relief of Mummy too) and my client birthed a lovely little boy at home on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
After a previous VERY long birth, my client had a much shorter labour this time around; planning a home water birth, her partner took his time to fill the pool (words were said!) and although all was going swimmingly (pun intended!) gravity was definitely needed to help birth the baby. Mummy breathed her baby out beautifully (no stitches)..... and the reason we were kept waiting? A pesky little hand on baby's head.
Well done mummy, well done daddy, welcome to the world Baby :-)
There are many skills that a midwife needs to acquire, but the one that has perhaps challenged me most is the art of Waiting..... and waiting..... and occasionally waiting even more! This is what I have learnt:
A watched kettle (bump) never boils
'Switching off' is essential in order to lead a 'normal' life on call
Projects are a great way of distracting the mind
Family and friends have to be 110% understanding
It's worth the wait
Currently I am waiting for a friends baby, whilst my family are enjoying the last of the sunshine at the coast; a planned short break, but of course baby has other plans! My house is now incredibly tidy; the washing is up to date; the gardening is done; my hair has been cut; I have spent some gift vouchers that I received in July; my knitting project is well under way........ and I am still waiting. 'Tis the life of a midwife - and one I wouldn't change!
I have been very fortunate over the past few weeks to have attended two wonderful home births. The women who let me into their homes and hearts both had personal challenges and fears to overcome in order to face and meet their labours and births; both needed to regain belief and confidence in their bodies, and to trust in the power of birth.
As I watched these amazing women dig deep, bare their souls, and allow nature to release it's full force, I couldn't help but feel I was part of something more than the birth of a baby; I was also present at the birth of a mother..... and the birth of a strong, fearsome Lioness!
I haven't cried at a home birth for a while; of course I shed tears of joy, but during both these births I shed soul tears for the courage, love and bravery that unfolded before me, and I was reminded that Women really are incredibly amazing. Wow!
I have always told people that that hardest thing in the world is becoming a parent: I was wrong. The hardest thing in the world is to become a parent, yet be unable to feel the warmth and love of your child, or be able to hold her in your arms on the dark days when parenting can seem all too consuming.
As a midwife, I am in the hugely privileged position of being with a couple as they make their journey to becoming parents and a family; it is a role I do not take lightly, but hold protected in my heart, honoured to be walking the path with them.
This last month, my mothers' heart has felt such pain, and I have been humbled to see the beauty and grace in which my clients birthed their baby and welcomed her into their arms. I left this new family with such a deep sadness; a midwife facilitates birth and helps to bring life into the world, and yet on this occasion that was not within my capacity; their beautiful precious daughter's soul was not to come earthside as she had died a few days earlier. We new this as we waited to meet her.
I was truly blessed to be part of their journey and continue to be so; I send you love and light,
Forever in my heart
Having recently spent some time in various NHS trusts, I am always amazed by several things:
1) The varying ways in which Independent Midwives are treated
2) The amazing work that NHS colleagues do in sometimes really difficult situations
and the saddest part
3) There is no LOVE in most units :-(
Having a baby for most women is a unique, life-changing event; they are facing the biggest challenge they may ever face in becoming a parent. Some women face this with confidence and ease, some in-difference and some complete terror; but all of these women deserve some patience, empathy and LOVE!
I can not begin to imagine how hard it must be to work full-time on a busy labour ward. I feel it is time that midwives are taken care of properly, with respect from management and team members, with love and care. Then they too can pass that on to the women and families that are central to midwifery care!
I am embarrassed to note that it is almost a year since I last blogged - which is terrible!
Over the 12 past months I have had the pleasure and privilege of attending some really lovely home births - land and water - that have, as normal, left me in awe of how amazing birth is and how incredible women are! I read today in The Practising Midwife that only around 1% of births take place in water; that statistic is so shocking and I am saddened that so few women experience the support, warmth and comfort that a water birth can offer.
This week, I attended a lovely home water birth; baby number three for a lovely couple who have had two previous home water births. When I was booked I told this client she would probably give birth on the 19th as it was a full-moon. Not only was I right, but if you saw the moon on Wednesday you could not fail to notice how amazing it was. There was magic in the air that night when we welcomed their daughter into the world.