I sat barefoot in the soft, creaky glider used countless times to rock her first son to sleep and watched the immediate bond form with her second son while they snuggled and cooed in her bed just moments after his birth. She rubbed the feet that only minutes earlier had fluttered and kicked inside her as he made his journey from the world that only they shared and into his home, his little place on this big earth. To be born into that place where he belongs unconditionally, into that place where his arrival has been anticipated with hope and joy since his conception is something words cannot explain. You have to be present to feel and appreciate the beauty and the rightness of starting his life right where he is meant to be.
It was around midnight on this fresh, dark night when we heard the unmistakable sounds of a woman nearing the end of her labor. We went quickly, but gently to where the mama clung tightly to her husband as the waves compounded and released the ocean inside her. I was completely present in both mind and body, applying counter pressure and using affirmations, but make no mistake I was a guest on this journey. Mama and papa were in a world by themselves, she rocking and moaning and bearing the weight of the final stages of labor and he, genuinely in awe of this strong, courageous woman who would soon bless him with their fourth child. I was simply there in case they lost their rhythm or in case fear briefly took over I would help lead them back. But they walked through it in complete synchronicity - papa guiding and reassuring mama - and they were rewarded for their hard work with a babe who knew just when to arrive. He knew just what his mama could handle and before his head had been completely born he let out a small, muffled cry to greet his parents.
Look at their faces - papa's filled with pride and joy and mama's filled with relief, both filled with love.
My three perfect miracles were all born with the support of my husband, a midwife and a doula, without pain medication, in the hospital and each birth was beautiful, peaceful and perfect. I've attended several serene hospital births as a doula, but this experience was life-changing and left my womb aching, just a little, to bring forth life in our home with complete and pure love and acceptance. And since some of you will ask, no, there are no current plans to do so.
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