Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The birth of Mia

As seen through the eyes of Dawn 10:15 pm Leslie called me and said she was having some contractions, but they were irregular and not yet painful. She spoke to her midwife, who suggested that Leslie come into the Birthcenter to labor there. We agreed to meet at the hospital where the midwife was on call so she could check Leslie’s progress, and then we could move a few doors down to the Birthcenter. 11:10 pm I arrived at the maternity area of the hospital, and found Leslie, her husband Arthur, the midwife Paula, and a labor nurse in a hospital room. I could also see the baby’s head. The baby was ready. 11:25 pm Leslie was in a semi-sitting position holding her labor beads. The nurse was holding one leg, I was holding the other, and Arthur was encouraging and holding Leslie’s upper body. Paula was sitting at the end of the bed. There was some blood loss, and the midwife spoke in a calm but determined way. She said the baby needed to be born now. Leslie pushed through 3 contractions, resting for about 2 minutes between each. 11:40 pm The next contraction started. Leslie pushed herself up, grabbed on to the backs of her thighs, and said simply, “OK”. Her face was clear and calm. 11:42 pm With the next push, a perfect little baby emerged and began waving her arms. A moment later she gave a small yell, and was place on Leslie’s chest. Neither mother nor daughter received one bit of medication. Mia was calm and began nursing almost immediately. I had visions of documenting the whole process through a journal and photos, but I never even got my coat off. Lily’s birth was magical. I was able to be present at this birth in a different way , and it has been very healing for me. I’m so grateful to Leslie and Arthur for allowing me to be a part of it. Did I mention that Leslie was amazing? She was sitting with us in a living-room setting just 20 minutes postpartum, eating a sandwich while nursing Mia and chatting like we were having a social visit. Look at the happy Daddy, who so wanted another girl. Arthur took some great photos, I'll link them as soon. I'm still "high" from the experience, I don't know how I'll get to sleep tonight. Babies are all around me these days. What could be better?


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