Thursday, September 18, 2008

Can I get a Witness
I witness women give birth, I witness their sweetness, surrender, searching, and then pushing. It's overwhelming - I hear you mom's saying "Amen!" And then you do it, you just do it, like you've done it before and you know how to do it so well! You give birth! To a whole new person, a new mommy, a new family, a new world. You deserve the Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar!!! You Rock! And the world goes by....not near enough fan fair.

Ah but I remember when I (oh so many years ago) also gave birth in such a manner. My witnesses were my husband, my mother, my sisters, my mother-in-law, my midwife and her assistant. They were called to my house at 6PM and I remember some showing up at 7PM - I remember feeling in a bubble and going inside myself. I was frustrated because I felt stuck at 7cms. dilation. My midwife moved all the witnesses to the kitchen. The kitchen was only 10 feet away, our house was so small! But with the curtain drawn, in the privacy of my bed I did some wild thing (withering) and went to completely dilated immediately! I pushed out my baby at 9PM. I remember the midwifes were gone by 11PM and I slept soundly with baby in arms only to wake in the morning to fresh scrambled eggs ala dear husband.

There are a couple of things that come to mind as I remember this birth. One thing that women do not need is a witness! I needed the curtain drawn & privacy to let go completely and that's when I could let go of my baby safely. Even as a doula I am in conflict with this topic. Women labor better in private. Like animals we labor better in dark, small places. I encourage my moms to move into these places. I also know that sometimes it's okay for me to go along on this "trip" with a woman. I am not only a witness, I hold her body, I breathe her every breath with her, our eyes share the others gaze without blinking. Her eyes get bigger, her eyes hold questions that I answer with my eyes. This is not always the scene but if a mom needs me I'm there. And if a mom does do it herself in the shadows of a small space, like the bathroom, in her lovers arms, I stay out of this space.
Knowing which to do is sometimes tricky. I listen with my whole body to the energy in the room, her heart, her voice, her wishes (sometimes unspoken). I do know that each time I attend a women I am passing the baton. She will helps another woman birth someday or she will have the confidence to birth alone next time (maybe at home with a midwife, or maybe without an epidural or maybe she'll just know in a new powerful way how awesome she is and go out and change the world!

Another thing that just came to mind is that I did not need any fan fare. I did not need congratulations, even though my witnesses were amazed and told me for years how amazing I was! I did not need anyone to tell me. I was my witness. I know I rock! I did it! I grew a baby and my body, mind and spirit birthed my baby well! Sincethat day I gave birth (to my third baby) at home I've called birth "A Simple Miracle". It's Simply been done since the beginning of time and it is still very much a Miracle! New life, new love, new seasons, new era's, new friends, new clothes...who doesn't love that word "NEW" How to become the new you? Have faith and if someone needs you - be a witness.

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