The birth of my second child, Wade, unfolded gracefully over the course of a grey autumn early morning. There was this wonderful feeling of anticipation, coupled by the continual contractions. Music and dancing in the living room provided the greatest distraction, or rather, point of focus. Throughout the labor, there was an ocean in my mind, with very gentle waves rolling in, taking their lovely time to reach the sand.
There were no announcements of dilation, just a steady progression of contractions to signal that things were rolling along smoothly. I was so content to experience the labor, to fully embrace its challenge. Those present honored my time of going inward; there was a stillness and balance that could have calmed and soothed any form of tension. There was an openness that could not be denied, that asked so lovingly to be accepted with open arms and heart.
So, when my sounds of labor changed, and the vocalizations became deeper and more primal, we were all pleasantly surprised at how the time passed by so quickly. And I must say, pushing is my very favorite part of giving birth. I longed to give a couple of nice long pushes and feel the baby slide right out into my arms. Not so, as nearly two hours along, I was still pushing.
We tried a variety of positions, and were making great progress. When his head started to crown, there was relief in understanding that he would soon be born. Karen sat at the side of the birthing pool, coaxing me along, telling me how strong, powerful and beautiful I looked. It felt amazing to be so present and alive!
When Wade's head was fully out, Karen noticed right away that it did not turn to one side. His shoulder was stuck on my pubic bone, and it was clear that I needed to get out of the tub right away. Imagine, if you will, a two headed woman, on the precipice of fully birthing her offspring! Karen directed me into an all fours position; I knew that something was awry, though I felt total trust and openness. We were almost there, and at any moment I would soon be holding my baby.
Karen was able to manually help Wade's shoulder get unstuck, and I was able to give a nice big push to help him the rest of the way out. There is no other feeling in the world as such, giving it your all for the sake of your new baby. This warm slippery creature, with eyes beaming, is born ready for life as we know it.