This post contains a lot of emotion and LOVE.
Once upon a time there was a girl who knew she would love to be a mother. The path on that journey was unpredictable. The destination for that girl was not to be motherhood but it was a journey along a yellow brick road that allowed her to share in many birth experiences, with many women. To this day she has never found a written word that expresses the joy, magic and beauty of what happens when a new baby is born. You need to be there to feel, to sense, to smell, to adore, to watch in awe, to witness, to experience and to marvel in the birth of a child and the birth of a mother and a father (sometimes it is just a baby and mother…)
Some of my very BFFs I have met during a pregnancy or birth experience. There is a special bond that happens and whether we like it or not – sometimes, it really is very special secret women’s business!!
In fact some of the most special memories of my life include a number of babies where I have had the privileged of witnessing their births. My wedding day included 12 children, 9 of whose births I had shared in one way or another.
To be invited to be part of someone’s pregnancy and birth is a privilege that defies description. What a rare gift it is for another to invite you into such a wondrous, special and personal experience in their life. There needs to be respect and genuine caring for this to happen. I have been invited on so many occasions. HOW FORTUNATE I AM.
The circle of life now means that some of my babies are actually now becoming parents themselves. It fills my heart with immense pride when I watch these babes become parents, when I am asked for a reference for an important job for one of my babes, when I witness a babe as they marry the love of their life, when I hear the story about how one of the babes is living their dream.
The privilege continues…..in the last two years I have been invited to share with a number of gorgeous women….the life circle continues. These days not as a practicing midwife, but as a support person –“Nonna Deb”.
This week I experienced that special gift once again. A young woman we have gotten to know over the last couple of years, invited me into her pregnancy story not long after she confirmed her pregnancy. She asked me if I was around, would I be her support person. “Yes, definitely” I responded. “I would be thrilled”.
I joined her for an ultrasound during the pregnancy and it was the first time in my career as a midwife that I actually witnessed the determination of a baby’s gender. I usually don’t want to know until the birth and then enjoy the rapture of the discovery. It was the hardest secret I have ever had to keep! But it did add an interesting dimension to the journey.
I am a great believer in the strength that women have in controlling their birth experiences. I think women do have the ability to control the environment if they believe in themselves. I also believe they often ensure things happen at exactly the right time for themselves, for a whole lot of different reasons.
When the phone call came through that my beautiful friend’s waters had broken, I was a little surprised and yet, I was not.
I had spoken to her in the morning and she had sounded very calm and the description she shared was not really specific. As I was leaving home to head to Melbourne, I hesitated and thought I should call by her place and see her, but given I had seen her the day before and nothing looked like it was brewing I thought it may still be a few days yet. So I headed for Melbourne.
The trip back to Gippsland from Melbourne after I received the call was probably the most “efficient” I had ever driven (read what you like into that!!) Another friend was beside our darling mother to be and she keep me updated regularly with calls and texts. (I know this is not legal but it was a pending birth for heaven’s sake!!)
So the short version of this story is that I arrived in time to be a part of a most magnificent second stage of labour, birth and the creation of a mother and son. Another family created. WHAT A PRIVILEGE to be there.