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When to do something and when to do nothing

Birth Stories

Birth and time in labour can be and often  is, different for every woman & baby for many different reasons. When we take time restrictions away, when we take our own expectations of how women  “should be” progressing with charts and partograms, when we have a known Midwife and a relationship with the woman, when the woman gets to choose the people in her birth space and where she births, Birth unfolds exactly as it is needed for that woman and baby.

A recent beautiful family planning their second birth at home,  chose private midwifery care and the support of a beautiful doula.

The woman’s due date came and went,  with her first son coming nearly 2 weeks earlier than this baby,  there was lots of digging deep with surrendering, trust and patience. 

Finally labour had begun & kept her up all night,  the woman’s birth team arriving in the morning. There was a lot of comments and feelings around how she thought it was going to be quicker. 

Letting go of expectations around time was a big part of this story for all present.

Sometimes slow and steady is important for the baby, with physiological pauses (which are discussed with evidence on “The calmbirth podcast while chatting to Marina Weckend ”)  to enable rest and recovery for a reason that none of us can see from the outside. The baby knows their mum and what’s happening in their internal environment. 

I prefer to never say “ I never”or “I always” with birth,  as every birth is different and I’m always learning. Sometimes breaking waters can be helpful, in most cases I believe and have witnessed it not to be.  The body and the baby know more than I do.  

Birth was close, with membranes bulging at an internal check, my old trained head midwife self  said “break them” so perhaps to help this mother have her baby in her arms, though my stomach and intuition said “don’t you touch them!”

It was a discussion with the woman, whom when asked and  the pros and cons were shared, she  never gave me an answer so it was an absolute no, but always the women’s choice and a discussion that requires informed consent from the woman.

Not long after but definitely some hours after, the waters released spontaneously and meconium was present accompanied not long after with some big drops In The babies heart rate.

An ambulance was called and baby was born with a very tight nucal cord around her neck.

Baby girl needed some help with arriving Earthside with some stimulation and oxygen, her cord being kept intact allowing it to pulsate with mum and baby kept together, skin to skin.  

This beautiful baby girl smiling up at her mum whom she already knew from the inside and was was meeting on the outside, responded beautifully with no need for ambulance or transfer. Mum and baby never separated or cord cut,  honoring this incredible dyad, keeping them both together keeps them safe physically and emotionally.

This beautiful mum and baby did a physiological dance through their labour that needed to happen to stretch the cord ( which Jane Hardwick Collins taught me can happen,  but needs time ) and kept the waters intact until the last moments keeping this baby from showing any signs of distress until the final moments, which in private practice I’ve witnessed many many times.

Thank you to this  beautiful family for sharing their story and their Devine pictures by Iris and Me photography

Thank you to my amazing second midwife Kate whom holds these precious birth spaces with me. 

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