When I first met you, you were in your last trimester and had just come to the conclusion that, after a series of run-ins with your current provider, you couldn't stay with him. You worked diligently and steadfastly to find a better provider and settled on one that I had not worked with before but that you were confident would support you.
We went about our prenatals as normal, Emilie, you were hungry for knowledge and tips, Eric you wanted to just 'let it be' and have birth take its natural course. Both were right paths, and I worked hard to accomodate you.
Emilie, on the night of our last prenatal, you greeted me at the door with a belly up under your earlobes! We talked about the stressors in your life: work, impending house guests, nerves about inductions, holidays... Just that morning you had had a cervical check and were found to be 0 and 0. We spent a lot of time talking about not worrying, allowing your body to relax, things you could do to focus on you and baby, and trusting your body to lead you in your birthing journey.
By the time I left, I remarked how much lower your belly was, it had dropped from under your earlobes to mid-abdomen. You smiled when I pointed out that your body was responding so well to your relaxation and to just remember that; that that would carry her through to start her birthing time and carry her through to completion.
Later that same night I received 'the phone call'. Emilie was in early labor. Things acted like they were progressing fast, so I recommended, after the third call, that we meet at the hospital rather than me meeting you at home.
On arrival, you were checked and found to be 4cm. You were a beautifully dancing, primal, birthing, goddess! I was so impressed with how intuitive you were - relaxing your body at just the right places and moving your body at just the right times.
As time passed, you began to feel overwhelmed, and Eric became even more of an emotional rock for you - while I reminded you of the purpose of this journey, and gently reminded you to let go of all tension. You were transitioning - your birthing time was going very fast indeed.
In the midst of a birthing wave, you buried your head in the pillow while standing and swaying your hips back and forth. Your doctor, who had just come in the room for the first time that evening, put his arms around your shoulders, put his forehead on the top of your head, and moaned with you through the contraction.
As it released your body, he said in such beautifully nurturing tones, "You are so powerful, beautiful, and amazing! Hear that? It's the song of every woman who has birthed before you saying that you can do this!"
He made himself scarce, moving in and out of the room very quietly, while you began to start grunting through your contractions. When it was really apparent that you were moving baby, the room set up to welcome your baby. As requested, I picked up the camera and began capturing your birthing time. As your baby began showing earthside, your doctor encouraged me to come elbow to elbow with him and capture her entrance.
Within a few more moments, she was on your chest, slippery, fresh, and new, and all three of you were in tears! It was a beautiful birth, intuitive, trusted, supported, and loved. Emilie - you were amazing - moving from stress and closure, to trust and opening, all in the space of a few hours! And Eric, I would hope that every partner would fight for his wife's birthing rights as you did for Emilie's prenatally.. and I would hope that every partner would know when to fight and when to trust - just as you did!
Welcome sweet little baby E! Such a perfect way to enter the world!
* names changed to protect identities