Wednesday, June 22, 2011

S's Birth by Jamie, her mom

S was born at home herself and here is HER mom's story.

"S" (name changed for this story) was my 5th baby who was born at home, and my first experience with midwives.  Our first child, Jaia, was born at home in Arvada, Colorado in February 1971, with a “cool doc” who had attended medical school in the East, but then began to think holistically and was attending home births.  His name was Richard Moskowitz.  He lived in Boulder, but was at a birth in the mountain town of Ward when I went into labor.  Ward was an hour away and there were no cell phones; the folks who were having their birth didn’t even have a landline. He arrived merely 20 minutes before she was born.

Our next 3 births were at home, with my husband Robert and myself handling the delivery.  After the birth of our 4th child I started practicing midwifery, attending births of friends and then other families in eastern Iowa. We moved to a wooden A-frame on 10 acres of land two months before Sasha’s birth.  At the time she was born, Nov. 9th, 1980, I had two midwife partners who were also my best friends, Carla and Neva.  Since my births had gotten progressively shorter (17 hours, 4 1/2, 2 1/2, and 1 hour and 45 minutes).  Carla decided she and her husband would erect a tipi in our field so she wouldn’t miss the birth!

As the clock turned midnight I had a big rush, then another.  I awakened Robert and took an invigorating, yet calming shower.  He got Carla out of the tipi and called Neva and her husband Dennis, who was a doctor.  I had gone to the birth of their son the previous year and Dennis was going to photograph our birth.  I had also attended the birth of Carla and Roger’s son 7 months before.  It was one extended happy home birth family. My brother, Chuck, also came over to witness and photograph the birth.

I relaxed on a big mattress in the loft of our A-frame. I checked my dilation before anyone had arrived.  It was a gooey 5 centimeters.  Robert woke up our four other children who were nine, six, four, and two years old.  We still have photographs of them; including the two year old waking up drowsily, and sucking his thumb.  Their expressions show curiosity, anticipation, but certainly no fear. I remember laughing as I lovingly watched our four kids taking in the sights and sounds of the birth.

It was the first birth where Robert and I did the smoochie-lovie scenario described in Ina May’s Spiritual Midwifery.  I was in labor daze so I don’t remember much.  I know Neva and Carla were vying for whom would catch our baby.  It was decided that they would both catch. It was all so short: probably 25 contractions and very little pain.  The labor and birth lasted one hour and 12 minutes.  It was such a glorious feeling, and one of relief to have my big beautiful baby lying on my belly and chest, nuzzled to my breast.  She weighed 10 pounds, four ounces; a baby sister for her big sister, who named her S.  After everyone was snuggled back in bed, we all slept until mid-morning.  My family came the next day, plus a few friends who brought food for us.  S was adored by her family, which was now seven strong!

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