It has taken me a long time to get to this point -- to the place where I felt like I wanted to make a sentimental montage of Posie's birth. I know it makes me sound like a Whiny McWhinerton to complain -- heck, I had an unassisted home waterbirth, right? The truth is, her birth shook me and my belief in my body and my belief in birth. I got a call today from a former student and doula client who decided with her third child to be induced. She then decided on an epidural before she was even dilating. She happily told me she played cards the rest of her labor. Her husband was incredulous and said, "You mean it could have been this good the other times too?" My first thought was, "How could you? How could you want to birth all numb and happy like that?" and on its heels was "Shut up, you freakin' hypocrite." Because my thoughts are that if I had a labor like Posie's again, I would get an epidural. I would not put myself through it. It has taken me these 8.5 months to get to the point where I can even say I would attempt another homebirth. Finally, God has applied the balm of amnesia and I'm starting to consider the idea that if I had another baby, I would still do it at home.
I know that her birth, and the subsequent journey I needed to take afterwards, have made me a better midwife. It gave me such renewed perspective, and a deep, humble, appreciation for the pain some women experience in birth. Sure, for most women, it's just not that bad. But for this birth, for me, it was. It was enough to cause a postpartum depression that took medication to pull me out. It was enough to cause me to consider skipping the homebirth altogether next time and get to play cards through my labor. But now, I know I wouldn't want that. I wouldn't want to not FEEL the baby coming through my body. To be so in tune with her, to feel every inch of her as she slid peacefully out. That was worth the pain. If I numbed the pain of the labor, I would miss the BIRTH. And isn't that what it's about?
Without further ado: