Thursday, January 17, 2008

Our new baby, installment #10

Continuing the story of our visits with a home birth midwife, there were a couple of occasions where there was very little talk about childbirth. On one day, when my husband could not make the appointment, the midwife had an antique book of poems on the table waiting for me. She had selected some readings in advance and, after I peed in the cup but before she listened to the baby's heart, she read them to me. They weren't about birth. They weren't about courage or anything thematically related to birth. But they were lovely and relaxing and she must have known that as I crammed this appointment between the insanity of work/end of the school day/dinner/laundry/kid baths/bed, that I needed a quiet moment. Maybe the fetus needed a quiet moment too. I am sure she was right. I remember thinking, what would an OB say if he/she witnessed this moment?

On another day, again sensing that I was tired and stressed, she encouraged me to sing. HA! I went along with the gag, but I really don't sing. Maybe I should. Maybe I would be less tired and stressed. But mostly I smiled and watched her sing. What a voice. Regardless, the trick worked, and although I had begun swelling like a tick as I reached the final trimester, I left her office feeling lighter.

8 comments:

jwrm said...

Tina,
Really glad to read on your blog that you have had another baby. Obviously I haven't got to the end of your online serialisation so I don't know how it's going to turn out but I really hope you had the baby safe and well at home.
You probably don't remember but I interviewed you for the Sunday Post newspaper last spring. By some strange coincidence the week I read your book (which I loved) and interviewed was also the week my partner got pregnant! 3 weeks ago we had a little girl, born at home. It all went swimmingly and I was certainly more relaxed about having the birth at home after reading your book. (Having said that I thought the book was particularly good because it wasn't militantly pro or anti hospital/home births).
So thanks for that and I hope your pregnancy and birth were good and you're coping with your new arrival well.
Best,
James millar

randiedoula said...

HI Tina,

I just finished reading your book and I would really like to say thank you for writing such a thoughtful, insightful book. I enjoyed it all and have already ordered copies for colleagues and friends. I am a doula in Portland OR (though I have a degree in Journalism from Boston U) and just recently signed on as the Performance and Talkback Coordinator for BOLD. I really believe change in the maternity system has to come from consumers, and you have educated a lot of consumers.

All the best to you on your journey.

Randie

Tina Cassidy said...

James, of course I remember you, and congratulations! What great news. Perhaps you'd like to rif here a bit about what a natural birth is like from a father's perspective. Best to your partner and have a very happy new year.

Tina Cassidy said...

Randiedoula, thanks for such a nice post. I've read your blog and think it is interesting what you say about how the profile of those hiring doulas has changed and that is why you are seeing more c-sections. It does beg the question about the true role of a doula. I think we are seeing a shift as we speak.

Sheridan said...

Your midwife sounds wonderful!
Did you sing through the birth? Have you seen this vidoe of a mom singing through her contractions? Amazing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3WA9iHz5ww

Tina Cassidy said...

Sheridan, thanks for calling that video to my attention. She has a lovely voice. And no, because I don't sing when I am not in labor I don't sing when I AM in labor! Although my midwife did suggest that I try singing with her during the birth long before labor began. I know historically women of many cultures have sung/chanted through labor. But the noises coming out of me were alot more gutteral. ;)

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