Thursday, June 26, 2008
Women Are Strong
Do you know what it is like having experienced three births in a year? Well, not my own, but my own. And one more to come.
I can think of few things that measure up to this experience, the great miracle of this life cycle. How could she have been inside and now outside? How? Watching Katy early this morning was like watching a dance. She calmly knocks on our door at 2:30 am and said it was time, contractions coming 5 minutes apart. I panic and quickly get dressed and find her quietly sitting in the car waiting for Ryan and me. "Deja vu," I said to Ryan, thinking back on the rush to have Pearl born, me in the back seat, Ryan driving.
In the birthing center, Katy walked up and down the hall, letting gravity be her friend. Back and forth she went. I started walking with her. "You can go sit down, Mom." "Don't you want me to walk with you?" I knew before I asked I was intruding on her private journey. "You are making me nervous."
I retreat to the "family" area to watch the news with Claudette, Kurt and Ryan. But I am the mother and keep checking on her, asking how far apart the contractions are and how she is handling the pain. The midwife checks her and the water breaks. Good news! Now back to walking the halls.
Then I see her slip in the back room, water running for the underwater birth, four woman, quietly getting ready for a most amazing experience. Each woman knows their task and just join in the dance like it all had been rehearsed for months. I love the way they NEVER leave her side. It is all about Katy, all about her strength and ability to have a baby without anything but her body to tell her what to do. I found this quote: "We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." (Laura Stavoe Harm) Women are strong. Katy is strong. Only 30 minutes from the time her water broke and she has this baby girl on her breast. The midwife doesn't announce the gender but gives the parents the privilege of this discovery. We all wait patiently. I go out in the hall and Claudette asks "So what is it?" "I don't know. They haven't looked." Ryan patiently waits for Katy as she first wants to just be, to just be there in the moment, to realize what just happened, to just be not pregnant anymore, to just be Katy.
Can you believe five girls? Five. Yes, five girls in a row, and what a row that will make! Five more strong women. Five more very strong women. Lucky world.