Friday, February 20, 2015

Waiting for a birth is a little bit like war - All waiting and then screaming, blood and gore.

I know it's coming, the blood, gore, stress, trauma, and then hopefully - survival and celebration.

It's a little like war, in that it's mostly waiting around until it happens. And it happens very fast. Last time my wife said "I'm going to stop making this lasagne." The next thing I know she's moaning in bed like she's been shot. No matter how much I think I'm ready, I know I'll be surprised when it happens and take a bit of time to realize that it is actually happening.

It might be a call on my phone at work, or a call from the next room, but it will be the same message - "it's happening." I'll be home, or I'll race home.

I'm trained. I've been a home birth with our first son - 13 hours, three rooms and a pool, ended up having the birth on the wooden floor of the guest room.

The moaning will start and we'll call the midwife. The moaning will slowly escalate. The pool will be set up and filled from the shower. She might use it, might not. The hall way and door frames were popular last time. They are good for bracing. The moaning will get louder and louder. The water will break. Then the pushing screams will start and the midwifes will get into high gear.

She'll grab my hands, my shoulders, squeeze and scream. Her physical strength will be shocking.

We might have a "transport" to the hospital (1/2 mile away), if something goes amiss. There could be a death, or two. Most likely, the baby will be born at home and everyone will be healthy.

Blood and gore will be everywhere after the birth, and I'll feel and smell it when I am instructed to say "hello" to the baby as it gasps for air and cries in my wife's arms.

She'll be radiant and totally, completely, spent.

I'll secure protein and patrol the parameter.

We'll clean up. She'll nurse and sleep. I'll make a few calls and texts. 

Soon, the baby will start to recognize me and I'll do the five S's we've learned from the book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block": Swaddle, Side, Shhhh, Swing, Suck.

I'll take her outside in a few weeks when her cries will know longer be soothed by the five S's and nursing alone. Like our son Shaw, I believe that when we leave the house, she'll magically quiet down as the door opens. The fresh air and big sky of the dangerous and wonderful outdoors will cause her to suddenly be very quiet.  We will bond as we walk alertly in the big outside in the world, as we have for thousands of years.

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