Posts Tagged "woman"

Waiting…

Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Writings

Waiting…

Waiting… Waiting for that baby to come…when will it come? The clock ticks. Tick tock. In this article on estimated due dates in pregnancy and induction of labour, Dr Michel Odent, likens the ‘ripening’ of the baby in the womb to the ripening of a fruit on a tree. Not all fruit ripens at the same time, and we do not expect to pick it all at the same time. We pick the ones that are ready first, and then the next and then the next. So why this hang up with the due date? Why the rush to induce and get things going so soon after this date, whether by chemical OR natural means? What is a due date anyway? The estimated due date is based on Naegele’s Rule, a system worked out by a German obstetrician called Franz Karl Naegele who lived from 1778 to 1851. He worked out that a pregnancy lasted more or less 280 days (about 40 weeks) from the start of the last menstrual period. But, as I am sure he realised, everyone is different, everyone menstruates differently, at different times, has different cycles, either short, long, irregular, heavy, mild. Every woman’s body is different. And so is her baby. And so is her pregnancy. The key words here are ‘estimated due date’ and ‘more or less.’ Only 4% of babies are born on their estimated due date, with a first-time mother birthing her babies a week or so late, and yet we set so many first-time mothers into a panic when they have not gone into labour by their due date. My first baby decided to arrive at 38 weeks gestation, I was not expecting him so soon, his clothes were not ready, and neither was I. My second baby hung in there until 9 days after her due date, and of course, from my previous experience, I assumed I would have another ‘early’ baby. By the time my daughter decided to trigger her labour, I was going pretty mad. My third labour started 15 days after my ‘due date,’ by then I had given in and decided I would certainly be pregnant forever. My fourth emerged three days after she was ‘supposed’ to. It is not an exact science. No matter how advanced the technology nowadays…we can only wait and see…as long as mother and baby are fine, all we can do is wait and watch the mother’s belly ripen. The baby, when he or she is ready to be born, will send a message that tells the mother’s body that it is ready. The mother’s body can then begin labour by slowly releasing oxytocin, the hormone of love. The mother and baby work together to bring the baby into the...

Read More

What is it About Birth?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Writings

What is it About Birth?

What is it about birth? It is as though time suspends itself and something unique unfolds from within the labouring woman. She has purred, sighed, breathed, whimpered, cried her way through her contractions, these life giving pains which make her rock her hips, make her moan and groan, make her eyes roll back in her head, make her sweat, make her hate, make her angry, make her one, make her have to give in, give up, surrender. And as she surrenders something primal is unlocked and this, this essence, this power takes over, her body is no longer her own. She sits on the loo, or she squats, or she kneels, or she lies on her side.She grunts and moans, red slime drips down her thighs, she feels overwhelmed. She may stand up, she may look up, she may feel with her hand as the head of the baby slowly stretches her perineum. She seems more alert now. There. Present. She may crouch down, or breathe, or gasp, or moan, or scream as her baby’s head emerges, not quite believing the sensation of this slimy little head stretching stretching stretching her wide open. The head emerges and hangs, almost lifeless. The world holds its breath. Then a splutter, or a crackle, or a bubble of spittle and a grimace. Then slowly, slowly, the baby’s head turns – as though ready to face the world and with a newfound power, the little body ejects itself, swimming forth in a gush of blood and water and shit. Again, it is as though time has suspended itself as the baby, still aquatic in its features and colour, begins to move, sometimes throwing its arms back and stretching its back like a ballet dancer, and sometimes uncurling slowly slowly slowly as though waking from a deep sleep. A gurgle, a crackle, a soft cry. Slippery body, oily white vernix, blinking eyes, stretching fingers and toes. Cord pulsating. Body breathing. Mother touching. Stroking. Smelling. Kissing. Whispering. Crying. Laughing. Grateful. Astonished. Astounded. Holding. Loving. Ecstatic. Triumphant. Perfect. Beautiful. Primal. Sublime. What is it about birth?...

Read More

Birth : A Poem

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Writings

Birth : A Poem

Birth: What is birth? Birth is the emergence of a new individual from the body of it’s mother. The emergence of that new individual, is the emergence of a new life. Birth is completely normal yet unbelievably profound. As that baby emerges, everyone holds their breath….. Where do we give birth?  We choose to have our babies in various settings: At home In hospital In a theatre And sometimes these are not choices but necessities. Sometimes we plan to give birth in one way but then something completely different may happen. Sometimes babies are born in trees, or on trains or by the roadside. Sometimes babies choose for themselves where they want to be born.   Where and how we give birth affects who we are. It affects how we are as parents. We need to feel safe. We need to feel confident. And we need to feel in control, so that later we can lose control.   If a woman feels cared for and nurtured, she is more likely to love and care for her baby.   When we feel safe where we give birth, we give birth more easily.   If we feel frightened or vulnerable, we may feel traumatised and incapable of loving our babies.   If we are made to believe that we are incapable, we may hand over the power to someone else.   There is a hidden secret in our culture:   ‘It is not that birth is painful It is that women are...

Read More