Arriving into the Birth Space

Posted by on Oct 9, 2023 in Writings

Arriving into the Birth Space

The first time mother phones you in the middle of the night to say her waters have broken, or that mild surges have begun. It is definitely still early labour and you have both discussed her letting you know when things feel like they are starting, but especially the first time around, this can all take a bit of time. This is a sign that the body is preparing, getting ready for labour.

You suggest she and her partner rest now, and allow her body to do the work it needs to do while they rest, there is nothing they can do to make it happen or go faster, that labour takes time.

It can be a few hours, or later that day, or the next night, or even the following day that you finally get called to go and be with the mother but you have remained in communication throughout, either with her or her partner or a family member…usually you know when she is no longer communicating and someone else has taken over the communication that labour has truly kicked in.

Once you are aware that she is in labour you begin to tune in, you plan your life and your day, your work, your schedule, your children, your family, your arrangements, your sleep, your travel, around the potential of now being summoned some time in the next 24 hours or so…

You slow down, aware that overstimulating or exhausting yourself will not serve you or the labouring woman once you arrive at her home, so you cancel and shift things, and rest as much as you can, as you may be up all night, or two…or three…

You summon that elephant energy, knowing that even though you are not present with her yet in body, you are already attuned to her and her labour and her needs…you are guarding the process from afar and slowly making your way to her as she needs you.

It is incredible how the universe appears to pause and make space for this labour and birth of this mother and baby. It does feel as though time takes a deep breath and suspends itself for that labour and that birth.

Arriving at the home of the labouring woman is arriving at a temple, a sacred space.

We tiptoe gently into the space, interacting as little as possible, making ourselves comfortable in a spare room or in the sitting room if unoccupied, or making tea, or sitting in the garden.

You will feel the soupy softness of the sleepy oxytocin as you enter the space. Tread gently, being careful not to pop the delicate bubble you are stepping into.

Listen. Sit. Be…sleep.

Follow the lead of the woman.

It may be that it is still early labour, and that life is busy and distracting and that is what is keeping the mother there. Her family may be demanding attention and so you can play with the children or chat with the grandmother while the mother goes and rests her body and ner neocortex.

Continue to remain aware of the basic needs of the labouring woman and what may be impacting them. Work with the environment as opposed to directing the mother. Adjust the environment appropriately and the mother’s body will respond.