The last baby, or maybe the first

I cannot write no more,

unless it’s to you

It is a curse and a treasured blessing, too

I want to tell you everything

Perfect ear, ear of rage, ear of understanding

Ear of compassion, ear of forgiving

War of sagesse

Will you be my manly midwife

my with-woman

my sage-femme turned hom(m)e;

wis-dom

You don’t need to speak in tongues;

I will howl as a vulgar angel

when the time comes.

.

All you need to do is

praise, protect, provide warmth

and sustenance

and/or at the very least, catch

(it is I who will deliver)

(there will be no doctor)

.

.

.

***

Next day edit: this is based on the birth of my partner and my’s fourth child. Our other three kids had been born at home with an excellent and extremely nurturing midwife (and hospital backup options in place). (I had informally studied midwifery in my university years after taking a university family development course taught by three professors who were also midwives.)

For the birth of the fourth our midwife was not in the new country lived in and we could not find a doctor nor midwife in that country who would help us delivery our baby at home. I visited the local hospital and had a tour with the resident midwives there, but their practices were outdated and interventionist (for example, each expectant birthing mother must have an IV needle inserted and taped to her hand as soon as she checks in. And mothers are expected to birth on their backs instead of a more natural, gravity-aiding position). I feared the unnecessary interventions and I felt that the risks of those outweighed the relatively low risks of giving birth at home (again, with hospital backup in place).

My husband supported my decision. I mostly laboured alone since I didn’t want to trouble anyone (I had had offers from several friends/family members but they were leery about home birth and I felt they might hinder rather than help me psychologically during the labour), senseless idiot that I was. Later I had such a sad and lonely feeling about the birth (even though it had been spectacularly successful in terms of outcome) and wish I had managed to have our midwife (or a doula, or an equivalent nurturing female-type presence) there by any reasonable means possible. Birthing alone or just with one’s partner, even when you know a lot about childbirth and biology, is hard work psychologically. I don’t recommend it. But to each birther their own way, and depending on the resources available to them at the time. 

This poem, which sort of evolved as I wrote it, also played with the idea of book midwifery. Later I had time to further reflect upon it. We can learn a lot from the past. 

Thanks for reading. Thanks for the kind souls who support. The poem had odd timing.

17 thoughts on “The last baby, or maybe the first

  1. Wow! This was some experience, dear Lia!! I am actually quite surprised or even mildly shocked at your bravery, taking the decision to do that alone is still incomprehensible to me. Although I don’t have any personal experience in the field I feel that it must be the toughest job ever, kudos to you for sharing this, I loved it. And of course your poems always light up my days!
    Cheers Brave lady! 💕🥂💙🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that some would find it shocking… but it was a very carefully thought out and assessed decision, and I didn’t feel very brave; quite the opposite actually. And I wasn’t alone. :)) Thanks as always for your wonderful encouragement dear A. Your kind words are a true delight to me. 🥰💖😚🙏✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course, I am absolutely sure that you must had thought everything through and had made the right decision! But just hearing about it as an outsider to the whole experience is something different. And you are extraordinary for sharing it, truly! ❤❤🙏

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Totally, I hear you… and re-reading my footnote now I can definitely and totally understand… yes I felt psychologically alone for much of it, even though there was help at hand (my hubs in another part of the house for most of the labour, and neighbours – and the local support services – a phone call away)… but that is often the nature of these grand travails of birth and life. I had huge expectations (e.g. 2 hour labour max, for my last/fourth child – but no, the active labour was 12 hours) silent, peaceful (try as I did, I was not able to birth silently like the amazing youtube birther I watched in one case… quite the opposite actually 😂 even for the fourth)… I think that the more unrealistic expectations we have of ourselves the more we set ourselves up to be unhappy. Ultimately the event went perfectly, it’s just my way of viewing it and blaming myself and others for “process imperfections” that skews it, and also probably blocked me during the actual process, from more fully enjoying it. We have to let go of fears and resentments, to be open and free and loving… then things flow better and more smoothly and peacefully. (Not always my forté 😂) Thanks so much for your wonderful comments and support dear A. xoxoxo 💖🙏

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh my! 12 hours! That’s torture, I have a new found respect for you now!
            And the expectations! Silent, really?! Is that even possible? But yeah, I agree and understand what you say about high expectations and unhappiness. Most of the time, we end up demanding more than it is possible and that leads to uncomfortable feelings.
            I am very glad and extremely relieved to know that the event went perfectly! I understand that, we sometimes have another picture of the whole ordeal, the way it should have been done, but the actual outcome is so different that we forget to notice that it is still okay. But, of course, that’s easier said than done!
            Keep rocking, as always, Lia. Much love!

            Like

            1. Labour… it’s just hard work, with its intrinsic reward at the end…not torture… at least I tried (and sometimes failed, to my detriment 😂) to see it that way. Thanks for all your wise words dear A. 💗

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hmm…I understand…the word torture makes it kinda negative which it isn’t but it sure is the hardest work!
                Thank you so much, dear Lia, for sharing all the beautiful experiences. 💕💕🤗🙏
                Stay warm!

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Benjamin. Yes, wonderful that midwifery, an ancient practice that supports birthing mothers in a wholistic and natural way, became legalized in the nineties, in Canada. This meant that doctors and midwives had more opportunity to better work together and provide safer birthing options of many kinds, to their clients. Thanks so much for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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