Summer Heat

It's summer. So many stories about strong women.

Andie's birth - Her mum was described as "enchanting in labour" by the gentle doctor. Memories of flowers, swishing water in the tub, jokes at 9cm. A joyful day with all the family waiting. Laughter.

Weston's birth - Standing, moving, power. Then those sticky baby shoulders, such a challenge. Mum's grace and strength in the middle of a medical whirlwind. Finally, safety and peace.

Nicholas' birth - The granite countertop, swaying hips, fans whirring, infinite patience, acceptance. Now he sleeps and feeds and sleeps and feeds. 

Ryan's birth - Flying car down 33rd, honking, passing cars, 6cm progress in 2 hours. "You know it's safe when mum and doc are comparing their toenail colours..."

Julia's birth - To induce: take one hot day, a boat ride, a sudden frightening squall, a car being towed. The result: A labour like a fast, stormy sea, and a baby that slides out, shimmering.

Oliver's birth - Sitting, standing, water, sound, stillness, movement, quiet, power, whispers of encouragement. Then, like a tribe, the women gather round, chanting "pant...little pushes...pant...pant..." "You could have had that baby in Malawi," says dad. We clean the room, turn down the lights, and slip away.

Six strong women. Two strong girls, four strong boys. What a journey awaits.