Singing in labour is sacred. In the middle of a contraction, without warning, the note rises out of the woman. She sings to the baby, to herself, to all women. Her song can connect her to both the earth and the sky.
This past week, without planning, each woman has found her voice in labour, grabbed onto the edge of a note, and used it to take her through to the end of the contraction.
On Monday, we might not have heard her sing aloud in labour, but my first client this week drew power from the Dixie Chicks by candlelight.
Then, on Wednesday, came Hushabye Mountain. "The winds of night so softly are sighing/soon they will fly your troubles to sea." She was in the shower, and the pure notes merged with the sound of the water. A nurse walked into the darkened room where I was sitting, and she stopped, stood still, and listened, then walked away. The tune found a reprise when she was pushing.
On Saturday, a woman hummed a secret tune while in the birthing pool...then continued to tone "aaahhh...oohhhh..." while waiting for her long-wanted baby.
Then, on Sunday, the humming and toning and singing grew until it became an amazing birth roar. The power of the roar helped her to soar crazily to the peak of transition, then shift into the bearing down. No longer confused, she grabbed onto that low note and dug deep into the earth to birth her baby. She laughed.
The women this week make me think of the other voices that I have heard in labour...and one in particular which remains sacred in my memory. Listen to Seemi Ghazi as I remember her, a sacred voice at home in the shower, in labour...the room steamy...me, a guardian, lying on the carpeted floor, drifting in and out of sleep.
Thank you to the women in labour who sing...