We Rode the Ling Ling Storm

Five babies came as Tropical Storm Ling Ling washed across the Pacific.

Three at home - Anna, Ruby and Sami...

Two at hospital - Jack and Thompson...

Was it the low pressure system that made these babies - due from September 27 to October 28th - come in one week? Did they surrender to the draw of the new moon? Was it both? Or did these babies just tumble to earth in this month's enthusiastic group arrival?

Whenever babies are born in a storm, it makes me remember the summer solstice weekend when five babies came within 48 hours, without any overlap. I drove across the Lions Gate Bridge in a lightning storm. I drove across deep floods of water, a woman moaning in the back seat with her husband. Water everywhere. Rain lashing the windshield. Water breaking as the thunder crashed. The babies kept coming, one after another. Five weeks early. Three weeks early. The storm drew the babies into the world.

The beautiful labours that I witnessed this week were connected by water. The heavens opened. These women rocked in birthing pools, danced in showers, laughed in surprise as their waters broke. Only one woman found her greatest strength on dry land as the rain poured outside her home.

And one baby, today's baby, came wet, swirling, spiraling into the world, just as the tropical storm spiraled across the Pacific.

Thank you to all the women who taught me so much this week.

And to the midwives from Pacific Midwifery and Pomegranate who dragged their birthing equipment through puddles, to the second attendants who navigated the dark streets, to the doctors who climbed out of their beds, to my daughter who, by chance, attended the last birth with me, thank you all for respecting the flow, the wash, of labour.

Birth - as powerful, as natural, and as awe-inspiring, as a storm.