“In and out like a fiddler’s elbow”

I laughed when I heard this expression on CBC radio this morning. It’s supposed to mean that you’re really busy. Well - that was me this week. It had started out quietly...

And then...

Three births in two days. But the crazy thing is that I didn’t get more than four hours sleep in 64 hours. People said I looked alert and I felt fine the entire time.

I know that if I’d been at only one birth I would have fallen apart. But attending three births, each with their own special atmosphere, flavour, challenge and fun, seems to be what made the difference.

Challenging and fun it was!

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...the way some collect spoons

After the Birth

in her mind
she goes over and over the details,
how, close to the end,
she could no longer stand
the sound of her husband's breathing,
the pain
and the need to keep pushing
long after the baby was out
and the midwife gone

months later,
she still wants her husband
in bed late at night
to tell her once again what happened
but he is tired of broken sleep
and the crying babe
so she turns to other women
and collects birthing stories
the way some collect spoons

I'm home from a birth that spanned the night. Driving through the dark, I saw the husband turn left on yellow, wheels spinning ahead of me. She walked through the shushing doors and slowly lowered her body to the floor. - Are you feeling pressure? She nods. Husband with tears in eyes. Woman low moaning, rocking , swaying, hand tracing circles in the air. Ready to push so soon. In her own room now, windows open to the dark night. Birds singing at 2am. Such power. Then blocked by the power. Moving sitting, kneeling, no use, can't push, squatting, no good, standing, pushing in the chest. I shake her hips and she surrenders to the deep power and slides the baby down, body opening, and out into her arms. Dad streaming tears. Mum laughing laughing laughing... "Sophia!"