The Birth Beat : stories, articles and instruction for the modern midwife
by Augustine Colebrook
Sing your song
Any experienced midwife will tell you she can 'hear' a woman reach 'complete'. The sound of birth is fairly ubiquitous - individual and unique for sure - but there's just this sound. It rattles your jaw and tingles your spine - we midwives just KNOW it's time when we hear it.
Midwives also like to encourage women to be loose and mobile and SING THEIR SONG.
But what does that mean?
What does it mean to sing your song?
This recommendation to pregnant women is akin to telling a nulliparous woman, "you know, how it feels when the baby kicks?"
No, she doesn't know - she can imagine possibilities, but she has no actual reference for that magical feeling. So too is it for primiparous women being told to just let go and make sound authentically. She can imagine various ways that might sound/feel, but she really has no idea until she's in it.
Singing your song is simply telling your truth.
And this is truly the magic of natural birth in this day and age. How often are any of us really in 'beginners mind' anymore? We can google, Wikihow, or YouTube how to do anything. Seriously, ANYTHING. Except Birth.
Birth must be felt and experienced. Birth must be lived.
No one can adequately prepare you to birth - except you, and your own willingness to walk into the unknown; the shadows. For some women the unknown is entering the hospital and pondering the different options of pain medications. For others it's wondering about the pain and how much they can take. For others still, it's about who will be there and how they will help.
As much as we'd like to, we can't plan birth anymore than we can plan life.
"Did you really think you'd be HERE, 5 years ago?"
No matter what we plan, birth demands that we show up and see just what unfolds.
All women need midwives
Women are stronger than they think, but the degree to which they will believe this or not is entirely dependent on the people that they surround themselves with. The music and books and media they consume are more impactful than some might realize. An environment free of toxic exposure is just as important for the mother as it is for the baby.
Here's the real reason all women need midwives - we're literal experts at walking/living without a plan; without a script. We can't do it for them or even adequately communicate what it feels like.
Just try to explain what opening feels like...
But we can demonstrate courage in the face of the unknown in our own lives. We can say, "I too, will walk into the fire."
Courage is an old English word, meaning to speak your whole truth with your whole heart.
We can sit in all the uncomfortable places in life and choose to smile with courage. Midwives, it is we who can model the way. SO midwives, how are you modeling courage in the face of the unknown in your life? How are you stepping into your own shadows/fire/underworld? And who midwifes you?
Are you singing your song?
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