Under a Different Moon – A Birth Story

I find myself with a lovely woman that has been in labor for ten hours….I have just arrived and she is happy to have the additional strength and support as felt from one woman to another.

I am a Doula and so honored to be.

This birth was slated as “just for labor and delivery,” thus I spent little time with the parents during pregnancy, appearing on the scene for during labor and and a few hours prior to delivery.

I arrived at her home,  and walked in to a beautiful scene~she lay on her bed in a simple frock and with nothing else; no makeup, no constriction other than in her womb, contractions that were happening at intervals of three to six minutes.

She and I talk of a film she saw at a labor and delivery class, one shown to her and her husband at the birth center two months before.

“She lied to me!”
I asked who lied to you?
“The women in the film were smiling and happy in their contractions!”

We do have to find our own comfort in life and especially in labor of any sort.

I offer her a cool cloth for her head and neck. This comforts her for the short ease of five minutes. She powers through the next contraction and then we try to visualize a gentle walk in a quiet place outdoors.
Her’s is a white sand beach with little shade from soft moving palms. As she walks this stretch, the waves are gently meeting the sand and seafarers are singing.

This time the contraction is at the round ligaments close to her pubic bone.

We walk further on her path…She heads for one of the swaying palms to feel the coolness created by the breeze.
It is there she sits, back against the palm for support and enjoys the delay in time.

Literally, one hour has passed. She lingers through seven or eight contractions, and we settle in to a new cadence. She arches and grabs the sheet with tight fists.

“Let’s go back to the beach under the palm.”
There she has a short respite. A prayer is said to the Mother ~ her spiritual guide ~ We pray that she is held in the arms and guided to a place of ease and grace…
An uncommon place to be… oh, but what spectacular energy comes from letting go and trusting in each other, and a higher power!

She takes on a different look, one of a lioness in protection and strength. Another wave caresses her body and I feel this one…..”That one was different, I feel my baby coming to us,” she tells me.

We retreat to the place under the palm several times more, and feel the coolness of the earth and are held there.

Now hours have passed, and we talk about the feeling of her body making the adjustments to prepare for the birth.

I find that the complacency I experience in a hospital setting,  a nurse to check dilation, a monitor for baby and all other allopathic applications for both, provide just that, a complacency.

Laboring at home is a very different experience. To be in trust ~ You and I and the grace of a Higher power, whatever that is for us!
Truly rewarding and celebratory… to let go and trust.

Bringing a baby into the world with midwives in a birth center is quite different, in that they ask you to labor at home and come when dilation has progressed to at least five centimeters.

As the process unfolded and was revealed, we held each other. We cried in relief. We sang in unison and she labored through.

We had progressed to a very ripened cervix and were now in the car in route to the center ~ her husband driving and she still laboring in front seats and I in the rear, holding her arm or her holding mine during contractions, sometimes a slight hold of a knuckle between her teeth! They prayed in a language foreign to me, but we were praying together to the same Mother.

As traffic lights came, a sign of the cross was made, “Let the light be with us.” We were unanimous in thought… and it was.

After about 30 minutes, we arrived at the birth center. She was guided to an exam table to have midwife check dilation and listen to the lil’ ones heart rate.
Her waters had yet to break, and there beyond the “veil” we could see the head beginning to crown. Would this child be born “under the veil,” delivering with the water bag still intact?

Her waters did break and she moved to a comfortable bed in beautiful setting. Some oils were caressed on the baby’s crowning head. A few more contractions……

A brand new girl graced the Earth only twenty minutes later! Born on ‘the day of children’ in their traditions, at 11:00 pm.
This was a very exceptional birth. No complications, healthy and pure.

The experience brought me to a new place, very different than I  have ever had opportunity to be.
Mother, I give my thanks and deepest gratitude.

To all the mother’s of the world, I’d like to say thank you ~ Yours is the most important job on the planet!
Your labor is rewarded with the premier gift. Nothing can compare to this~It is all about the love.

Paula Terry


painted mama