A beautiful birth

Just a few thoughts, to counter all of the doubts and questions I was asking a few posts ago. I saw a beautiful birth this morning. The woman had high blood pressures (150s/80s – 160s/110s), but her pre-eclamptic labs had come back negative, and she didn’t have any of the toxic signs or symptoms that often indicate preeclampsia (blurry vision, headache, epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, protein in her urine, etc etc.), although her doctor had decided to treat her as if she did, just to be on the safe side. She was 37 weeks and 1 day, just barely term, and her body really wasn’t ready to go into labor at all, so naturally, she had every intervention under the sun. Instead of using cytotec or cervidil (prostaglandin gels that help ripen the cervix), her doctor decided to use a balloon catheter to manually stretch her cervix to three centimeters, and then she got more pitocin after that. Epidural, foley catheter to drain her bladder, oxygen mask on her face because the baby started having variable decels (surprise surprise, the cord was wrapped once around the neck, loosely), magnesium for the high blood pressure, epidural top-off because she was in transition, a small median epsiotomy to crown it all, and you know what? It was still a beautiful birth. The love in the room was overwhelming, and an absolute joy to watch. The husband was the woman’s rock, she clung to him through every contraction, and he was constantly whispering words of encouragement in her ears—we both were, in fact, and she pushed with such strength and determination that the baby was out within fifteen minutes from the start of the 2nd stage of labor (the pushing part). Both the mother and father were crying as the baby was born. The head crowned, and then slowly emerged, and the little one started screaming immediately. She was tiny and pink and adoreable, waving her arms around in outrage, Apgars 9/9, sweet little peanut of a baby, only 5 lbs 5 ounces. So, hospitals…yeah, we do a lot of things that don’t need to be done, and it’s infuriating, and disappointing, and frustrating and sad, but amazingly (miraculously, even) the beauty of birth is still there, shining through all of the unnecessary interventions. Modern technocracy hasn’t yet found a way to dim the miracle of it, and in so many ways, the manner of the birth is so much less important than the fact that the baby is being born, period (although, of course I still think that the woman’s satisfaction with the experience, and trying to make the birth as high touch, low-intervetion as possible will always be important and worthy goals). But birth is birth is birth. I can’t imagine ever seeing a healthy birth (no matter what the circumstances) and not thinking that it was beautiful, although some births you’re just swimming in love, like the onen I saw this morning, and that certainly makes the beauty glow all the more obviously. Ahhh. *contented smile* It was a long, gorgeous night. I’m off to bed.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 13, 2005 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    That is a wonderfully refreshing story.

    You are lucky to see such beautiful births :)

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