Thursday, August 05, 2004

Desert Birth, Holy Birth

A woman came to us 2 days after 40 weeks pregnant needing a midwife. She had just moved to San Diego County and was a squatter on an organic seed farm. She and her man and her daughter shared a trailer with 2 other families high in the desert mountain country near the edge of SD County... about 2.5 hours from my home. In August, the temperature outside where she lived was 115 degrees.

2 days after meeting her, we were called to her home (I was a second assist, so there were 3 midwives) and drove out there to be with her as dawn was breaking, thankful for the air conditioning in our cars since it was already about 100 degrees.

The trailer was amazingly hot and stuffy and there were about a billion flies inside, so the client asked that the pool she wanted to deliver in, the ones we sell now, be set up outside under the Pepper Tree. We grabbed lawn chairs and sat watching her labor quietly and gently with her man at her side. Her daughter wasn't so interested in her labor, so played elsewhere on the property. The stranger-housemates, stayed inside the trailer making food. Periodically, the midwife would listen to the baby, but it was a relatively quiet and quick time we were waiting. The midwife also had her then 8-month old nursling there and would nurse her when she needed to.

As Birth Time arrived, the nursling went into the stroller and she sat and watched the entire birth, wide awake, and not making any noise at all. I was sitting back in a chair, the other midwives closer on their knees next to the pool that both mom and dad were in (naked). I'd been having some odd glucose issues of my own lately, so had a supply of unwrapped hard candies in my pocket.

As the birth unfolded, everything around us seemed to be silenced. The only sounds I heard were the leaves when the wind mercifully blew and the bees in the Pepper Tree... and mom's occasional tiny grunts as she brought her baby closer.

I began to feel funny, so popped a candy in my mouth. I felt more and more disconnected and feared fainting (thanking the goddess I wasn't in charge of the birth!) and kept popping candies in my mouth and sipping water from the water bottle. I felt my head swirl around and my body floating over the pool and I quickly grabbed my own grounding cord and shoved it into the earth to keep me from floating off the mountain!

The beautiful boy was born, nearly silently, in the water and I watched as the midwives were the most hands off I had seen in my time watching them do births. I was still feeling so high, I popped another candy in my mouth.

When the mom and dad had left the water to sit on a blanket under the tree and the placenta was born, the three of us went to the other side of the trailer (still outside) and ate some hot watermelon fresh from the garden. I thought my mouth was going to orgasm from the intensity of the flavor!

A few minutes go by and we begin whispering about the birth. I tell them how weird I felt and how I was glad I had the candies so I didn't have a hypoglycemic episode on top of the birth. They both looked at me and each other and they said that they, too, felt high and floaty! They both told of grabbing their grounding cords and digging deep to hold them down. My head swirled with the coolness of the universal-ness of this experience.

While I had not expected such a cool birth, this birth is one of the ones that sticks out in my memories as being one of the Holiest births I have ever been to. When I went back to do the one and three day visits (alone), I took my camera and took several pictures of the Pepper Tree with the circle-space where the pool had been and have that picture on my desk as a reminder of the Holy-ness that birth can and should be.

The mama wanted to lie in her bed, so we moved her to her part of the trailer and the father had installed a swamp cooler thingie (air conditioning was too artifical). It was only 95 degrees instead of 115. The flies were horrendous, however, and with a freshly bleeding mama, we had to do something about them.

The father was shoo-ing them out with a magazine. I asked where the fly swatter was and the entire trailer gasped saying they would never kill that indiscriminately. Whatever. So we watched as the trailer folk shoo-ed the flies out of the house with their energy and magazines. I wanted to roll those magazines and smash them. Karma be damned.

The mom and I were alone during the Fly Be-Gone Dance and she leaned over to me and whispered at one point. She said, "Please don't tell anyone, but when no one is here, I vacuum them up and let them die their natural death inside the vacuum bag." She was so ashamed at her inability to cope with a million flies... and that she wandered the house with the vacuum hose aloft, sucking in random flies so that they may die a natural death out of her hair and face... I hugged her tight and quick (we were sweaty!) and smiled gently and told her she was much kinder than I would be; I am sure her karma will remember her kindness. Inside, I was howling laughing at her justification and coping skills! I loved it!

Very shortly after, they moved on, but we just heard from her and she has had yet another birth... hopefully, getting her new midwife good and high on Birth Energy!

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