Monday, September 17, 2012


One of the most important things I have learned as a midwife is patience. Not patience in the overall scheme of life, but patience with birth.

I forget about time when I am with a mom in labor. I am fine to sit in a room and just sit. I am fine to be doing something or to be doing nothing. The other day I just sat with a mom for 2 hours before a nurse even came in the room to check on us.  It was glorious. We talked, she labored, we rocked, she squatted, we swayed, she made birthing noises, we walked, she breathed. It wasn't about me at all. It was all about her.

Then when the pushing starts I still am patient. I let mama's push how they want, when they want. The nurses sometimes get a little nervous, thinking a mom might never get her baby out if she yells instead of bears down. Or how will she get the baby out if she doesn't tuck her chin to her chest or put her hands behind her knees.  Fortunately, now that I have been in the hospital long enough, it is rare when I run into a nurse who tries to convince a mom to push other than the way she feels.

Just yesterday I spent 3 1/2 hours with a mom who was pushing. I wouldn't have thought it was that long without the nurse there letting me know how long it had been. That mom who had her baby after 3 1/2 hours of pushing had a beautiful, healthy baby with 9/10 apgars. Never a drop in heart rate, never a concern for me. So why is 2 hours often a cut off? Why can't we push longer if a mom and baby need it or want it?

I wish I knew why the world doesn't have enough patience with birth.

All I know is after that baby is born, I have no patience for the placenta. I try to wait for it, but 5 minutes feels like 20 and 10 minutes feels like an hour. Seriously, I could wait all day and night (and often do!) for a baby, but that placenta- well buddy, you are a wonderful life sustaining organ, but seriously, come out already. No one wants you to stay in there.

1 comment:

{april kennedy} said...

haha! loved this post. loved the honesty. i love births. I should have been an OB nurse!