Monday, May 5, 2008

love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring.

Saturday was a day I will remember forever. I was honored to attend the birth of my good friend Bonnie. She chose to have her first baby at home, which I thought was incredibly brave, and I was able to be there throughout her long labor. Finally, after many long hard hours (on Bonnie's part, not mine), we were thrilled to meet Lydia Anne.
I know a woman's labor is always her own, and never exactly the same as any other mother's. But I think it's safe to say that Bonnie's homebirth labor was very different from mine. Her baby was in posterior position, and she endured over 20 hours of heavy contractions. It was a hard birth, and Bonnie suffered.
Still, throughout her long day of hard work, Bonnie found new ways to deal with each moment and get through to the next.
At one point we asked if there was some music she'd like to listen to, and maybe sing along with (an open mouth tends to help everything else open up). She thought hard and finally requested some Johnny Cash. It was funny to hear songs like "Ring of Fire" and "A Boy Named Sue" punctuated by her loud, low labor sounds. Later we commented on her amusing choice of music and she explained that she thought Johnny Cash's low voice would help her to keep her sounds nice and low (low sounds let a birthing woman stay more in control and move through the pain; high pitched sounds can easily turn into panicky screams and can also cause things to tighten rather than loosen up as they should be). We were all shocked that she had been able to choose her music so purposefully in the midst of hard labor. Absolutely brilliant.
When I came home I was tired, feeling grateful to Nate for having been alone with the boys all day, and still reeling over the amazing event I had witnessed. I'm still thinking about it... it was amazing. My friend was amazing.

Here are some pictures from the playground today. Doesn't the sky look perfect? It pretty well was.

1 comment:

sarah said...

oh, i love it!!! it makes me want to have another baby!!! Your post title cracked me up because when i was in labor and pushing, my dr said "i know it burns but you have to push even harder toward that burning" I remember thinking - "how did she know that i was just thinking of how much it burns and was trying NOT to push toward it?" Anyway, it gives the title "ring of fire" a whole new meaning, if you get my drift.
sarah hedman