I had the very great honour of acting as birthing partner to my best friend (with whom I share too much).
I’ve always wanted to be present at a birth, yes I know technically speaking I’ve been present at three births, but as I was the one doing the birthing and deep within what the authors of Birthing From Within refer to as “labour land,” I wasn’t actually paying that much attention. It’s strange what labour does to you, it completely distorts your sense of time, patches of time disappear entirely. In fact it’s sort of like a lot of descriptions of alien abductions (and if you’re very unlucky it also includes an anal probe). In all three of my labours there are bits I have clean forgotten, or blocked out. The early bit is easy enough to remember and the last bit, but somewhere in the middle it gets a bit hazy, usually around the time I start mooing like a cow having a fight with a blender.
So I was very excited to see the whole process from another perspective, that being generally upright and not sucking on gas and air like my life depended on it. I’ll be honest, there was an awful lot of sitting around involved. A labouring woman is not a great conversationalist, nor should she be. Bless my friend but her labour as an awfully long and drawn out process as they attempted to induce her. I felt heart sorry for her trying to move around with approximately eight million wires tethering her to various IV stands and machines, the gas and air made her puke quiet profusely directly onto the midwife’s hair, and she only ever got to 5cm dilated after hours and hours of that nasty syntocinon drip. I also felt quite ashamed of myself as she handled her contractions with a bit of heavy breathing and the occasional muttering of “fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck” and not a hint of cow or blender.
In the end it was deemed she was failing to progress and was swiftly taken down the corridor into theatre for an emergency c-section, and after a tiny surgeon climbed up onto the table and seemed to kneel on my friend’s stomach like she was squeezing toothpaste out of a tube, little Lucy Mae was born. One of Lucy’s first acts was to poo on me. I think it was a calculated move, a response to listening to me talking for the past 9 months.
So today I’d like to wish her a very happy birthday and hope she doesn’t make the pooing an annual thing.