Michelle's homebirth story

by Michelle Alfson

As time passes, and new details combine with those that are already in place, the past becomes more and more a part of who you are.  People ask "what is your birth story?" --and yet that is not easy to write down as though it were a separate entity in and of itself.  Still, it is fun to share and recall.  My birth experience has not been told many times out loud, but in my mind over and over again, like a favorite movie with scenes that pop into your head even when you're not watching. 

Different parts play themselves depending on what room I'm in--the rooms of my heart or my home.  For example, the shower upstairs reminds me of the first wee hours, dousing myself in water so hot it turned my skin pink, yet still feeling chilled to the bone, foggy and faint when I finally turned off the water and gave up the idea of warmth.  When I see the couch, sometimes I think of later, my husband by my side, breathing through waves of tightness in my abdomen.  A huge, long, deep breath in and then out, for distraction and relaxation both, trying to lengthen them as the contractions became longer, until I just couldn't take breaths that long anymore.  Lying there, imagining I was a cat, or some other creature who births her children with immense wisdom and grace.  The dining room, where I wandered between contractions to find my midwives sitting at the table.  Squatting, I somehow moaned the words, "I know everyone says it, but I still don't think I can do it."  My midwife responded, "Just let it take you to the edge, every time.  Birth always takes you to the very edge."  The playroom, where the birth took place, brings me back in the greatest intensity.  Surrounded by my midwives, friends, my husband, and first daughter.  Floating in a tub of warm water the size of a giant kiddie pool, my belly so sensitive from the muscles working long and hard, and a sudden force that came through me with such power and strength.  There was no "pushing" involved, only this force.  And then the top of a head, and an eye, a pause, and the rest of her came through.  "It's a girl" and here she finally was: this being, this beautiful, slippery, passionate, wailing being, still full of wisdom and grace, and warm and wet in my arms.  



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