Home birth? Hello?
By Midwife Marie O'Connor, Director,
European Institute of Midwifery,
42 Rathdown Road, Dublin 7, Ireland;
No rush to get to hospital on time!
No hospital gowns. No identity crisis.
No clocks. No drips. No drugs.
No rush to produce this baby.
No poking or prodding. No stirrups.
Just privacy. And freedom.
No superbugs. No strangers.
No wiring up your womb to a fetal heart monitor.
No screwing electrodes into your baby's scalp.
No false positives, no rush to get the baby out.
No 'emergency' section.
No theatre lights, no high trolleys.
No metal, no Dettol.
Only the peace of your own bed in your own room.
And your own germs.
No amniotomies, no episiotomies.
You want your perfect body intact.
No rush to take your baby away.
Early labour? Go for a walk. Go for a swim.
Clean out the cutlery drawer.
Call the shots. Call your midwife. Play music.
Make coffee. Sit in the bathroom. Be on your own.
Knowing your midwife is half the battle.
You know your midwife for nine months.
She tells you to take your time.
No rush, no fear.
Lie in a hot bath, or sit in a birth pool.
Water eases the stress of labour.
He holds your hand, makes hot toast,
Massages your back, boils water.
Your midwife listens to the baby's heartbeat.
You trust her, and feel safe.
No pushing, no pulling, no panic.
No rush to get the baby out.
You give birth standing up, or sitting down.
Body wide open, baby slips out.
You come back from earth.
No rush to cut the cord.
You watch it together, admire its rainbow colours.
Marvel at this pulsating thing which has kept your baby alive.
Three hearts beat in time.
There is no rush. Only time.
ã Marie O'Connor