Jill’s birth was one of two that I photographed within 24 hours this summer. The similarities were striking – both home births in the same neighbourhood, both baby girls with the same midwifery clinic. I was called to join my clients at the same time 2:00 in the morning and both babies were born within hours in the water. My clients’ moms were there and both dads were totally awesome!
Of course no matter how similar the births seemed from the outside, no two birth experiences are the same. I am always interested in how my clients’ inward experiences are so different than what outsiders may see. I have witnessed very “normal” births be experienced as traumatic and births that I found troubling be experienced by clients as perfectly fine. I try to keep this mind now every time someone tells me a birth story – which happens a lot in this line of work. Actually, its a good rule of thumb for all parenting stories. Instead of defending our own choices as parents we can simply affirm the experience of others. Acknowledge the emotion underneath the story – rather than adding a silver lining, questioning the truth of a statement or trying to rationalize. If it were only so easy to put our own egos aside the world would be a very different place!
I loved being a part of Jill’s birth team. Her partner was the foundation – making sure everything was just so and that everyone had what they needed. Her mom – such a big part of their everyday lives that it was amazing for her to be there for every part of welcoming her new granddaughter. Her doula, Kim from Tender Touches who stepped in as backup and provided physical and emotional support through every contraction. Aurora Midwifery and their student midwife who was just finishing up her last practicum and getting ready to head out on her own.
Jill – what an honour to watch you and your family welcome this lucky little girl! It’s no little thing to birth a second time. You triumphed over any doubt that you felt toward the end of this pregnancy and birthed your baby on your own terms. Your girls are so lucky to have each other – it’s going to be awesome to watch them grow as sisters. Congratulations again and again!