So, I just attended a very traumatic twin birth.  After watching the WHO film on vaginal breech delivery I was completely horrified at the lack of skill shown by these doctors.  The whole ‘hands off the breech’ was not present at all, nor was anything else for that matter. 

Here’s the short version as I am very tired.  Mom was a primip pushed beautifully…  She allowed her epidural to wear off to the point where she felt the pain of contractions enough to really push effectively.  She began pushing at 12:15a and baby A was born head first one hour later without incident.  Doctor did a completely unnecessary episiotomy without consent or even informing mom she was going to do it.  Nothing was said at all.  Baby B was transverse and that is when things got ugly.  The docs said they were okay with delivering him breech, but were very aggressive about getting him to turn.   The doctors hand was completely inside the uterus trying to grab an appendage.  The baby’s water wasn’t even broken, what did she think she was going to get a hold of!!!!  She finally broke moms water after 6 minutes of this manual attempt to turn the baby.  After the water broke, the doc grabbed the baby’s feet and pulled him through the vagina.  She continued to pull and pull on the baby and turn and pull on the baby, while the other doc pushed on the fundus and mom gasped she couldn’t breath.  Horrid!  Then, they both started pulling on the baby to get his head out.  They heard a pop when they broke this poor little 4 lbs 8 oz baby’s arm. His humeris.  I just can’t believe it!  They turned him nearly 360* using his body, pulling on his legs.  It was the most disgusting lack of skill I have ever witnessed.  It took two minutes, he was born barely 20 minutes after his sibling.  The rationalizations the docs gave were of course ‘well a broken arm is better than brain damage’ …  I am heartbroken. ~ B 

We were discussing a different subject just before B shared her doula birth story when an observation was made: many babies stop fussing when the person holding them stands up.  Perhaps, Ruth Trode mused, as a baby fusses or the environment is less than optimal for the person holding the baby that negative energy builds.  In that sitting position this energy finds pockets to “sit” in (think standing water).  When the adult stands up the energy is dredged and flows out into the air instead.

Have you ever noticed that a baby who sees its mother upset also becomes upset?  How is that?  A baby supposedly isn’t born feeling (else why would practitioners use invasive tools such as internal fetal monitors, IUPCs and pitocin?) so how would they have learned this facial expression means “sad” or which one means “happy?”  

Instantly I thought of babies during labor and how they show signs of stress first from interventions on mothers.  We know babies experience their mothers’ emotions.  They obviously experience energy …. why do I think this? Because they are not physically seeing the situation their mother is experiencing. They are in the womb.  It’s the ENERGY that they are feeling.  They are on a totally different plane than we are.  Then they are born and susceptible to losing the acuity of their intuitiveness and will instead learn how to compartmentalize instead.

This brought to mind how contrast colors grab newborns attentions, but blending colors don’t hold their attention as well. To me, I see that their world is so fluid in color, texture, sound and energy–there are ebbs and flows. It is only when we start defining the difference from black to white, here to there, me to you that we start down the path of seeing the world and the things in it as separate. Oh to be a baby again and see nothing as being separate.  ~Ruth, Musing on a cold, snowy day

It seemed to me that it is only we humans who have “evolved” (cynical) to see anything as seperate.  Witness this mother gorilla mourning the death of her baby .  Elephants also have a capacity many of us humans do not.  They also have a reverence for the life of their own.  They are who I think of when I hear the phrase “singing the bones.”

As we “listened” to B’s doula birth story what we felt in our hearts was more than the heartache of knowing this birth didn’t have to be this way.  Giving birth in anything less than humane care will tear us down as a society.  I seriously question who or which of us is the one that is “evolved.”

What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? ~ George Gordon, Lord Byron, Child Harold’s Pilgrimage

We continued to feel the reason for our being.  It’s not about restricting women’s choices or judging their choices.  It’s about whether or not THEY made the choice.  It’s not about what babies can tolerate.  It’s about why do they need to tolerate what practitioners impose on them?  

So begins a new year of sharing our message, how we give birth matters.  Not giving birth vaginally does not make a mother less of a woman.  Hearing us say this may surprise many who would claim we are inflexible wanting natural birth for all.  The practitioners who want to claim that we do not want to allow medications or believe cesareans are evil would rather you just turned away from us less you begin seeing those generalized statements for what they are: fear mongering of the worst kind; meant to stifle freedom.  When it permeates the laboring woman’s environment creating “atmosfear” that energy does make its way to the baby inside.

Thinking on our discussion of how babies sense and absorb the energies of their immediate and intimate space the twin birth story came rolling in causing great shock to us hearing the story and emphasized our entire past 24-hour discussion:  how we birth and how we are born matters.

Peace on earth can begin at birth.

For more on the newborn birth experience visit Birth Psychology and Newborn Breath.

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