The video arrived on Saturday, October 1. I was able to watch it today…of course, it was wonderful.
Of all the birth videos I have seen, this is the first that has not shown one stitch of medical equipment. When I think with the mind of the skeptical pregnant mother, I look back at the births documented and never once wonder or worried if there were any tools to “save” anyone during this process. The births are clearly not in need of any interference. Birth is not in need of interference. Usually, those documenting find it important to show some sort of equipment at the ready for the “in case” situation. I’ve heard from a doula that she and a midwife arrived to a home in the same moment and the doula was employed in that moment to carry in an oxygen tank before letting the mother know she had arrived, and before ever knowing if there was need. While there may have been pieces of medical equipment in none or all of the homes you worked in, they were not part of how these births progressed. How refreshing!
I also took note that you, the attendant, were not a big part of how these births progressed. I much admire, and perhaps aspire, to hold that birth space for a laboring woman. Watching your approach will be a fantastic teaching tool for those who believe there must be a professional who participates and/or directs how birth unfolds. In your voice-over you note one mother saying “I did it!” and you follow up saying that indeed, she had. You were there. In many cases, that is all any laboring woman (or her partner) ever needs. . . to have someone there to witness and support a perfect process.
It was lovely, also, that the mother chose who was with her and even who would deliver the baby. I was struck with happiness when you coached the sister of one birthing woman in “catching” the newborn. Not all midwives are eager to teach and let others participate, but prefer to be the one who “does” that piece of birth work. Only with midwives like you can women experience birth in a normal way that solidifies that all women know this work and that it is not a matter of medical education, but a matter of experience, intuition and the passing on of knowledge.
As you well know, most women and girls know nothing of birth outside of the medical model. Your video is a great vision of the true nature of birth. Mother centered birth once was the norm and with your help, it can return to such an event where a woman gains fulfillment and strength in her mind, and in the minds of those in her life.
Thank you for being who you are and helping others see the truth in birth.
Des Moines, IA
For ordering information on the dvd, see this post: