Day 375. Benedek’ birth – the story from a bit outer point of view
The midwife’ story:
During the “Waiting room talks” she told me how superb labour they had had. How peacefully they were let alone. As if they had been at home, only the two of them. As far as the very end almost no one went in, only sometimes they turned up offering some releasing intervention, but when they said no, it was OK.
But what happened afterwards….
Now she is afraid not of the labour itself, but what happens afterwards, and of that a lot. It took her almost six months to recover. What took so long? The incision. And the baby herself – they had to go to special therapy sessions up to the age of one. And her relationship with the baby. There were problems with breastfeeding. She even had to go to hospital because of mastitis. Then she couldn’t breastfeed – maybe because of the medication. But how is it possible? They had such a superb labour! How had it all happened?
When the water had broken they called for the midwife and the obstetrician. Then suddenly everything changed all of at once. She can remember everything becoming fast and she was told to push hard, and she pushed extremely hard. Then she was cut and the baby was born.
Julcsi was like a cucumber. Her colour, too. She is ashamed but she didn’t see her beautiful. Rather frightening. For a moment she could have her in her arms, but she couldn’t hold her properly – the baby felt like a puppet and she felt clumsy. Then the baby was taken away immediately. Her incision took long to be taken care of.
At the check-up after the labour the doctor said the baby had been in anoxic conditions during the labour because her head had been pushed for weeks before. Because of K. As K. hadn’t been willing to stay in bed from week 34, she had chosen to work until the end of the school-year. She also told her that next time episiotomy would be needed again because of the conditions of K’s tissues. If they didn’t cut everything would tear zigzags.
I remember K. as a small, proportionate, well mannered teacher. Anyway, I think she is not small. L. is a matching husband for her. Julcsi is a very sweet, well-behaving, perfect little girl, I have met her once.
We are going with Edina – as fast as we can. K. signed it during the day, and even the previous night that something was about to happen. When we get there we can see that we needn’t have hurried. Again as if everything had stopped. It is the social phase – but on the basis of the dilatation of the cervix we should be further. She said that she wasn’t afraid of giving birth, only what comes afterwards – but that is preceded by the labour itself…
Maybe we should leave. Neither me nor Edina is needed at home – our children, grandchildren have already gone to bed. We might as well sleep too, maybe upstairs and then we don’t annoy K. Hardly have we gone to bed there is a call to go to another birth to a nearby village. We are there in no time and when we are finished we call K. to ask where to go. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t want to cause problems. She would rather send us home. But her tone! Edina agrees to go there.
By the time we get there it is clear that it was a good decision. There are things to do – poultice, massage, support and encouraging. The room has changed; the everyday order of the objects is gone, now there is another order. How beautiful these two people are, how much strength she has, what noises, what rhythm!
How good it is with Edina, we understand each other very well!
K. is looking for her place – it is not good this way, it is not good that way. Finally Edina suggests her something, K. ends up crouching and the baby is born.
K. immediately asks for the baby, hugs him, and then holds him a bit further, looks at him and then suddenly, joyfully she shouts out “F***, how happy your sister will be!” Edina and I laugh at each other – the perfect, neat teacher out of the box – unbelievable, and honouring at the same time that someone can be so liberated in our presence!
She goes on admiring the baby for a while and there is another change again. “What about my perineum?” – looks at us questioning. It is sound, I say. “Zigzagzigzagzigzagzigzag” – gabbles she at a high voice. And we understand her. Her, them, a little part of their life.
We leave released. That is why it is worth. At least, today it was.
The doula’s story
Another, hardly bearable day is ahead of me. I am attending a hospital practice. I want to become a midwife and this is the place where they train them. The idea that at the practice I will be with Ági helps me to survive. It is interesting that someone with a 20-year experience working as a midwife has to attend a hospital practice to get a degree in midwifery. It is the same procedure as for someone who has worked as a boilermaker so far and now wants to turn to a midwife. Anyway, today we are together at the practice.
A lot of expectant women are arriving for having a ctg. This is (also) a day like this. CTG on a large scale. I put on one, take off the other. Or Ági takes it off. We co-operate. A smiling young woman arrives with her daughter. Ági knows them, I can see. Then, when there are only the four of us, she introduces us to one another. Ági whispers to her that on the contrary of my uniform, I don’t belong there but to another team. To one that she would be happy to see at her labour some days later, as she would like to have her baby at home this time. She came here to have her ctg as Ági’s machine is being repaired and as we are here anyway… Her test is done. Everything is all right. We say goodbye.
Some days later Ági calls me if I could go to a labour. Of course! Finally some invigorating light in the darkness of practice.
I meet her at the usual place. She waits for me for long because I am stuck in a jam. She gets the permission to wait for me – they say there’s no need to hurry. The process has only begun. We go to a town near Pest, we find it almost immediately. It is a narrow street; a man – looking like a husband – is waving at the gate. It is a friendly, warm home and the smiling young woman from the hospital is waiting for us inside.
She kindly says hello, chats with us, makes us some tea, and offers some dinner. She might be at the beginning indeed, the contractions rarely hit, the examination proves that, too. We have a chat. The smiling young woman speaks. About her previous birth, and the family’s opinion of home birth. They are not in favour of it. She tells us not to be surprised in case she might use bad words during labour. I don’t know what it exactly means, but I like it.
We are not needed yet, everything happens as they should. It is good to be here. It can be seen that we were waited very much. It is possible that we have time to go home. But not. There is an urgent phone call from the neighbouring village. Their third baby is fast to be born to this world so we should hurry too. So we do. We get there in no time at all, it turns out that only to catch the placenta.
We are about to leave in our car, which has just been dug out of the snow, when the smiling young woman calls that the waves of contraction hit more often, so we should go. She doesn’t chat anymore.
With a glimpse she signals that we are noticed. The birth is really close. We put some water to heat to make a poultice, but it is likely that there will be no time for that. Everything happens so fast.
All of us are on the mattress on all fours. I am overwhelmed by the feelings, voices. Has the time of the bad words arrived? It doesn’t matter anymore.
The smiling young woman’s voice is a strong, flowing stream. Bad words don’t have a chance to be heard, if there are any.
The baby will not be born here. It is uncomfortable. We should rather go and crouch by the bed. There are contractions that overwhelm her. The water breaks, there is fresh water everywhere. The little boy’s head with his eyes wide open is out. My mouth is on his mouth (the pCB intake is the out of my reach), Ági’s hand is on the perineum. We co-operate.
The smiling young woman hasn’t opened her eyes since we got to the bed. She still has them closed when she hugs her little son. She just smiles. And talks, talks in an oblivious, euphoric state:
“Hello, you darling! So you have arrived! How damn painful this whole thing has been! How beautiful you are! You are the most beautiful boy in this f*** world! You can’t imagine how happy your sister will be about you, f*** you!”
Well, now they can be heard. And I understand her. And I damn like it! Thank you! I was an experience to be with you!
Benedek > > >
Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.
This post is also available in: Hungarian