Experience The Impossible

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Teresa (Experienced Midwife): Wendy was saying to be this morning…”On Saturday I saw a client have a fetus ejection reflex.’ And I said, ‘in the hospital?!’ because you never see it in the hospital.

Me: Wait, what? I missed that.

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): What happens when a women has a physiological birth. Sometimes. Not always. When she feel safe and 100% of the environment is right. (However that is for her). Sometimes you see what’s called a ‘foetus ejection reflex’. When she’s ready to birth. She grabs you like this [both of the birthing woman’s hands reach out and clutch onto the support person’s arms firmly]. Then her pupils dilate and she pushes the baby out.

Me: [Giggling] Wow!

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): You don’t see it very often. It’s so primal. It never ever happens unless she’s in the sweet spot. So, I don’t think any hospital midwife would have ever seen one.

Me: So it’s like the unicorn of birth!

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): I said, ‘In the hospital?’ [to Wendy]. [And Wendy replied], ‘Yes, well I was looking after her to I had all the lights down and the doors shut.’ She had this experience with her first baby.

Me: Come on!

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): That’s the type of thing that’s possible and common in physiological birth. We see it all the time in home births. Midwives who work in hospital think we make this stuff up, because it’s not part of their experience. They never see these things.

Me: Yeah, yeah.

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): The one [story] that always stands out for me. You know the pictures we use to have out there [in the waiting room]? She’s the African girl. She had one of those births. I’d been there for a few hours. She was in the pool. Her partner was great. It was just the four of us. She was labouring beautifully. She starts to slow down a bit. I thought, she’s probably hungry. She’s working hard. So, anyway, typical young couple… not much food in the house. I looked in the fridge and I was like, ‘Hmm’ [while laughing].

Me: [Laughing]

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): He had this packet of biscuits and this milk. She was having this drink of milk in the pool and this biscuit. Alex and I were sitting over here, having a cup of tea and a chat. Then, all of a sudden, this enormous contraction [came] and there was a change in her voice. Alex and I looked at each other, put our cup of tea down, and went straight over. And she just pushed the baby out, just like that.

Me: [Laughing]

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): All we said to each other was, ‘What kind of biscuits were those?’ We’ve got to get some of those biscuits and take them to every birth!

Me: [Laughing]

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): It was the most amazing thing. You would just never see that in the hospital. Ever. Because she was just completely 100%…

Me: …She was at her leisure…

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): Relaxed. Having her little snack. She did exactly that. She grabbed me by the arms. Her pupils dilated. Then she was trying to stand up. And I said to Alex, ‘You’re going to have to catch because she’s holding me!’ And it was just like, ‘Wow!’

Me: That’s just incredible. My goodness.

Teresa (Experienced Midwife): You see some lovely things. It’s such a privilege. It really is such a privilege.