Home > Musings > Let It Be

I’ve had a 6 week break from births and didn’t really have much to blog about except that after my last birth at the beginning of September I got a speeding ticket coming home at 1:00 AM which was a bummer. I don’t even remember what my homestretch song was.
Just a few days ago I renewed my Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) certification with my dear friend and mentor, Karen Strange. Midwives around the country are aware of her unique class where she presents recent updates in NRP interwoven with the latest research on newborn consciousness and perinatal psychology. Karen midwifes the midwives by teaching us to approach emergency situations with the consciousness of who we are and why we’re there, and she reminds us what the situation is like from the baby’s perspective. We are constantly reminded that birth works and that if we just leave it alone it works even better. If we just leave it alone those rare emergencies are even more rare. If we just leave it alone we witness the miraculous transformation of fetus to newborn where almost unobservable, but extremely sophisticated details take place to allow baby to exist in it’s new world.
This morning I attended the first birth of quite a few scheduled for this month. Mama was having her second baby and her first homebirth (her first was born in a birth center). Mama has an extremely sweet and accommodating personality and was chatty between contractions even at the very end when other mothers can hardly speak. I knew she would deliver soon and did not feel the need to check her dilation to confirm this. But she asked me several times if I was going to check her because she felt like she wanted to push but wasn’t sure if she “should.” I’ve attended other moms who also felt like they weren’t supposed to push until someone gave them permission. Apprentice and I just kept reminding her that everything was working perfectly and reminding her to follow her body’s urges and to trust that she knew what to do. After baby was born (daddy caught) she asked us if we didn’t need to suction baby’s mouth & nose. We showed her another way to hold her baby that would help fluids drain. We reminded her that babies know what to do too, especially if we don’t bother them too much.
My homestretch song today was perfect. It is a beautiful autumn, Sunday afternoon and I was listening to Prairie Home Companion. A female guest singer sang a beautiful, soulful version of Let It Be (combined in a medley with We Are the World and This Little Light of Mine). Karen’s class gave me the courage to just “let it be” at the birth today. It takes courage and faith on the part of attendants to remember there is nothing we have to fix, and no one we have to save. Just watch. And love.
“And when the broken hearted people
living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, Let It Be.”