Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Birth Story: Massage and Spirit

I love this story of a birth. The incorporation of caring touch, spirit calling, and visualization made the difference between a hospital transport, and a successful home birth with a big surprise.

K’s bag of waters broke at first light on a hot, humid summer Sunday, but contractions were few and far between, despite hours of brisk walking, herbal concoctions, and emotional processing. By Monday morning, her cervix was 5 cm. dilated. She was exhausted, and the midwives were questioning whether the potentially large size of this baby was the cause of the slow progress. While the midwives conferred,  I decided to rub her belly to help motivate contractions.

I entered the bedroom where K labored with her husband (AR). We were in an old farmhouse upstairs and the air was blazing,  the fan blasting hot air across her body. She was curled on her left side on the bed, breathing and trying to relax with contractions.  AR sat at her feet, holding and rubbing them, stimulating reflexology areas and acupressure points that he had been shown. Sitting behind K’s back, I poured some oil in my hands, and began to rub K’s sacrum and belly simultaneously. I massaged in large slow circles around the belly, around the back, and down the thighs and buttocks.