Friday, August 18, 2006

While I'm gone...

...yes, it's that lovely time of August when I get the hell out of Dodge. We're headed north for a week on a lake. I hope to knit and read and relax. I'll be back in a week.

While I'm gone, I'd be curious to hear from you regular commenters as well as lurkers about whether you have any sensory/sensual memories from your birth(s). This past week some of us from the Center's board met for drinks to celebrate the new website. Talk couldn't help but turn to birth stories. One woman shared how her midwife arrived at the height of transition when she was on her hands and knees. The midwife knelt down. The laboring mother reached out and hugged her then hung from her for a contraction. This particular midwife has luscious, long, curly hair.

Our board member recounted how struck she was by the juxtaposition of intense pain in her pelvis and the delicious softness of the hair her hands were tangled in.

I had a doula client who with every contraction dragged her fingertips slowly down over her face again and again. It reminded me of the break-an-egg simulation we used to do at slumber parties.

What is your tactile, sensual labor memory?


Blogger Tara said...

I remember going for a walk with my husband in the pre-dawn hours during my second labor. It was quiet and still and we were surrounded by the lovely scent of a honeysuckle bush in full bloom. We fell into a rhythm during each contraction. I would stop and lean him, and he would keep one arm around me and place his other hand under my belly right where the center of the contraction was. He was so solid and strong, and the pressure and warmth was wonderful. His presence just surrounded me during those contractions and the rest of the world fell away. That is my strongest sensory/tactile memory of labor. :)

2:49 PM  
Anonymous HollyRhea said...

I remember my knees digging into the carpet and I remember my legs from the knee down filling with blood while I pushed (on hands and knees). It's funny to me that I remember the painful things outside of the birth more than I remember any pain from the birth. I also remember how pushing the placenta (hardly. it just slid out.) was way more uncomfortable than pushing the baby. It was a nuisance.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

The cold washcloth that I pressed against my eyes during every transition contraction.

The wonderful, soothing feeling of the water in the tub sloshing around me as I rocked back and forth rhythmically.

The odd sensation of instinctively flexing my feet up toward my calves in late transition. It was weeks later that I realized I was automatically trying to "squat" for pushing, even though I was lying on my side in bed.

Great question!

11:54 PM  
Blogger Goddess said...

The greatest sensation during my labour with my second child was when the doctor broke my water. The feeling that I was deflating was, for some reason, the most delicious thing ever, and I started to laugh. This annoyed the doctor, because when I laughed, the amniotic fluid gushed farther and farther up her arm as she held my son's head back. But it felt so nice to have that pressure relieved- I don't think I'll ever forget that sensation.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Laborpayne said...

I often tell people, though I can tell they doubt my story, that pushing out my (now 18 year old) in the hands and knees position felt orgasmic. I never wanted to stop pushing it felt so good. I had my subsequent babies in upright squats but it never felt the same.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Louisa said...

You know the long streeeeeetch that you have after you wake up in the morning and everything is all full of blood again and you feel for a second all warm and tingly and, ok, a little post-orgasmic? Well surprisingly enough I found that sensation at the end of every contraction I had. It was lucious enough to get me through even the roughest three-peaked contractions of transition... knowing that that sensation was waiting for me at the end. It was almost like a reward...

The second great sensation which I
swear will never leave me is the
warm flow of my waters as they broke just as I started pushing, but between contractions. The warm fluid flowing out helped me to relax enough to pee. And BOY did that feel good. :)

4:14 PM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

My husband was stroking down my arms, starting a my shoulder. He would-- very gently -- run his fingers down my bicep, forearm, and hand, during contractions. Occasionally, he would, oh, so softly, seem to "wring" the tension off the tips of my fingers as he went.


7:01 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

...the warm, wet, slippery, brand-new baby lying on my stomach. Three times. The memory of that feeling almost, ALMOST, makes me want to have a fourth.

9:15 PM  

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