With a quick change of 7cm to 10cm after her epidural was placed, she was surprised that she already felt the need to push. Her sister was at her side, pregnant herself for the first time, and worried about how her first experience of a birth would affect her own upcoming labor. Their mother watched from a rocking chair, off to the side, quiet and smiling at her two daughters together. “Okay, okay, okay,” whispered the laboring mother, in the zone and ready for the next step.
A medical student stood next to me, standing witness to her first birth. As the head was slowly born, I kept my hands over hers to show flexion and a slow chin extension, pointed to the bright white anterior shoulder announcing its quick release before the baby tumbled into our hands, and guided her hands along the body as it patiently exited. “Okay, okay, okay,” whispered the medical student, adopting the mother’s whispering voice.
The baby’s first cries in our world broke the quiet, causing all to exclaim the many-congratulations, the happy-birthdays, and the oh-would-you-look-at-those-healthy-thighs!