2am Friday, my friend who had asked me to be her doula, text me and said that she had had a show (lost her plug), saying that she would call me when her labour started to happen. Thirty minutes later she called and said she felt she needed us (me and the midwife) to be there as soon as possible.
I jumped into the car and drove the hour and a half up the mountains, I was 15 minutes behind the midwife and her baby boy was born 15 minutes after I arrived.
As I walked in the door, I heard her roar my name and I walked over to the birth pool lit by a small lamp and the crackling fire to see her baby was already crowning.
After he was born, I held her older daughter, we took photos, we drank chai, waited for the placenta to be born. Then we talked, laughed, the mother held her new baby to her breast and he nuzzled and licked until he felt ready to try and feed, and then we tucked the mother father and their two beautiful children into bed. The midwife and I tidied up the birth space, put washing on, washed up the dishes and smiled at how fast and brilliantly the family had done, welcoming this new child into their family.
It was quick, quiet and truly lovely. I felt so blessed to be a part of this life changing event in these peoples lives. I was also reminded once again at the way a homebirth allows a family to take this huge change into their own hands as I watched their little girl taking photos, and then feeling the need to strip of her clothes and be wrapped in a towel, rocked and sung to as she assimilates this new baby and what he will mean for her life, she holds his hands, talking to her parents and I about what had just happened, she goes to her mum to be held after a while, to breastfeed and to be reminded that this new child does not mean her place has been overtaken just changed.
I left the warm cave of their house on a high, remembering my own birth, loving my job that gives me that chance to be with them, to help in my small way.