Birthowl’s natural childbirth

laughing during labour – birthstories


“She danced and danced throughout her labor. No noise, no fuss, just intense concentration and dancing. After many hours she looked up at me with a puzzled expression and said: ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I asked if I could check her, and when she opened her legs, the baby’s head was crowning.

I told her that was why she felt that way, and she began to laugh, and laughing, birthed the baby into my surprised hands. Her partner took pictures: a baby born en caul to a laughing VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) mother. We must witness, talk story, tell the good stories to counteract our culture’s horror of birth. It is possible to birth in peace and joy.”
-Anne Stohrer, M.D. in Compleat Mother magazine, Winter, 2000

“I noticed that whenever Judith would laugh at something, she’d have a very good rush [contraction] right afterward, which would dilate her cervix a bunch more. So we all sat around and had a good time talking with each other, and after a few more rushes I checked Judith again and found that she was fully dilated and ready to push the baby out.”
-From Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin

“Even though I was still on my hands and knees, my hearing suddenly became very acute. I could hear Gordon on the phone in the next room: Glenn? This is Gord. Could you ask Elly to come over. I think the baby’s coming. You think the baby’s coming? I echoed to myself.

And suddenly, I laughed. I could not help it – the man’s hesitation struck me as funny. I laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.Suddenly, I was looking down a tunnel the long way around, as if a telescope inside me – that was somehow outside me – was turned backwards. As I laughed, the baby’s head popped out. I tightened my pelvic floor muscles and, turning my head, noticed Gordon at the doorway.

Imagining how ludicrous I must have looked, reared up on my haunches with a baby’s head sticking out of me, I laughed again. This time, the baby simply fell out into Gordon’s out-stretched hands.”
-From “They Don’t Call it a Peak Experience for Nothing,” by Ruth Claire (Mothering, Fall 1989)

[ ; Photo by John Carleton]

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