the homebirth of coyote midwife, caitlinSep 29, 2021
By her mom, Maggie Mclaughlin
This is our birth story.
We went for a long walk around Kaanapali in the early evening, hoping to kick the birth into action. The baby was late and I was ready. While we were walking up the hill I stepped under a streetlight—pop! The streetlight burnt out. That’s weird. I walked under the next streetlight and it burnt out, too. Now that’s really weird. As I approached the third street light I said, “Wouldn’t you just freak out if this light burnt out, too?” Boom! The light went out. We were convinced this was a sign. The baby would come tonight, but back at home nothing happened. Everyone went to sleep and I read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” for the thousandth time.
24-Feb-88, 12:30am +/-
Ever so slowly I realized I was having contractions. I focused on them trying to determine if I really was in labor. Should I wake my husband or not? Yeah, maybe. After a few minutes of timing the contractions, we decided it was time to call the midwife. I went downstairs to wake up my friend, Sonja. She jumped up and down singing, “We’re going to have a baby, we’re going to have a baby.”
The vague contractions shifted to back labor I wondered if I could really do this. This is so intense.
I looked at Sonja who was still singing and thought to myself, “We’re not having a baby. I’m having a baby.”
My midwife, Merrily, arrived and the back labor disappeared. No longer doubling over in pain, I walked to the lanai and got in the tub.
Time shifted. No longer linear, it became circular and fluid. Sound became a tool I could rely on. With each breath, each moan, I could feel myself opening, time and space expanding, breathing with me.
In the tub, out of the tub, back in the tub. Merrily had me moving around, checking heart tones, making sure everything was okay with the baby.
As if from a far distance I hear her say, “If you don’t get in the tub now your baby will be born out here.”
I climbed back in the tub. It felt so important to have my baby in the water. It was the only place I wanted to be.
“You can feel the head if you want.”
I reached down.
“That’s your baby. Crowning.”
Time shifted again—space and distance collapsed. Everything became Now.
There is no separation between myself and all who have ever breathed a breath.
There is no separation.
We are one.
My baby was in my arms. 4:47am
We are one. We breathe.
No one told me that the universe might reveal her secrets to you when you’re giving birth.