Birth Out Loud: In The Philippines Pt. 1
Two births (First in Philippines, second in Canada) and midwifery clinic in a rural village.
“I went back to work when he was 4 weeks old and started attending births, mostly doing prenatals in our midwifery clinic in the rural Philippines. I watched one birth with him on my back and quickly asked if I could take a couple more months off because it was still too fresh. But he was on my back constantly while I did prenatals and did postpartum and then I started attending births when he was 4 months old, catching again. It was a whole different experience and it was still very fresh even though it had been a couple months. I found my empathy for these women was through the roof and it definitely changed how I practiced midwifery. Once you have been through birth you’re like.. oh yes, I get it, I understand what you are feeling.
One month we had 39 births at the clinic where I attended at least half of those. Sometimes as an assistor, sometimes a charter or primary. It would get intense. It’s different when you have a kid as he was still nursing. My husband would bring him in and I would quickly nurse him between contractions if I was the primary in the birth room. Sometimes it would be 20 hours of birth before I would get to see my 4 month old again so there was definitely an aspect of sacrificing time with my son in order to do it but my husband was awesome. He filled in, took up all the slack that I was giving in the mothering aspect.
Having my newborn around the clinic was awesome. It was a big family, all the midwives there were family so there was always someone there to play with him. Someone to hold him, even at 2am because he was a night owl. Especially if I was in a birth then I could always hear him in the hallway which was the hardest part for me. Being in an intense birth and it’s so emotional, then hearing him cry and knowing I couldn’t go to him because I had a responsibility in the birth and I had to be a midwife first before I could be a mother. That was hard and something I didn’t expect.”
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