Cuts You Up

As the number of cesarean section deliveries in South Florida soars, some women use midwives to learn to trust their bodies and give birth naturally


Cher Durham reclines naked on her bed. Her enormous breasts rise and fall as her stomach heaves with every push. Husband Johnnie sits beside her, holding her hand and caressing her leg. He murmurs encouragement in her ear: "Good! Oh, beautiful!"

"As the head comes closer, you're going to feel burning," Fitch warns. "It's your tissue stretching."

A daughter is born to Cher Durham at her home in Kendall this past February.
Jonathan Postal
A daughter is born to Cher Durham at her home in Kendall this past February.
Cher Durham reacts to the pain of a contraction during her at-home birthing experience.
Cher Durham reacts to the pain of a contraction during her at-home birthing experience.

"Oh God," Durham moans.

With a slender gloved hand, Fitch massages olive oil into Durham's straining vagina. A few drops fall onto the midnight-blue shower curtain covered with constellations that protects the mattress. The crown of the head appears, framed by Durham's legs.

Durham whimpers. A tiny head covered with slick black hair bursts out. Durham's vagina is like a red flower ringing the baby's neck.

"Oh God, I can't believe it," she moans.

"When you get the next contraction," Fitch promises, "you're going to push out the baby."

"Whooooooooaaaaaa," Durham wails in a rising tone.

The body does not come out with the next push. For a moment, the baby is stuck, snagging her mother's insides with her left hand. Durham feels the strange sensation of the little body wiggling inside her.

"Push, sweetie, push," the midwife coaxes.

Durham responds with a guttural moan.

"Push. One more. Push."

All at once, the body slides out. The baby stuffs her left hand in her mouth. It is 3:07 p.m. Fitch puts the infant on her mother's chest and swaddles the girl in a purple towel. A white translucent cord connects mother and child.

"Hi, baby," Durham murmurs through tears. She stares into her daughter's dark eyes, strokes her hair. The baby girl reaches for her mother's face with her left hand.

Suddenly, Durham looks up and announces, "I'm so proud of myself."

She is not moaning anymore; the pain and discomfort washed away in a flood of adrenaline and endorphins. "I can't believe I did it naturally," Durham says, resuming a conversational tone. The new mother is already imagining how she will pass on this story to her daughter. "I can't wait to tell her when she grows up that she was born at home. I feel like I can do anything now."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...