Wandering around Pinterest this week I found these beautiful series of paintings by Canadian artist Amanda Greavette. She has started an endeavour called The Birth Project and her art depicts the gritty, real intensity of pregnancy, labour and birth. You can click through to her website here to see more of her powerful images.
This particular one puts me in mind of the birth of my first boy. He was born at home with the support of my partner, sister and three (yes! 3!) midwives - including the midwife I'd seen at all my antenatal appointments. It was intense, but more worth it than I could ever have imagined. I had moved from a state of terror at the prospect of birth to actually looking forward to it - I would never have believed it possible before my hypnobirthing course!
Anyway. I laboured for a long time in our bath. Our midwives - understanding the need for quiet comfort and nested security in labour - had lit little candles around the bath, and one of them sat with me holding my hand over the edge of the bath, telling me what I good job I was doing. My wonderful midwife suggested I walk for a while, and as I got out of the bath this baby of mine began to make his way. And there, 15 mins later, he was! A slippery little dark eyed thing. Quiet and intense.
(I should add that nearly 4 yrs later he is still intense, but far from quiet!)