I recently bore witness to a beautiful caul birth. This tiny little human was born fully encased within the caul and proved to me once again the astounding ability for consciousness. Upon crowning, this tiny human turned to face his Mama's right thigh and opened his eyes. Within two more pushes the rest of his body was out and the membranes were still intact. His eyes, still open, seemed to hold the world's knowledge within him as he floated in his cocoon. His Mama sat up and tore a piece of the membrane to lift her new son out and as she brought him up to her chest the membranes hooked around his feet.
His emergence was nothing short of spectacular. Here he was, earthside, still encapsulated by the membranes yet very much a part of the outside world. He immediately bore witness to his Mama's experience. His hands reached up to her face and his cry relaxed her body completely. She eased back onto the bed and as she did so he fell to below the level of her breasts and rested. Mama was silent, regulating her breathing and her birth attendants honoured her wishes of no hat. After a few more minutes of rest, Mama lifted her head to look at her son and he went searching....his stepping reflex allowed him to start his crawl to her breast.
When a tiny human reaches the breast, their cry will often become louder and this wee man's did. He sputtered and cleared mucous a few times and rocked his head side to side until his mouth came into contact with his Mama's nipple. At that point he lifted his head and bobbed about for a few minutes. The whole time, his Mama validated his experience. "I see you moving so well...you are so strong....you can do it...just a little bit further...that's it, you've got it...you are on....you are drinking!" Once again, her body relaxed deeper into the bed. A few minutes later she announced that she felt her cramps picking up and we reminded her that she would feel that as her tiny human fed. She took some deep breaths....and her wee man sighed. She shifted her body to get comfortable....her tiny human settled in to feed again. It was only seconds later Mama announced she could feel her placenta and it slipped out into the waiting bowl. Once her uterus was checked and she was washed, had gone pee and climbed back into clean sheets she sat and looked at her son on the bed. It was as if she, awash in his newness, had just laid eyes on him again for the very first time. "Oh look at you" she smiled. "You are so amazing. Your Papa and I love you so much." With tears in her eyes she looked to her partner and he smiled and kissed her forehead. Her son, so quiet, so peaceful and so wide awake was taking it all in - this realm of newness belied his amazing awareness. His Mama picked him back up, snuggled him on her chest and asked me if I had had a good look at him. "Oh I really did," I said. "Isn't he amazing?" she asked. I replied that he certainly is amazing and that he really loved her, to which she said "I know...I can feel it. I can't believe he was born the way he was, that was so cool." I responded, as did one of her nurses, that it indeed was very cool. I left her with a kiss and a promise to check in within a few hours. I drove home- all the while languishing in those first few moments of this wee man's life as he inhabited the last few minutes of his gestation in his watery world.
The beauty of a birth like this never leaves you. Even today, as I did a home visit with this new family I felt like I was almost trespassing on the magic that they have filtering in and out of their lives. The beautiful connections forged by our tiny humans render me speechless at times. Within the realm of newness is a chance to bear witness to so much beauty. That beauty is the essence of our human-ness and the altering of our own consciousness, brought about by the tiniest of teachers.
With much love,