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I was blessed to attend two amazing births with two amazing mamas in the last month or so.  My mid March baby was born to a second time mother and was super polite and came ON her due date.  This birth stands out for me, simply because it was so perfectly perfect.  Labor was not too fast, not too slow, mama was in tune with her body, papa was great support.  Textbook waterbirth.  The only hiccup was that rather than papa catching the baby, he was holding the 2 year old who woke just in time to watch her baby sister come into this world.

This is what many people imagine homebirth looks like.  Hands off, no intervention.  This is what BIRTH should look like, regardless of where baby is born. 

I recently heard that many people unfamiliar with homebirth are somewhat under the impression that families who choose homebirth, accept with a varying degree of conviction that their babies could die, and that they are okay with that.  I think it is also a commonly held assumption that midwives don't DO anything at births.  This is really farthest from the truth.  Families who choose homebirth are not ever any more okay with their baby dying than any one else.  They have however done an exceptional amount of homework and have looked at the risks involved in birthing anywhere and have made what they believe to be the best choices for themselves and their baby.  Most of the time they choose a midwife who's philosophy and skill provides them with a safety net, and allows them to fully experience birth the way they have envisioned.

Fast forward to our mid April birth.  Also second time mother, average length of labor, but this mother needed help.  There were times when I had to be right in her face, encouraging and guiding her.  There were times when I had to be hands-on-interventive.  There were some anxiety provoking aspects to this birth as well.  The reality is that babies let us know how they need to be born.  Competent midwives understand this and are constantly evolving to be the kind of provider that women can trust if the crap-hits-the-fan.  This doesn't happen frequently, but it does happen.  I personally feel very proud that I was able to provide the care that this mother needed, to be a strong advocate for this family, and as you can see above, assist in another beautiful homebirth.  

My training didn't end 8 years ago when I started attending births as a primary midwife.  In fact I truly believe it had just begun.  I consider myself blessed that I have so much access to information and training, incredible textbooks and instructors who believe in hands off birth, but also in being prepared.  I also feel overwhelmingly blessed to be an apprentice to birth, at the feet of women, in service to them and their families.  THIS is what a midwife provides.