I What I needed most from Sybille was to be able to trust her. I needed to know that when I was in a position where I would not be able to reason or think my way through, that I could surrender, that she would take over and take care. I needed to know that when it came time to go through it, as I’d heard about so many times but never done myself, that I wouldn't need to listen to my fears, my pain, my belief that I couldn’t make it. I needed to know that when I hit the point when fatigue and pain and overwhelm were begging for help in any way (drugs, epidural, C-birth) that her “you can do it,” would ring louder in my soul than my own agony, my own limitations, and that if I couldn’t do it, she would take me to the hospital for the necessary life saving interventions.

I needed to know it was ok that I couldn’t begin to imagine what my process giving birth would be like, I didn’t have to be in charge, I didn’t have to be the expert, I could just do my best to relax and breathe and keep sustaining. I knew that birth, especially your first, was something you could never be really prepared for, nobody else’s stories will protect you from the great struggle of life giving.

Sybille earned this trust over the pregnant months with each visit, bringing her knowledge, experience, and perspective to our exams along with her humor and light. She reinforced my desire to do it at home.

So when the moment came—well, to be real, the many moments came—but when the biggest moment came, in the tub, close to the end, when I can’t do it, there’s no way, I’m done, get it out of me, where are the drugs, ok game over, nice try, fuck this, I tried but I can’t. When I had given up because I had seen the end and it wasn’t coming through my body, she was there. And though I didn’t “like” it at the time, she saw what I couldn’t see, which was not only was it possible, but imminent.

He has arrived.