“It hurts…but it feels right.”

Read this amazing story of a woman who had a home birth, although her pelvis was “too small” for any baby to fit through. Told by the doula and apprentice midwife who attended her birth.

When I had checked Allison, it seemed as though the very outlet of her pelvis where the base of my fingers rested barely had room for more than three of my fingers. Joanne said that she estimated at the widest part, her pelvic outlet seemed to be not more than 6 cm (that’s bone, plus think flesh, then try to get a space 10 cm wide and get a head through there!).


As labor progressed through the afternoon, she became deeply focused between contractions (instead of watching a movie, talking, eating). Allison started to do all sorts of things that had her midwife and I exchanging some strange glances.
She looked like she was doing an instructional video for the The Labor Progress Handbook! We knew that she had never read any doula or labor progress books or seen these positions anywhere, so our mouths dropped open as she proceeded to do things like the double hip squeeze (pressing in on the top of the pelvis with a contraction, widening the outlet), the lunge and then she went into doing the lunge with one foot up on a chair and a huge, low, wide, squat with every contraction for hours. She’d hang on her husband and go lower and lower and wider and wider, saying, “Owwiee! This is wooorking!”


She’d smile and say, “Well, it hurts, but I want to do it. It just feels right.” She was amazingly in touch with her body and so instinctual about everything she did!

Go read the rest of the story!


One Response

  1. Beautiful story but I have been wondering:

    What if all they could feel was a mom with a very toned/tight vagina? It would really not be that unusual for a woman with a normal pelvis but a very toned pelvic floor to have to really work to get her baby down/out at her first birth. And for a mw to have a hard time getting 2 fingers inside.

    Reason I am thinking this is that the midwife was feeling ‘at the base’ of her fingers (which is where the fingers meet the palm, right?) So, you put a couple of fingers into the vagina of a woman who is lying on her back. If you reach in as far as you can, which would be to the base of your fingers, the only bone you can easily feel from there is the pubic arch. Go look at a view of the female pelvis (a line drawing, esp. a side view)–the pubic arch is the lowest reaching part of the pelvis, the rest is situated a bit higher (which, if the woman is lying down, means the pubis symphysis is closest to you, the rest of lower aspects of the pelvis are further away). Well, the very end tip of the tailbone, may be nearly as close to you as the pub symph.

    A midwife tells me: Some primips have a very tight tone–some of the tendons can feel like bone. And the grip of such a vagina can be truly vicelike, it’s hard to believe that it’s just ‘soft tissue’! I have had my doubts at different times also–not so much about pelvis being too small, but that the woman would simply not be able to avoid tearing badly….but was wrong. Birth does amazing things to/for/with women. Especially women doing the birth dance as intuitively and well as the one in that story!


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