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Birth: Stuck Shoulders, a Metaphor for Life


By Nichole Kuechle



Three years ago I pushed our youngest daughter into the world in a beautiful, calm, and quiet home water birth. Just last week I was sharing this video with a friend and acquaintance as she is delivering at home with the same midwives within the month.

I don’t know if it was the timing or the reflective space of life I am in, however, the video and memory of this birth and its challenges touched me in a way it never has. Watching this last week made me fully realize how much I am inspired by viewing my own determination, perseverance and patience as this 9 lb 4 oz baby girl birthed gently from my body. It stands as a huge metaphor for how I work in life. Moving through the phases and processes of mothering require immense amounts of determination, perseverance and patience.

Annie was born with her arm up over her head and her shoulders became stuck. Enter in determination, perseverance and patience on the part of my three midwives in assisting me in safely delivering her into the warm water of our birth tub. I had checked myself at the first urge to push and felt a head at the tip of my finger, though quickly discovered her position was slightly off because I could tell she wasn’t moving down as I pushed. After more relaxation, time and an intuitive widening of my hips, her silky soft head was born. There she stayed for nearly seven minutes until we used the maneuver taught by one of our midwives, Gail Tully, to alleviate the shoulder dystocia and rotate her out.

To watch the talent of these three women working so confidently, calmly and collectively was like hearing the lyrics “like a bridge over troubled waters”. There was no fear, no panic, just consistent communication and cohesiveness as we wise women worked to move my baby out.

If only I could grant upon each of you reading this the trust and patience required by the natural process of birth…our society would be one to gather around mothers to provide her with the safe and knowing sacred ground for this rite of passage.



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About the Author

Nichole Kuechle, My Healthy Beginning
P.O. Box 195
Long Lake, MN 55356
612-418-3801

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