She sees her role as a witness in labour, watching and listening, only speaking when she needs to. Every visit she tells me that my baby will just be born - it will just happen, because that's what my body was made to do. I am nature and nature always works things out.
Val currently works from a low-risk birthing centre and is working towards developing a homebirth option in the very near future. If I were to choose to have a homebirth I would need to employ a private midwife which would cost me above and beyond $5000 with no rebate from medicare. The birthing centre I have chosen is the closest thing to birthing at home - if (when) all goes well I will be home in bed within four hours and Val will visit me for post-natal care for a week after the baby's arrival. I have all the support and encouragement of a fabulous midwife and thanks to the Australian health system, it doesn't cost me a cent. Not one.
Considering Val will be coming into our home for baby's first week Daniel and I felt it was important that Che meet her. So on Wednesday we took the long drive to the hospital, talking along the way about the fact that Ommi or Mama will be looking after him when it's time for the baby to be born. He was so curious and inquisitive, asked lots of questions (mostly 'why?') and got to choose whether the baby's heartbeat sounded like galloping horses or a train on a track. Val put the doppler on his chest after she had listened to baby and with the humour that she brings to everything, wondered if he thought there was a baby inside him too. I have no doubt that she'll make me laugh in my labour and laughter is really the best thing for dilating, relaxing and surrendering into the journey.
We took Che to look at the beautiful birthing suites with their big baths and comfy cushions and then left for home. He was exhausted, so much to think about, and for these past few days he has been saying that Val is the baby's teacher and Muma's midwife.
Baby is already head down, bum up, spine against belly. In a perfect birthing position.