Meconium is not automatically an emergency. There was meconium in the waters during both my births. In a hospital birth, when meconium is seen by health care providers, it often throws them into a panic. Meconium canindicate a problem, but that not a given. Disagreement exists among medical professionals regarding the correct course of action when meconium is present. However, there is reason to believe this is unnecessary and possibly even harmful. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, "There is evidence that tracheal suctioning of the vigorous infant with meconium-stained fluid does not improve outcome and may cause complications." As I often heard on cbirth during my pregnancy, "It's not a problem unless it's a problem."

MAS (Meconium Aspiration Syndrome) - That's what health care professionals are worried about. It's my belief that it's not neccessary to panic and call 911 if you discover there's meconium in the waters, *unless* you have a deep down gut feeling that there is something wrong. If you're intuition is telling you to call 911, by all means don't be disuaded by my opinion. :-D

So why did I transport? Well... It wasn't because I believed there was something wrong with my baby. As my baby crowned, my husband noticed the meconium. He felt afraid and didn't know what to do. So he asked my permission to call 911 and I assented. Was that the right choice? I don't know. It was the decision I made at the time.

I didn't agree to calling 911 because of the meconium. In fact, I was only vaguely aware of the mec. I saw the mec, noted it, but disregarded it as unimportant. I agreed because of my own fears, my fear that I was going to be one of those amazingly rare women who experienced shoulder dystocia. When you're in labor, time has very little meaning to you. A minute may feel like an eternity or an hour, mere seconds. I thought it was taking too long. Just as I thought, fleetingly, that a c-section was the answer. :-P That was my fear talking, not my intuition. And I knew it at the time, I just made the decision to give in to it anyway.

Immediately after my husband made the call, I began to push and Nova's head was delivered. Even thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes, the raw realness of it thrills me. When I first wrote Nova's birth story, I stated that I NEVER wanted to do that again. She's ten months old now, and I'd LOVE to do it again. All of it.

It was amazing. It was what I wanted, what we both needed. The experience was a gift. It has changed me, enriched me, empowered me. After the birth I wrote, ".... it was too much for a mere mortal to experience.... I've seen the Deity and lived to tell the tale." And it's true. Not only have I seen God and lived to tell the tale, but she lives within me now, forever a part of my body and soul. They say the body is a temple. It's true.

January 2003