As I get closer and closer to the end, the end of the beginning at least, I meditate on what kind of midwife I will be.
And just last night I was asked to have a blessing ready for one of my private clients for her blessingway.
It struck me as a profound honor...and it struck me as quite extraordinary that it was mine to give...Finding myself in a place like that is...
A long time ago (almost 4 years)I attended a seminar with many midwives and doulas. Part of that seminar was to set an intention for the future.
My intention was simple. I wanted to be a vessel for the strength of women. At the time I envisioned it to mean birth...
that I would meet women where they were in their journey to birth, and provide what they needed to find their strength and their way through those moments.
And daily I ponder what that means, daily I renew that commitment to women, but it expands to mean all families that I have the privilege to attend.
It expanded to encompass...
Every time I touch a belly
Every time I listen to fetal heart tones.
Every time I do a Pap (yes it can be quite empowering for women when they are in control of the experience)
Ever time I listen....to a question, to a complaint, to a fear, to a joyful 1st cry of a newborn.
Birth is the lovely reward, birth is quite a gift for the midwife. I have found that being a midwife can be quite ego pleasing in those moments. You can get addicted to the reward, the love that flows from people in those moments, the joy of being in those situations, and the gratitude for your presence.
For some women it is the 1st time in their live that a care provider has showed them a measure of respect.
I say that birth is the icing and the care you give is the sustenance( ok the cake :)
While that is ok to soak in that gratitude. I have seen many midwives live on that sugary reward.
So this post is a bit of a wandering yarn at this point but if you are reading, I think I am coming to my point.
I still hold that intention, to be the vessel. To meet families where they are at, to listen, to let their energy guide the interaction prenatally, in the labor and birth, and postpartum.
I have ideas, I have information and lots of it, I have fears and reservations, I have lots of stories, I have lots of things I put meaning into, I have imperfections (some would say too many).
But...somewhere in all of what I am, there is a place of emptiness. There is a place to allow other peoples wishes, desires, fears, strengths, stories too to guide my hands and heart to be exactly what is needed in the moment. Whatever that is.
After all the information and experiences I have had this year, that is still my intention, putting it out there in this place is a renewal of that.
May I always be grateful to be in the position...
to touch a belly (always with permission)
to listen to heart tones
to listen to fears
to have a fathers or mothers hands (not mine) to be the 1st to touch a babies head as it crowns
to be there when a complication arises and my hands are needed
to give lab results that are perfect, and imperfect
to help someone grieve
and all those other things that midwives do.
What a place to be in? Very ripe with responsibility but a place where you can allow the strength of the people for whom you provide that care, to guide you to do what is needed in each moment. Sigh.....