Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Today is a very special day. First it is Tuesday which means it is Gratituesday. A day set aside to give thanks. The second is, today is the International Day of the Midwife. I know there are all kinds of International Day celebrations. Some are down right silly like Lumpy Rug Day or the National Candied Orange Peel Day. But today is a celebration of midwifery.

Midwives are cut from a different cloth. We tend to be on call 24/7. Unlike the hospital routine, a home birth midwife doesn't get "days off". That means we take our phones with us everywhere. Yes, everywhere! We drive separately to church in case we get called to a birth. We are the ones if we brave a movie, keep our phone in our laps and on vibrate. We don't take cough syrup that contains codeine for fear we won't wake up when the call comes. No sleeping pills for the rough nights when you simply can't get to sleep. We are the ones who have to excuse ourselves at the Christmas dinner when the call comes.

We walk beside women when they find out they are pregnant. We hold their hands and catch their tears if they miscarry. We are privileged to witness their marriages, good and bad. We watch as mother in-laws and grandma's forget it isn't their birth this time around. We hold their hands when they weep thinking they will be pregnant FOREVER.  We answer questions about their bodies, their children's bodies, and yes their husbands bodies.

We walk with them as their bellies get bigger and bigger. We assure those new Mama's who are just sure their bellies will just pop one day and the baby tumble out. We champion the rights of these strong Mamas to birth the way they want, with out any out side influence, yes, including ours.  We remind ourselves that for us too, this birth and this baby are not ours.

When the call finally comes, we come just as we are. Sometimes we are in ball gowns, sometimes a Halloween costume, sometimes in sweats with our hair pulled up in a bun. Brushing our teeth is the only important thing we do before coming to a birth. We can fly out the door in 2.5 seconds to get there in time. How we look doesn't matter a bit.

We could be at the home for 24 hours, wiping away the sweat, squeezing hips to help control the pain, doing head squeezes to move the pain. We sing, we pray, we encourage. We use our hands to comfort and our words to soothe. We could also be there 2 minutes, running in with our arms wide open to receive a baby that is in a hurry to be welcomed into their brave new world. We get peed on, pooped on, we have placentas fall onto our new sandals or in our laps. We get covered in amniotic fluid at times. It never bothers us because it is just part of the package. We catch babies on our knees, crouched in a tiny corner of the bathroom, in the birth tub or squating in a shower, and hopefully we never ever drop a baby!

We get to witness each and every holy moment. We watch young ladies transformed into first time mothers. We get to witness the love between a husband and wife. We get to watch children witness the miracle of birth of their siblings. We get to watch as a mother of 8 turn into a mother of 9. It never gets old. We watch, we listen and we serve. There is no other "profession" that pushes us to the limits. We can be dogged tired but manage to exude the confidence every Mama needs to witness.

I am thankful beyond measure for my profession. I am so thankful that I waited till all my babies were grown and gone. I come to this with no regrets. I get to experience every day life's greatest mystery, the creation and birth of a new little soul.

Thank you Lord. You have blessed me beyond measure. Happy International Day of the Midwife

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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