Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Busy Births

As a midwife I took a 2 year hiatus from delivering babies. I had a 1 year old and a 3 year old, I was burnt out by some unfortunate circumstances at my last practice, and a few other reasons that made it the best decision for me and my family.

But recently I was itching to get back to the births. I always missed them, but I started to yearn for the opportunity to labor with moms, to support and help them in ways that no one else could. I have spent enough time with moms to know when they need that extra word of encouragement, when they should change positions, when they need chapstick or a drink of water. And also I have learned when they just need someone to fill the space. To reassure them to know that someone is there even if they aren't doing anything. 

So, the doctor in the practice that I work with decided that it would be a great opportunity for me to get back into the game.  An amazing blessing happened to our practice and our births per month doubled almost over night!  Now I wasn't just there to be with my patients, but I was really needed to help the practice survive and thrive. 

In June I attended 25 births. 25 glorious births with healthy moms and healthy babies. Moms that I felt honored to be there with and other moms who I felt like a long time friend coming to spend some time with them.  All of these babies born were in the hospital. (I don't deliver babies at home, not that I don't want to deliver babies at home, but in my practice I deliver babies at the hospital.) The only way I could possibly be at 25 births a month is by being in the hospital with the wonderful support of the hospital staff and labor and delivery nurses. 

I don't think it would be very wise or very safe for a homebirth midwife to deliver 25 babies a month. Am I correct in that thinking? I was exhausted after just a few days of this, and I only spend a fraction of the time with each mom as a homebirth midwife does. 

Anyway, in the month of July I was present at 26 births. Seriously? I had no idea I could get any busier. And I took a week off!!  From this past Thursday to Sunday I was able to greet 14 babies. I was able to gently lift each baby to its mother's awaiting arms and chest. Each birth was different and special. Some of the births are fuzzy and when I think of those births all I think of is the beautiful mother's that anxiously awaited to hear their newborn baby cry. 

Some births stand out as births I will never forget. I remember the mama who didn't think she was strong enough to birth her baby after having a previous c-section. She cried when she held her baby close, skin to skin, and checked to make sure it was a little boy. 

I remember the mama who was so strong she didn't need anyone with her while giving birth. She prayed and smiled as she sent her husband away to tend to her two other daughters. Quickly, peacefully she birthed her baby and her husband returned when the morning came to have his wife introduce their newest daughter to her big sisters and her daddy. 

I remember the dad who didn't think the baby could be born without me.  He was at the door waiting for me as his wife slowly breathed down her baby that was born seconds before I entered the room. He was shocked when he realized he missed video taping the birth all because I wasn't there in time. The next two days he gave me quite the hard time by teasing me about letting him miss his baby's birth. I in turn teased him back because he thought the midwife was the key to having a baby. (which I hope you all know that is NOT the key!)

I am off call tonight. Basking in the idea of sleeping through the night. However, while this last weekend was a whirlwind, I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Thank you mothers. 
Here was a rare moment that I had at home this weekend with my girls. They were missing their mommy, but they know what I do and they love that I do it. 

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