Happy International Day of the Midwife!
Happy International Midwives Day!
Since it is International Midwives Day I am unashamedly going to toot our own horn, and tell you what I love about midwives and what we do.
I was delivered by a midwife in England, had midwives at most of my own births, and am proud to be a midwife. One thing I really love about midwifery is that it is we are present in what is likely to be the most vulnerable moment in a woman/birthing parent’s life. For that moment, we are welcomed by the woman or birthing person into their private space. When I was a student, I attended a labour of an Old Order Mennonite in her home. She peeled apples to distract herself from the labour pains until she could no longer do so and then walked into her room where we caught her baby as she leaned over her wrought iron bed rail. I held back my own tears after watching a couple cry holding their newborn daughter after many years of fertility treatment. And I’ve been fed by countless Grandmas and mother-in-laws whose culture of hospitality has meant my day of homevisits included some delicious food that somehow didn’t make it home to be shared with my husband. Who could blame me? The food smelled and tasted amazing.
Sometimes that private space involves grieving. Drinking tea with women or parents who have lost their babies is not something I thought of when I applied to be a midwife, but those conversations and visits are an important and meaningful part of what we do. Midwives walk with women and families in the happiest, and sometimes the saddest moments in their lives.
I love living in Milton because it is still a small enough town that I often run into previous clients. They will inevitably turn to their toddler and say “this is Abigail, she delivered you. Do you remember her?” And of course the child doesn’t, but the parents will never forget. And that’s another part of midwifery that I love. If you have to get woken up at 2am, at least it will be for an event that will not be forgotten.