Holiday Midwife

There are times when I feel like my clients know me way better than they have any need to simply because of this blog of mine.

And there are other times when I am baffled and want to say, “Um, have you not READ my blog?” even though I know that they have.

We are in the throws of the holiday season, and every year I get the same comments from clients. “I hope I don’t ruin your Thanksgiving.” “Just so long as I don’t have to call you Christmas Eve and take you away from your family.”

Have I not been clear thus far about how I feel about being at your birth? Have I been vague as to the passion that is in my heart for you and your baby? Or do you feel that you are somehow the exception – that I care less about you and your baby than all of these other babies I blog about whose births I’ve attended?

Fine, let me make it absolutely as clear as I possibly can – I am honored and excited to attend the birth of your baby. Period. That is without qualifications. It is a gift YOU give to ME…not something I do for you. If it’s on my birthday, it’s an extra bonus. Christmas Eve? One of the most beautiful births I’ve attended was by Christmas tree lights (Thank you Andrea!). If it’s on one of my own kids’ birthdays – they think it’s something cool that there is someone who shares their birthday. If I get called at 2am, then I probably don’t have to reschedule the next days appointments…and if it’s at 2pm, then I probably got a full nights sleep.

I get asked frequently, “did we call you out at the right time”. My response is always, “Are you happy that I’m here? Then it was the perfect time.”

My job isn’t about convenience! (I think I just snorted coffee even typing that) If I wanted a convenient job I would have chosen a different profession 16 years ago!! I don’t do this job because it’s convenient…I do it because it’s who I am.

99% of you reading this aren’t midwives, and so this may be something you are having trouble wrapping your brain around. But I also know many of you are parents (or will be very soon!) – so let me try to explain my job to you in a way you might be able to recognize and understand. I’m often asked, “What made you want to be a midwife?” My answer is a quip, “What made you want to become a mother?”

HA! Gotcha!! Not such an easy question to answer, is it! Think of all of the downsides to being a mother! It’s CERTAINLY not convenient – EVER! It takes time, it becomes your life. There are stresses, and when it’s good it’s good but when it’s bad it’s aweful. It will exhaust you, take you to the limits of what you can give to another human being, make you question yourself and your own sanity….

And yet we choose to do it…sometimes repeatedly. Why? It’s that baby’s laughter. It’s the cuddle first thing in the morning. It’s seeing them make good decisions with friends. It’s watching this person going into the world and knowing that if you die now you made a difference in this world – and a good difference! Because the rewards are well worth the effort.

Are you getting the picture? Sure I get called away at a moments notice, I can’t leave town, I don’t go on vacation or drink as much alcohol tonight as I would want to. I miss Christmas Eve and have to duck out of movies. I sneak out in the middle of the night and sneak back in before first light. There are days when I’m in a zombie state from lack of sleep. But then I watch a new mom nursing her baby and say to me with tears in her eyes, “I am a rockstar!”

(I have to pause a moment – typing that made tears spill down my cheeks. I need to grab tissues….be right back.)

Ok, I’ll try to continue.

It’s seeing someone who doubted their body get renewed faith in the perfection that is THEM. It’s the look on dads face as he scoops his baby out of the water and hands him to mom. It’s getting picture Christmas cards that say, “Thank you for all you did for our family.” It’s knowing that I made a positive difference in that family’s life and they will never forget me.

And you were afraid you’d be bothering me by calling on a holiday or in the middle of the night….I hope you are feeling silly about now. I would tell my children, “Never doubt my love for you.”

I could say the same thing to my clients.

9 Comments

  1. Crys wrote:

    <3 and much of the same to doula clients.

    THIS is why you are such a phenomenal midwife (well, it's a large part of a long list). It is certainly not your job, and that makes all the difference to the women who receive your unconditional love.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  2. Angela Padilla wrote:

    Crap Stephanie! You made me cry! AH! I love you and I love this post. You are an amazing person, we love you!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  3. Jennifer wrote:

    This is why I love you. Absolutly, completly, and totally.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  4. Melissa wrote:

    Love you!! Thank you for writing this, I’m glad I don’t have to feel bad now if we end up with a Christmas or New Year’s baby. 🙂

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  5. Laura wrote:

    As the days tick down toward Christmas and I start to worry about urging my baby to hurry up and evacuate so I don’t spoil your holiday, I will re-read this and be patient with my body and my baby. Thank you for your dedication to your calling.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  6. Brittney wrote:

    Yes, I do feel silly now… thank you. 😉 And I’m still glad my baby came on a pretty convenient day. I think it’s so hard for all of us to understand because you are one of a kind! And I love you for it!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
  7. Tinisha wrote:

    I really felt I got a stern talking to there at first. And then you wrapped it all up with an AWWWW! <3

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 1:01 am | Permalink
  8. Alice wrote:

    I went into labor Christmas day with my first and called the midwife at 6 or 7 pm. I never asked if we had taken her away from Christmas dinner because I didn’t want to hear the answer! But she was completely pleasant and never mentioned the holiday. I’m so grateful for wonderful midwives!

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink
  9. Kelli wrote:

    You made me cry at work! Lol

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

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