All week I contemplated what I would say as we came to another mother’s day.
Initially I was going to write a poem… a sort of “Ode to Mothers” if you will. I had planned to say all of the wonderful things I could think to say about mothers. I was going to mention how strong they are, how loving they are, how connected and special they are and how they are the key to my calling: for without mothers there would be no midwives. In the midst of my thoughts I took a flight for work and met a woman on her way to visit her newest grand baby.
I initially was not really interested in having a conversation with a stranger on a plane. I was a bit sleepy; I had pulled a muscle in my back; and in spite of the stretching, and the naproxen sodium, my back was killing me. While I was not really up for conversation, I felt I had little choice when the perky lady sitting next to me stuck her hand out and said “Hi I’m Mary.”
I shook her hand reluctantly and we began the normal chit chat of strangers on a plane. She eventually said… “What do you do for a living if you don’t mind me asking?” Over the years I have answered this question MANY different ways depending on the circumstances, who I was speaking with, and why they were asking. This day I decided to simply say… “I’m a midwife.” I said it flatly with no enthusiasm or any energy in my voice. She continues to be oblivious to my lack of interested energy and exclaims “OMG!! That is wonderful. I am actually on my way to see my grand baby in San Antonio!!”
From that point on she couldn’t stop telling me about her family… Her five children; Her five grandchildren; Her mother also had 5 children. “There is something about fives in my family” I smile and nod and agree.
She tells me over and over how “Wonderful it must be to have a career where I get hugs after my work is done!” She says she can’t imagine working in such a profession where people are so grateful for the work I do. She tells me she can’t imagine how rewarding that must be; participating in the miracle of birth. “I mean having a baby is such an important time in a woman’s life.” Yes it is important I say in agreement. She keeps talking and I continue to smile and nod.
She shares some of the details of her 5 births: “My first 3 were ‘all natural.’ My daughter had an epidural. And well you know they didn’t have all those inducing agents back then.”
She tells me the first three were really easy but she got an epidural with the last one. “Well cause after Michael… you see he was 10 pounds and the hardest. I was laboring and nothing was happening so my doctor gave me something to induce me. And well his head came out easy but his shoulders wouldn’t come and the doctor had to work real hard to get him out. And he cut this huge episiotomy… 22 stitches I had to have… but Michael did fine”
Yep, she declared again… “Michael was the hardest but he turned out fine and well I thought I was done having babies but I kept having this dream.” Three times she had this dream about having another baby. She spoke with her husband about her dream and soon found herself happily pregnant with baby number 5 at 40 years of age. “I got an epidural with that one. After Michael, I just couldn’t do it again”
I love listening to women recall their birth stories so I smiled and nodded as she told me again how wonderful my job must be and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful profession. As we were leaving the plane I told her to be sure to enjoy her newest grand baby. She gave me her blessings to continue the wonderful work that I do helping mammas and babies.
And so to get back to this Mother’s Day… I just want to take a moment to say THANK YOU!!! Thank you to God, to The Universe, to The Most High for giving me divine guidance so that I would answer my calling. Thank you for guiding me now as I receive continual signs that my time is near where I will once again be “with woman” helping them to birth their babies and become mothers.
Thank you to all the mothers who have allowed me to be a part of their personal miracles: both those who I have already met and those whose paths I will cross in my future.
Thank you to my mother, and my grandmother, and her mother, and her mother, and all the mothers before her whose genetics I carry. The genetics that remind me I come from a strong line of powerful women.
And finally I say THANK YOU to Mary from Kentucky: a very proud mother and grandmother who reminded me just how wonderful it is to be a Midwife. Who reminded me that it is indeed a miracle to be a part of birth, and who reminded me that it is unique and special to be among the few who are blessed with the work of creating and supporting mothers .
Blessings and Happy mother’s day to all of you!!! May your days be filled with things that continue to inspire you to Birth Something Beautiful!!
In Birth and Love