So you want to be a midwife?
There are times I wonder if I had to make the choice all over again … would I?
The numerous nights spent tossing and turning because I am sure the phone will ring any moment and I can’t miss it. Then the call comes and the pit in your stomach is a mix of dread and excitement. It is filled with the memories of smiles and tears of exhausted mommas and encouraging fathers cherishing the newborn they worked so hard for. Renewed bliss of being a part of something so big, it is beyond words. It just happens …you are an alien, an intrusion in a private, intimate moment. Squishy cheeks, brand new inquisitive eyes, musical cries and emotion… raw emotion and inexplicable joy.
Also the months of dealing with PTSD for those moments that things don’t go quite as planned. When every fiber of your being wants to run, to hide … when the stress is so great that you feel if the very pressure could collapse on you, then the voice that resonates from deep inside, “Deal with it!!” and your mind your thoughts race: Just come out!! Turn, twist, pull and breathe … just please breathe!! I’ll help you breathe! When your training becomes almost automatic and your presence seems surreal. The flickering of life … the assurance of breath… realizing this is all bigger than you. Needing a moment to just let all of the pressure drain from your body.
The eyes of your child as you have to leave again, miss another birthday, another anticipated event… “I’ll make it up when I get back”, but often the time can't be made up, it is like trying to catch a wisp of smoke. Postponed dates, neglected friends with the commitments that always end with “unless I am at a birth.” Your life is somehow no longer yours to control, a revolving nine-month calendar calls the shots and it twists and turns your days. The clients that aren’t just clients but friends and often feel like surrogate daughters. Worrying, striving to give the best care, the safest care …. Am I missing something? They invade your thoughts constantly even years later. You care … maybe too much at times … caring costs … a lot.
Energy poured into lives during a pregnancy, bonds built in birth and sadness and pride in watching families grow and leave. Drained from giving a lot. It isn’t a job… it is a life, a ministry. God’s love flows when I am weakest. God’s strength abounds when I am crumbling. When you are ready to retreat into solitude, hide …. And He pours life and abundance to give more. He is faithful.
Would I choose this again? Yes. It isn’t easy. It is a tough road at times. It is relentless. It calls when you are tired and drained. It asks much, but anything worthwhile does. The greatest blessings require much given. It is a calling and like all callings … it is born in the heart and soul of a person. It gives much in return…. Expressed in the gentlest kiss on a newborn’s head.