Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Privelege

It is a privilege and an honor to be an attendant at births. At such an intimate time (hours, days), I am enveloped into a family and their version of "normal". It is incredible to be invited and present during these miraculous, yet completely earthy, moments. As an example of how different families can be, here are two of my three last births:
#1- A doula client: their house- a top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art model home in a very upscale golf course neighborhood, where the son and husband were always playing Wii or watching movies at our prenatals. She was tan, perky, always made-up and gorgeous. Throughout the birth there were jokes with the staff and current movies being quoted. He got takeout from Chili's for himself and me for supper. Her 14-year-old niece stayed the night at the hospital and watched the birth. They were so happy.
#2- A midwive's assistant birth: A very devoutly religious family with 7 kids who lived in a very modest-sized house on a good-size chunk of land. The 4-year-old girl held my hand and showed me the chickens, pigs, garden, new milking machine, and red ant nest. The girls in their long skirts and dresses, the boys in their button-up shirts were barefoot all day long, climbing trees and chasing chicks and kittens. They said their prayers before meals and did their chores. I held the little boys when they hurt themselves and cried. I played piano for them and the girls asked me about my hair style. They made their own PB&Js for lunch, and the popsicles I brought were a rare treat.
I believe that I am starting to fully appreciate what a wondrous thing it is that I get to be in these families lives, so intimately, though temporarily. I love that I get to see so many different variations of "normal" family. I get to see what each family values, and elevates to primary importance, during each birth I attend. It is incredible to see how people relate and show love and consideration for one another. Occasionally I encounter some ugly situations, but usually I see positive interactions. I can then incorporate these things into my own life and family. I learn and grow through each baby being born. What a miracle. What an honor.


Anna said...

I love to hear about your experiences with birth. Not only is it a privilege for you to be there, but it was certainly a privilege to have you and Margaret in my home for Andrew's birth. It was really wonderful to know I was in good hands with good friends, and how you both let Doug be a part of the whole process was so meaningful for us.

http://100books26miles.blogspot.com/ said...

I just read through your blog. Your stories are so beautiful and moving. Your story of stillbirth was written on my third son's 6th brithday, I cried when I read it.
I have six children, the first was a 26 hour labor ending in a C-Section, followed by four three hour labors with hospital or home birth, and finally a 45 minute labor ending at home with nobody attending me but my husband (this was not planned, but was a lovely blessing).
I would like to know more about Christian midwifery, can you give me a bit of direction?

Missy said...

I am the clutzy author of the above comment, my name is Missy and I found you at Femina. Sorry about that.

Missy said...

I'm the "Poutine" Avoiding Missy.