Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#LifeOfAMidwife: Fluidity

The phone rang, I am hopeful that it is a woman in labor. It has been a couple weeks since I was able to catch a baby, and I feel the urge tickling in my fingers.

I can tell instantly from her voice that this is not the reason for her call. She is early in her pregnancy and experiencing spotting, she is nervous and concerned. We talk. I offer her reassurance and comfort; based on her symptoms this could be nothing or it could be everything. After our discussion, we hang up the phone with plans for her to call me with any needs or changes in her symptoms.

Mere moments later, the phone rings again. This time it is a Mama in labor. Her man is the caller and I can hear her in the background working with her labor. We talk. It is still a little early in the process, so I offer reassurance and comfort. We review labor patterns, I encourage good hydration, eating a light meal and movement. We hang up the phone with plans for them to touch bases with me soon.

Another call, the first Mama. Her bleeding has increased, she is crying, she has questions. We talk. I offer her comfort and a shoulder to cry on; I tell her that now her symptoms are likely a miscarriage happening. Based on those symptoms and the timing of her pregnancy, I recommend that she go the hospital for an evaluation, she agrees.

A short while later and the phone is ringing again. The laboring Mama is ready to come in. When they arrive, she is beautiful, alight in that sweaty glow of labor.  She and her man are working together in such a sweet way.  She progresses well and has a sublime waterbirth to welcome her babe Earthside. It is a birth that feeds the soul of the world. They are then snuggled up in bed, safe and warm.

A final call, the other sweet Mama is now home from the hospital. She has indeed lost her baby, she is heartbroken. We talk, mostly I listen. There are no magic words for these experiences, the only healing is through time. Having someone to listen and simply be present is the support we can give. We then schedule an appointment for her to come in, so we can give her more love and help her through this process.

This is the life of a midwife.....

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I have to admit that I am pretty much out of the "hashtag" loop, but I couldn't resist....
I have been having a lot of random thoughts lately, so I decided to just list them all together as things that you experience, say and feel as a midwife. Perhaps it will become a little series. Hope you enjoy installment #1 :)

  • Midwives talk about sex a lot; sex to conceive, sex to not conceive, sex during pregnancy, sex after pregnancy, sex during menopause...I think you get the idea here. I recently had one of these sex conversations with a pregnant couple. They were concerned that recently after sex, she had a "long but mild" contraction. We then had a discussion all about oxytocin and orgasm and I said that besides just having sex, they must have had really good sex! Oh boy, the bright red blush x 2 that happened in that room; priceless.

  • When you are at home and doing laundry, you have to wonder "Is this blood or meconium or amniotic fluid or adult stool or...." You get the point.

  • Speaking of body fluids, there is nothing quit like being showered, sprayed, anointed, and getting soaked through your clothes with amniotic fluid during the birth process. I have had amniotic fluid in places I don't care to mention!

  • Experiencing the honor of having the soon to be Mama, who is working so hard, place her head on your shoulder, or place her head forehead to forehead with yours,  to have her lean on your shoulders, to have her clasp your hand in hers, or to be there for her when she opens her eyes looking for comfort and strength. Time can stop in these moments and leave you breathless.