The term midwife derives from old English and simply means WITH WOMAN.
Once you have experienced birth yourself or witnessed it of someone else, this fact becomes ever so apparent.
I Didn’t Want To Go Through Birth Again
During and after the birth of my first baby, I thought I knew the importance of a good midwife. I was lucky with a fabulous and experienced woman who saw me from beginning to end. She was diligent and knowledgeable and reacted quickly to anything not quite right. She left me and my husband on our own when she knew it was right, and was there when we needed her to be. But I walked away from this birth terrified to ever go through it again and thought about the pain long after I had my baby.
But I Went Back For A 2nd Time
It was not until my second child was entering this world though, that their role of being ‘with woman’ really hit home for me.
In those final moments, those final contractions, a woman can feel trapped. The end is near, but the intensity can be frightening. It is too late for an epidural and other narcotic pain relief and you have no choice but to endure it.
It was Too Late
In the final hour of my birth, I had this very moment. I looked over to the two new midwives who’s shift had just started and desperately asked for pain relief. But the answer was clear. It was too late. The young woman looked at me with a compassionate smile that told me everything I needed to know. It was far too late. This baby was coming soon. And boy did I feel it. Her eyes stayed on mine and I understood that I had no out, but I also knew that neither did she. They were just as much a part of it as I was. Her heartfelt sympathy meant so much to me, that although I was feeling distressed and disheartened, exhausted and scared, she understood.
There For The Ride
As the woman giving birth to a child, and the support people around her, there is never a clear answer to how long there is to go or what complications may arise, they are simply with you for the ride. Not to mention that they have the world on their shoulders to ensure you and this baby are safe.
I Never Felt Alone
During every struggle to push, every moan and relentless desire to give up, these women were with me. Not a negative word was spoken but rather every encouragement under the sun was given! One ready to catch my baby and the other holding my hand telling me I was doing great, telling me my baby was almost here. Each time I cried out to know if anything was happening, they knew the words to say. There was never a moment that I felt alone or that I wasn’t capable.
A midwife sees you at your best and worst. They are a complete stranger whose role is to be completely aware of your body, more than anyone else ever will be. They clean and protect the bleeding, the tearing, and all and any bodily excretions that occur during childbirth.
It Is Not A Glamorous Job
It is not an easy job. But it happens to be one of the most important jobs in the world. Midwives make all the difference in how a woman responds to and reacts to the experience of her birth. No matter the complications.
In my second birth I had less pain relief and felt and experienced much more then I did the first time, and as a result was more aware to those around me. This birth was longer and harder. And yet I walked away feeling positive. I was without fear. And I know it was because of these two woman who met me in the last hour of intense pain, fear and in my most vulnerable condition.
They were truly with me. They were truly with this woman.
Did you have a midwife by your side at birth? Share your experience in the comments below: