…I fell in love with women like it was the first time, the first time I found the work to which I wanted to dedicate my life.
…I cried at every birth, for the beauty, for the joy, for the family, for her strength, and for the love.
…the music in the car on the drive home needed, mandated that it be loud enough to rattle my ribs, shake the bones that hold my core, remind me of the very fiber of my being.
…my heart soared at every turn.
…I watched her count out the money from her car in the parking lot to find out if she could afford today’s sliding scale, and I screamed on the inside when it was not enough.
…I felt like I failed.
…I was thankful for the noise of the shower to drown out a moment of emotional release, a needed cry, or a true sobbing, before returning to the day.
…I fought with everything I had.
…the time constraints, the money, the system, the infrastructure, the players, and the game just did not work, and it seemed like everything failed those for whom more is deserved.
…I felt like I succeeded.
…everyone I came into contact with reminded me of my loved ones, their curly hair, or laugh lines, or bright eyes, or pained smile, or full laugh, and made me wonder what that should mean about caring and connectedness.
…I watched him talk over her, answer her questions for her, and I weighed her safety at home if I might ask him to leave so that we could speak alone, hoping that my connection with her for those moments would be enough for today.
…I heard her whispered questions about sex so people in the hallway would not hear.
…I loved every moment.
…every appointment was a story so full of an individual woman’s battle in her life, a story so connected to every woman’s life, and so wrought with emotion that to walk into one more room might break me, but to not walk in when she might need me the most would break me more.
…I took the long way home to settle my mind, to work through the day’s intensity, to finish my thoughts, before starting the evening with my family.
…I laughed out loud with every patient’s joy.
…I danced to baby heartbeats.
…I thought of her all night, and wanted to call her and help and comfort and tell her everything would be okay, knowing I could check-in tomorrow or wait until next week, slowly learning the line between provider and friend.
…she taught me far more than I could ever teach her.
…their family gave me hope.
…the stars aligned.
…I felt like I had both nothing and everything at the end of the day.
…I held her while she cried in happiness, in pain, in frustration, in defeat, in success.
…I was a midwife.