One of my favorite things about being a midwife is…
… realizing the strength and power of vaginas.
… an excited parent’s held breath and cries at first hearing their baby’s heartbeat.
… laughing with my patients.
… experienced nurses crying during beautiful births.
… hearing that she is so comfortable with me and my care that she needs to tell me something she has never told anyone before.
… supporting breastfeeding.
… having a spare moment or two to discuss sexual pleasure.
… advocating for evidence-based care.
… reading notes from my collaborator that recommend “Coochie Cream” for shaving irritation.
… finding someone the perfect birth control method for their needs and lifestyle.
… talking about cleaning sex toys. Really, talking about sex toys at all.
… crying with my patients.
… introducing a menopausal woman to lubricant.
… watching a baby visibly dance around in the belly, and the clinic staff ooh-ing and aah-ing with the mom-to-be.
… the water breaking during pushing, and the baby coming out on a wave.
… a woman telling me she did not know a pap smear could be without pain.
… teaching how to use the female condom.
… seeing her every three months for her Depo shot, and having regular updates on her life: successes, frustrations, changes, and goals.
… advocating for effective, long-active reversible contraceptives.
… my Centering Pregnancy groups.
… talking about consent and partner communication with teenage women.
… sweeping membranes and seeing her the next day at the hospital in spontaneous, active labor.
… being with my own patients during their labor and birth.
… women teaching me something new.
… teaching IUD self-string checks.
… the mom and toddler pair who lay next to each other on the exam table when it’s time to listen to the fetal heart tones.
… someone asking me what I do, and saying that I am the first person they have ever met who is a midwife.
… the great comments people leave on this website, or on Facebook, or on Twitter, in support of my feminist or midwife writing.
… my constant search to be better, to know more, and constantly love what I do.
… hearing how excited a woman is about her new partner, or her job, or her pregnancy, or her family’s growth.
… supportively guiding a woman with an unwanted pregnancy through her termination and after care.
… when the mother grabs for her baby as it is born.
… leaving the clinic or the hospital, smiling.