I could tell that you did not want to be there.
I could tell that you did not want anyone to be there.
I introduced myself, asked if you were comfortable, and offered if there was anything I could do. You turned away from me, saw your family was there, and then turned the other way, away from all of us.
I heard them talk down to you. I heard them belittle and patronize and make fun of your labor. I heard no respect, no kindness, and no love in their words, though maybe it was in there somewhere and I didn’t understand. But maybe not. You continued to look away.
I talked back, and really just talked out loud, encouraging you and reminding you of your strength. Even though I had just met you that morning, I reminded you that you deserved respect, and kindness, and love. I put that out there for you to hear. I hope you did.
You did not call when you started pushing. I was with another woman in labor, and your baby’s heartbeat called out, letting me know it was time.
You were silent as he was born, only giving a sigh as he started crying.
I offered him to you. You shook your head and turned away.
I told you I was proud of you. I told you I was in awe of your strength. I told you I was honored to have cared for you. And that I was there for you if you needed me.