Today, during your birth, I finally felt free.
You do not know me, and I do not know you. But I walked into your room and into your care and I felt honored to create space for you, unknowing you would be doing so for me.
I had spent the morning with a midwifery student who I already know is (going to be) a kickass midwife, just now refining skills and language and nuance.
I was working with a physician I trusted and who (I think) trusts me. She asked me to attend your birth while she was in a surgery.
I was invited in by the Family Practice Resident who was excited to work with me again.
And then it was time for you and your baby to work through the final steps together.
You don’t know this about me, and in reality many people, who I surround myself with everyday, don’t, but I’ve been through a tough year. When I did not feel free. When I felt anything but. Anything but myself. Anything but present in my life. Anything but present for many others. When work was more an escape than a passion. When the calm that dawned over me in moments like the silence in your birth room felt scary rather than foundational.
The presence you created, as the emotionally birthing and physically working person in the room, was phenomenal. Your strength, and power, and beauty, and patience, and honesty were heard and seen and respected and honored.
I watched the Family Practice Resident set herself up for the hands-off approach she remembers I practice. I watched your family love and cherish you, and celebrate every milestone. I watched your partner enter, nervous and sweaty, and come immediately to your side in awe. And I watched you settle into your process.
I don’t know what kind of year you’ve been through. Just before the pregnancy, just at the beginning, at the uncertain but happy points, at the certain but sad ones, at the moments of understanding your labor, and at the threshold of birth. Perhaps your year was also tough. Perhaps even now you do not feel free. Perhaps you always have. Perhaps you will later. Perhaps you never will.
What I did know was that in that moment, multiple people in the room were pushing through something. The Family Practice Resident, hands floating with mine far away just in case, was solidifying her own style through a prism of my own. Your family was on the precipice of earning new titles and embarking on responsibilities for a newborn. You were moments away from an empty belly and full arms and an exploding heart.
And suddenly I felt this bright light shine through me, bearing witness to all of the beauty you created, and I realized that I was in that space, fully myself, fully present, and fully free.
And then new life entered the room.