When I met you at the beginning of my pregnancy I didn’t realize how much you would effect my life. I knew you would effect my birth, but I did not know how often I would think of you after that day. I think of you almost daily. I marvel at the wonderful day that was the birth of my second daughter. I am thankful for you and your wonderful gift you shared with my family. I know you probably don’t think about me as often as I think of you. I was a mere moment in your life while you are a part of one of the greatest days of my life. My daughter is almost a year old and here I am, tearing up at the joy of the beautify day she was born. I am thankful for my tiny treasure, of that I am sure. But more than that, I am thankful of the experience you allowed me to have. I have an equally wonderful tiny treasure, my firstborn, but I did not have an equally wonderful experience that was her birth.
As you know, my first child was a cesarean section. The only labor I had with her was my water breaking. I was at the hospital an hour later and whisked into surgery an hour after that. My water broke and 4 hours later I had a beautiful baby. I also had a major surgery that was completely unnecessary and avoidable. I do not look upon that day with fondness and joy. I do not wish to go back to that day an experience it all over again, exactly as it happened. When I think about the birth of my first child, I still have a hard time calling it a “birth” as I did nothing more than lay on a table while my baby was cut out of me. But when I think about that day, I wish I could do it all over again, differently. I wish I could have a better day, a better birth, a better memory. When I look upon the day my beautiful second child was born, the day you were there with us, I look upon it with wonderment, awe, happiness and a yearning to go back and experience it again and again and again.
You may think you know what you and your skill have done for me, but you do not really know. I thought I was incomplete, not a true mother because I did not have a labor and delivery experience. When other mom’s talked about their child’s birth day, I had no story to retell. I did not labor, I did not birth my baby. I knew nothing of the long, hard, and oh so worth it journey through labor and delivery. I sat silently among my mommy friends and enviously listened to their stories. I wished I had my own story to tell. I hoped beyond hope that I would one day, if the doctors allowed me to try for a VBAC, that I would have my own story to tell.
You helped me create my story. And for that I am eternally grateful. You loved me and cared for me throughout my pregnancy. I heard the encouragement and advice you gave me. I thought I realized what this meant, and on some level I did. Your words and actions did not truly make sense to me until I was in labor. I was a second time mom, but this was my first labor and birth. My pregnancy was relatively easy, I had no problems and breezed through it with little help from you, as a woman should. You were there for me, but that was your job.
The day I went into labor was a very long day. I am sure I woke you up when I sent you a text a little after midnight. You immediately responded and kept in touch throughout the night. In the morning when I thought I had progressed, you came to me to check on me. I had not progressed far enough for you to stay, so you gave me more words of advice and encouragement and left me to labor in the comfort of my home, to do as I would like. My family enjoyed the day, we went to the park and spent some quality time together. You checked in with me throughout the day and in the evening decided it was time to come back. You were with me for about an hour and saw I wasn’t progressing enough for you to stay. I’m sure you remember, when you said you were going home my water broke and your long day became even longer.
I never felt any fear. I never felt alone, like it was too much, or that I wasn’t being listened to. I was enveloped in love, kindness and happiness. I knew I could do this, and I knew YOU knew I could do this. When baby needed to come out ASAP, I knew there was a reason and we were safe. I never felt any fear.
I knew you would not risk my life or the life of my baby. I knew if things got bad you would get us safely to the hospital. I knew you would allow me to labor naturally and not intrude upon this beautiful process. I knew you would think of me and my child, for our health and safety. I knew you were not thinking about your own comfort, what a long day it had been and still was, not of your insurance policy and what you could do to make sure it was safe, not of your institution or hospital and what you could do to make things run smoothly there. You were there for ME, not for yourself. I could feel this. This is when the weight of our time together hit me. During our prenatal appointments you always uplifted me. You never doubted me or my body. You set me up to succeed.
I truly believe you are one of the main reasons I was able to achieve my vaginal birth. I know I was the biggest part of achieving my vaginal birth, I know I could have done it without you. I also know I would have had to fight for my right to labor and deliver naturally had I been in a hospital. Had that happened, I would not have the beautiful birth story and memory I have now. You, by being a midwife who delivers at home, gave me the option and opportunity to have the birth I wanted. You trusted my body and you trusted your training.
I wish there was something I could do or a gift I could give you that would completely convey how much you and this experience mean to me. There is nothing in this world that can come close to showing or telling you my feelings.
Thank you my dear midwives. Thank you for trusting women to give birth to their babies, thank you for choosing this profession. Thank you for loving the moms you serve and thank you for serving us. Truly this is what you are doing, serving us with a loving heart and helping us have a safe, happy, loving birth.
A thankful and joyful Mom