I have been thinking a lot lately of the relationship between a midwife and her clients. When a woman is looking for a midwife to attend her birth at home, I believe she has the expectation that this person she is looking for will help to educate her about her choices and empower her through her experience of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This midwife should be the guardian of the sacredness and beauty of her birth, not control the situation to better serve the midwife. It is not about us, but our clients.
I came to midwifery through the birth of my own children. Each very different and empowering in their own way. What troubled me through my own experiences was the unknowing of who would be attending me when I went into labor. I had my first two children in the hospital with obstetricians; both very nice, but one I liked more than the other. This is common when in a group practice. When I started my training to become a midwife, I knew I wanted to work either alone or with one midwife. I knew I only wanted to attend women at home and not work in a hospital. I loved the relationship that developed between the midwife and her clients. I couldn’t see that happening working in a large practice and I so enjoyed seeing clients and their families in their own homes.
I wanted my clients to know who would be there when it was their time to give birth. In the months she and I are together, we come to learn about each other and find trust in one another. I need to trust that she will be taking care of herself and her baby to ensure she will have a healthy pregnancy. And she needs to trust in me and my partner, that we will guide her through a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth and be there, truly be there with her to sometimes carry her through those let moments before her baby enters the world.
Recently, I got to see these many of these women surround me in their love and support during a time of tragedy in my own life. To see these women gather around me, sending their love and prayers and well wishes, literally blew me away. I didn’t realize how deeply I touched their own lives until they touched mine. I am honored beyond words to midwife the women that choose me, through the most special time in their lives.
It is not the business of midwifery that women should look for but the connection she has with that midwife. I suggest it is similar to finding your life partner. You know it when it find them. Is midwifery a business? Yes, it has to be. There is an exchange of energy and we need to support our families monetarily. But it is so much more than that. It is knowing and trusting that this person, this midwife, will be there to guide you through the most intimate and sometimes most challenging experience of your life, with only you as a priority.