For 10 years I have worked at a birth center; four and a half years as a nurse, six and a half years as a midwife and 375 births. My life has been dedicated to serving the families who choose our care. The work of a midwife is incredibly rewarding; we can make a real difference in the lives of families, joy can be palpable. It can also be draining; the hours are long, not all outcomes end in joy and the toll on the midwife’s body can be steep. I have a little tradition of posting my personal statistics every 100 births and I plan to continue doing so, so stayed tuned for the next installment. However, today I have been struck by the number 375, the number of births I have attended as a midwife as of this moment. Many thoughts and feelings run through my mind as I contemplate this number. It seems high then it seems low, it is full and vibrant, it is powerful.
375 births, on some days that feels so like so few, as if I have only just begun, am a baby to this path. On some days, it feels like so many, that the weight can be crushing, or such a strong foundation from which to grow.
375 pregnant people have trusted me with their care, family and safety. I am honored and blessed to serve them, they are forever a part of my soul.
375 babies welcomed to this Earth to the loving arms of their families. Babies who have each touched my heart in so many ways.
I look at these hands of mine; skin, tissue and bone, mostly soft with some callouses and scars. They have wiped brows, soothed muscles, intervened in emergencies. They have hugged, they have pulled, they have reached and they have met families on their levels. So much has passed through them, how much more will the future hold?
Image credit http://www.monetnicole.com/