I started a series, Tools Of My Trade, years ago. In looking back at it, I feel that what I did was simply the first draft. In the coming months, I will be re-visiting these tools and filling in the details, colors and meaning. This post about These Hands, is the first one of these re-imagined pieces. I also started this series as a photo essay, as a way to return to my photography roots and incorporate more of myself into this work. Prior to becoming a midwife, I was known to create art with my camera. Through the course of this path; nursing and midwifery school, raising a family and working as a midwife, my photography took a back burner. Through this process, I hope to reclaim this dormant part of myself. With the exception of this first installment (I found it quite difficult to photograph my own hands in action), these essay’s will also include photos of mine that help to represent and express my feelings for these tools. Please read on and consider going out to honor and celebrate a Midwife in your life.
My Hands…These Hands…The Hands of a Midwife
These hands caress, stroke and sometimes cajole
These hands inspect, delve and palpate
These hands are sometimes soft and other times are hard
These hands support and elevate
These hands act as guides; to babies on their way out, to women as they become mothers
These hands repair and cultivate
With these hands, I honor and act with grace, for all the world
These are the hands of a midwife.
Midwives have traditionally been very attuned to their senses; hands, eyes, ears and heart. These are my most valuable tools and ones that I always carry with me. One of the joys of this work, is playing with and talking to the babies in the womb. At every prenatal visit, there is time when we as midwives put our hands on the pregnant belly, this allows us to build a relationship with not only our client but the growing baby as well. We learn how they are laying in the womb, how big they are, how they are growing over time and how much amniotic fluid they are swimming in. To feel their personalities and the strength of their movements. Across the board, I have known that the families appreciate this, appreciate that someone else knows their little one and shares in their joy.
These are the hands of a midwife; connecting, supporting and empowering our clients and families. These are the primary Tools Of My Trade. Some days they physically ache from the work, some days they rejoice and some days they carry tears. Everyday they show up open and ready to serve.
Image Credit http://www.monetnicole.com/