2 weeks ago I attended my first birth with my mentor. It was the momma’s 5th baby and after having had the previous 4 come prematurely, she was beside herself when she actually passed her due date!
I got a call at 5 am, saying it was time and I got there within 30 minutes.
When my mentor opened the door, she simply said; “Well, we missed the birth. The midwife only got here 10 minutes before the baby was born.”
I kinda laughed, having half expected to miss it. I have friend who has 7 children and her midwife has missed 3 out of 7.
I was welcomed into their bedroom anyway and got to see this tiny newborn engulfed in her momma’s arms. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to what a beautiful thing that is.
Since everything labor and birthwise was done, I observed the midwife measure and weigh the babe, give her shots and write all of her stats down. I was very intrigued by what she was doing, since as a midwife assistant, I’ll be doing those same things. Well, let me clarify. I will be giving no shots or doing any measuring. I will be writing down what the midwife reports to me and handing her the supplies she needs.
It was about 7 am at this point and the sun was coming up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something move in the hallway. I looked over and their oldest, a daughter, was standing in the doorway with wide eyes just staring at me. I smiled at her a motioned for her to come in and when she rounded the corner and saw the baby in her moms arms, her slow cautious walk quickly became a skip and a leap and she squealed “baby sister is here!!!!” She jumped onto the bed and got into a position that said without words she wanted her newest sibling in her arms.
Within the next 20 minutes all 3 other kiddos were awake and the bed was full smiles and sleepy eyes. Watching each child’s reaction was precious. I was honored to be a part of it.
After this, my mentor and I went downstairs to make the family breakfast and the 2 oldest followed us, giving a lot of helpful advice about chocolate milk and the spoons they like to stir it with, all while directing traffic from the back of the kitchen. “The pans are over there. No, that’s not the right cup, she needs a sippy cup. Can I have more chocolate in my milk?”
After we prepared a delicious breakfast and made sure the parents and kids were well fed, we spent a little bit more time with this 5th-time-momma as she talked about her birth and kept interrupting herself, commenting on how she couldn’t believe how pink and healthy and alert her new daughter was. She was so thrilled she could hold her baby right away and that she didn’t have to be rushed to the NICU because of respiratory distress. It was her first experience with a full term baby. The joy on her face was priceless.
I may have missed the labor and the birth, but the experience was not a loss by any means. I was planning on going running that morning. Instead I got to watch a family of 6 become a family of 7. What a gift.