Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Poem -life

It's not for the faint of heart.
      It's a dance
It's a struggle
       It's a gift
It's a box of chocolates
          You never know
          What you'll get
From first breath
To stillness of heart
       Adventures await
Danger
If you dare
    To go into the unknown
Walk on the water
Drowning is not an option
Grace goes with
After all this time?
       "Always"





Thursday, January 08, 2015

Things changed....

I remember what it used to look like. Jumping into a solid team, Bring nervous that I would screw up, or get "fired", being excited, camping out, Carpooling, The pure bliss of being naive. Starry eyed, hopeful, blessed. 

Then things changed 

I remember it being two of us, organizing things so I was able to quickly respond and read the cues I worked so hard to learn, charting and watching, willing my mind to learn so my hands could one day follow suit. Holding tightly to the robes and following close enough to be covered in the dust. 

Then things changed

I remember when we became 3. Trying to show the ropes to someone while making sure things got done, learning to share, sometimes being freed up from the chart to catch and sometimes watching the 2 of them work together, handing them what was needed, smiling, watching growth. I remember becoming a team, finding our grove. 

Then things changed

I remember trying to soak up whatever I could, knowing time was limited, bring brave as a team and doing hard things to prove we could do it instead of relaying on someone to rescue us, I remember looking up and seeing the pride in my mentors face seeing us work. I remember wondering how someone could trust me this much and although I had the skills, I doubted if I had the faith in myself to do it without her. 

Then things changed

I remember the fear. I remember tears and holding back. I remember not having a choice. I remember those who wrapped their arms and spoke words of light into the darkness. I chose not to remember the darkness spilled into it by others. I remember tough love and putting one foot in front of the other. I remembered to breathe and feel my feet on the floor all, over again

Then things changed

I remember grace, I remember butter births and laughter and finding our groove, discovering we were not only surviving, but thriving. I remember feeling proud, and overwhelmed with all at had occurred.

Then things changed

I remember transitions being hard, having to be reminded that one can love more then one thing at the same time, I remember happiness, and relief. And realizing that this change wasn't going to be as I expected, and nothing stays the same. Accepting responsibility and finally believing that I knew what I was doing. 

And things will change

Over and over and over again.

I will grow, I will become a teacher, I will serve and give up control, (because none of us have any control over anything anyways.) I will have fun! I will not be exhausting but will communicate clearly. 

I will learn to be comfortable in the unknowns. I will trust in the bigger plan and know that everything will work out. Because what God has ordained, he has always seen through. 

By his grace alone is this unworthy mess worthy of this incredible never ending always changing adventure. 



Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Sick

There is a time when you have to take charge of a situation. Use your "midwife voice", be clear. 
There are times you stand down, watching, waiting, quiet, ready if needed. 

There are times you work nonstop for days. 
There are times you are trapped at home for a week straight with the flu.

There are beautiful days and ugly days,
There are short days and long days 

There are sunny days and days when your car slides sideways down icy hills.

Through it all there is bubble baths and soup and friends and alone time, with the knowing that when the storm passes there will likely be wine. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Transition

Because of my line of work, I often compare life to the world I'm immersed in, midwifery.  So bare with me. 

I feel like I've spent the past year in endless transition. Rapid changes, the unknown, Contractions close together, piggybacking, intense, puking, trapped. I've seen that look in many of the mama's faces. They are no longer in their minds, their bodies have taken over. One foot in front of the other, wake up, go through the motions, keep the plates spinning, don't let them break. 

Im living in this juxtaposition though, because although transition is hard, I see such magic in it, transition means a baby will come soon. My mamas are strong, brave, have such Primal beauty. (Yes, because although it is hard there is such beauty). It's that beauty that throws me off. 

This year was hard. Really really hard. I'm looking for the beauty. Because I know at the end of all this it's time to push. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful



I am thankful for those who are serving and are unable to join their loved ones for thanksgiving, I am thankful for the kitchen staff on ships and bases who are working to provide a home-like meal, I am thankful that for many their sailors and soldiers are home today. This is something that I didn't really think about or understand until this year.

I am thankful for family, silly sisters and cousins and loving parents and sweet baby Ben we all get to love.

I am thankful for friends who are family, my middle of the night people, my I-need-wine-people, my pedicures and soup people, adventures, and hugs.

I am thankful for the blessing to be able to do a job I love, for clients who trust and invite me into their lives for nine short months. For babies that cry when they are born and the breath to share with them when they don't.

Im thankful for repeat clients and their precious families,  for big sisters who also want a turn getting their belly measured and like to help find baby's heartbeat.  I'm thankful For babies who I've caught who run to me snd give me snuggles. Such sweetness!

I'm thankful for cozy beds and homes shared by others with me. For music that I can sing loud, for ponies, and paint, and good books.

I'm thankful for grace Abundant, undeserved mercy, and unending love.

Happy thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I want you to know...


I want you to know that your midwife cries for you, hurts with you, and although she doesn't Know the magnitude of your pain, she worries, she stays up late in the night, she holds your head and prays you though each contraction. 

I want you to know that your midwife loves to tell you to see if you can feel your baby's head, and smiles when you do, knowing you'll always remember you touched him first. 

I want you to know your midwife steps back, becomes silent, and basks in the moment as your baby takes it's first breath and cries loudly in the night. 

I want you to know that your midwife thinks about you while she's having her breakfast, wondering if you are getting enough protein. She thinks about you when she's running up The Hill, or doing burpees, or push ups in bootcamp and wants to quit, but because she remembers that you just pushed out a nearly 10lb baby after a 24 hr labor, she charges up that hill one more time. 

I want you to know your midwife loves receiving Christmas cards and texts with pictures of your beautiful family. 

I want you to know your midwife rejoices with you when the ultrasound says it's a boy! It's a girl! It's twins! And when the ultrasound comes up empty and the bleeding starts, she wonders how she will ever say the right words. 

I want you to know when your baby flips, or your labor is long, or heart tones become non-reassuring and it's time to transport, your midwife puts on her brave face and tries to pave the way for a smooth transition of care, so that you can be treated with respect. 

I want you to know your midwife will stand by you, even under the judging eyes of hospital staff and her own peers. 

I want you to know When it takes your midwife a minute too long to find your baby's heartbeat, she feels a lump in her throat, and when she finally finds it, hears angels sing. 

I want you to know that when the doctor tells you your baby is gone, your midwife holds herself together, and tells you how beautiful and precious your baby is as he/she is laid in your arms one last time, then she goes home, crumples to the floor, and weeps. 

When your baby is slow to transition, and the piercing cry that a baby makes that we are accustomed to hearing on a tv show doesn't come, and seconds seem like hours, she holds her own breath until baby gasps with stimulation. When your baby is even slower to transition she gives her own breath to inflate tiny lungs, feels her feet on the floor and counts a steady rhythm. 

When Your midwife wakes up randomly in the middle of the night, she frantically checks her phone, sees she didn't miss a call and wonders if she woke because across town you are awake wondering, worrying, wishing. 

I want you to know, your midwife questions "why" when these things happen, thinks about quitting, and in the same exact breath, knows she never could. Because the next day another baby will be born, another mama will be made, and grace and mercy will meet, when heaven once again, kisses earth. 

Full

How was your weekend? Mine was full. Hard. Long. Beautiful. Full. 

I'll never understand it and I'm figuring out that I don't have to. 
 

I get to witness how strong we truly are in our weakness as a mama goes through a long labor that seems never ending, says she wants to be done, to run away from the sensations in her body, but never quits. Her baby takes her first breath on her chest. The whole room tears up. I am overwhelmed with the moment unfolding in front of me. 

I have to make hard calls and I sometimes have to be the one who says "I'm so sorry" at an early ultrasound, and when the bleeding begins my heart hurts. Each baby matters, even the very, very small. 

I have collegues and friends who work together, who love, who support, who get it. I am surrounded by powerful love. We all are. The world is full of grace and mercy.


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

"...show me, how big your brave is..."

Today, while I was unloading the kayak from the car a woman who was sitting in her car struck up a conversation and then said to me "I wish I was brave enough to do that like you" I smiled, and told her "I wish I would have brought the other kayak so she could join me." 


As I put the kayak into the water I thought to myself, "lady, if you only knew... 


Brave is getting in a kayak, getting in the saddle, running up a big hill. Brave is a 10K in a blizzard. Brave is quitting your reliable paycheck job. Brave is catching babies and supporting mothers and families as they grow. Brave is making phone calls. Brave is being honest. Brave is loving someone even though they will leave. Brave is loving yourself enough to say "no". Brave is saying "yes!" Brave is making decisions that change the course of your life. Brave is holding someone as they take their last breath or their very first. Brave is breathing for someone when they can't. Brave is trusting your team, your heart, your mind. Brave is driving with no destination in mind. Brave is dancing. Brave is taking a chance on love. Brave is letting go if love isn't there. Brave is a motorcycle ride, Brave is going to the dentist. Brave is letting go of that which steals your joy. Brave is  dropping off a future sailor. Brave is saying goodbye to a big black dog. Brave is changing a flat tire. Brave is being the biggest girl at bootcamp...


Yes, random lady at the park, how I wish I could have taken you out on the river, so you could find a piece of brave, in a simple kayak, on a tiny river. 




Thursday, July 17, 2014

What does a midwife do?

A midwife cooks scrambled eggs
Dances and sways 
Puts cold cloths on your head
Fixes your ponytail 
Snuggles in bed
Tells you:
 "you are strong"
"You are brave"
"You are listening to your body"
Puts water and honey to your lips 
Says drink
Converses with you on the toilet between contractions 
Silently holds the space
Naps on your couch, your floor, your toddler bed 
Holds your hand
Holds your puke bucket 
Doesn't flinch about body fluids 
Supports your decision to transfer 
Goes to ultrasounds and holds your hand when the news is devistating 
Wraps you in warm blankets and love 
Gently guides your baby into your arms 
Steps back as baby takes it's first breath 
Smiles 
Is grateful for the opportunity to serve 
To witness 
 A midwife eats dinner in the bathtub then falls into bed
Waiting for the phone to ring again 


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Grace

As much as last year's theme was "Brave" this year the key word is 

GRACE

Grace for myself
Grace for those who love me
Grace for those who speak before they know 
Grace for my colleagues 
Grace for those who will never understand
Grace for those who hurt
Grace for those who are hurting


Running a practice is not for the faint of heart.
But it's worth it, 
every day, 
every mama, 
every baby.