Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another Day

My day began shortly after 6:00am. A call from a patient in labor. The answering service patched her through and the voice on the end is a long, steady moan, which trails along for a full minute. I look at the clock to register what time it is: 6:05, my phone says. "Let's meet at the birth center at 7:00. That will allow me time to get there before you and set up," I tell her. We hang up and I call Mary and Shelby, our two apprentices. They will be on their way.

I get up and as I'm getting dressed, Glen gets Callen changed, dressed, and ready to go along with me. Baby Callen and I head to the birth center. 

As I pull up I see the laboring mom standing outside. I told her 7:00 and yet she's there early. She's standing outside at the birth center entrance, laboring in the crisp Alaska cold. Thankfully it's a mild morning at 40 degrees. 
I jump out of the car, apologize that she beat me there (hey, I did say 7!), grab Callen in the carseat and run to the door to let us in. I punch in the code. The door doesn't unlock. I punch it in again. It doesn't unlock. I enter the code yet again, this time slow and methodical. No luck. I try a few more times for good measure and to make sure I'm not losing my mind. Nope. 
I run to the car and put Callen back in. 40 degrees may be mild but it is cold for a baby. I run to the front of the building- mom laboring, leaning against her car- and enter the code on the front door. It doesn't unlock. I try again. Still, it doesn't unlock. I call Glen as I run back around to the birth center door, I'm sure waking him from a dead sleep. "Where the hell is Mary?! I can't get in! Why isn't the door working?! Can you call Vivint right now?!" I don't even give the poor man a second to answer any of it and I'm pretty sure I hang up on him. I go back to the side door to try again. I'm contemplating in my mind which stone I'm going to pick up and whether it will be best to break the glass on the door or the window. 

I enter the code again, making sure- again- that I'm getting it right. It should be unlocking the damn door and it's not. The definition of insanity crosses me mind. "I'm doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result." I enter it again, one final try before I shatter some glass and crawl through a window. And it works. We're in. 

Thankfully the rest of the birth is unlike our entrance and goes smoothly- a first time mom has a beautiful, calm, unmedicated birth, and meets her baby girl. 

The relationships I form with my clients vary widely in their degree, depth, and meaning. Most clients I bond with, but some more than others- with a handful developing into relationships I know I will have and treasure for years to come. Birth unfolds a new level of understanding that wasn't present prior. It's one thing to see and know a woman during pregnancy, spending 30 minutes, sometimes an hour, with her. It's another to be with her during birth. 
I looked at this mom today and had such a better, deeper understanding of her and for her. 
You get to know someone on a different level when you see them outside of their normal comfort zone- whether it be within the parameters of pain, anxiety, excitement, or anticipation that you witness.

During the postpartum course, I figure I can wear Callen. Shantel and I attempt to configure Callen in a side-carry using the Ergo, since I can't find my ring sling. I say configure because that's what it felt like...along with some guestimation. I walk into the birth room looking ridiculous and Shelby takes one look at me and we bust up laughing. Mary looks at me and informs me that I should probably refrain from posting my picture on the Babywearers Page because I'm in the midst of a baby wearing fail.  Shelby takes Callen and wears him while I do vitals. 

The new mom and her family oooh and ahhh over Callen. Mom is amazed that her baby will likely be about Callen's size in a mere 7 weeks. Oh, the time flies with these sweet babes. 

The feeling in the room is happy...happy and proud. 

I'm proud of this mom- not just for accomplishing Birth, but for being such a beautiful, positive person even with some not-ideal circumstances. I'm proud to now know her that much deeper and I'm proud to be her midwife. 

It's a good day.