“The waiting is the hardest part”
No – this title isn’t in reference to a Tom Petty song, although I have to say I am in a “period of waiting” myself. My last client in my rural community is in her due window and after this baby is born I get to join my family in our new home. That’s an oversimplification because it’s being done in stages, but by Halloween, I’ll be with my new husband, his daughters and my children all in a new state starting fresh as a family.
But this isn’t about me, nor my new blended family, but about patience. I am closing my home in now snowy Northeastern rural Nevada (procrastinating the final bits of packing and cleaning as I write this) and while I am a self-proclaimed gadget junkie, I know there will be quiet periods of rest during the next labor I attend. Yes, there will be moments I am hands on, there will be me pulling out my bag of tricks and using a Rebozo if necessary, making my arms tired from who knows how long of holding double hip squeezes, and whatever else the client wants/needs… but there will be moments of quiet.
These quiet moments are often invaded by the gentle glow of an electronic device these days. While I may chart on a laptop or tablet, or keep notes there at a birth, it is done out of the birth space of the person who should have the gentle glow of maybe soft lighting or candles… not her attendant’s face with a LED shine reflecting off it.
To that end, I made sure that I picked up supplies for a project I’ve been considering for a while. I have never been a good knitter, and my crocheting looks like it was done by a spider on an acid trip. That said, I have excelled at embroidery and hand sewing. Four years ago I picked up a cloth purse that I thought would be excellent for my vacation in Oregon, and it really was. Somewhere along the way the lining tore, the embroidery (simple stitches, nothing fancy) faded and it lost it’s button closure.
My thoughts and training are, babies don’t need to be rushed – if Mama’s healthy and baby is healthy, nature will do its amazing job it is wont to do and that baby will be born. In those quiet moments instead of being under her feet and in her way, when I am not making sure she has water, tea or food if she so chooses, and if she doesn’t need me to be hands on then I will sit and work on my sewing project.
This baby will be born soon to a very healthy woman. The future will unfold itself and I really don’t need to force a thing. As that happens, I’ll peacefully wait with her and joyously join her in the celebration and until then… I join her in what is the hardest part – “The Waiting” and remember she’s the one who deserves any spotlights and accolades. Me – I will have my mended purse and one more baby earth-side that I can say “I had the privilege of being there when they said hello to the atmosphere.”
When you attend your next birth, remember – it’s not about you, it’s all about them. Do your very best to ensure that the environment you influence maintains that honor to the hard work being done by the mother & baby. It might be a day out of your week, but to them – it’s the beginning of a whole new life.
Image Copyright Annie Hill 2016, taken in rural Elko County Nevada