In which I attend a whole bunch of births

with evidence!

(Yes, I hold every baby in my left arm, and only wear solid-color shirts.)

Here’s what I’ve learned lately: I can’t predict anything. I can’t assume anything. Even when the evidence is there after hours of labor and I’m thinking that I know — I know! — in which direction the labor is heading, I usually don’t.

I have learned to turn off that aspect of my brain during labor and just focus on the task at hand, like holding an emesis basin while a mom throws up into it. Otherwise I start thinking, “Wow this really isn’t going well, I hope she doesn’t end up with a C—” (and baby is born vaginally 20 minutes later.) “Wow, this is going fantastic, this baby is going to be here in an hour–” (and 17 hours later, the baby is born.)

It seems antithetical to the idea of holistic midwifery to put my ideas and my experiences on someone else. Every birth is different. I learn something new at each birth. And what I’ve learned over the last few years is that I just can’t predict anything. Women surprise me. Labors surprise me.

I’ve progressed a little in my school, I’m now in “Orientation” and have requested my curriculum. My mentor just graduated and took the NARM exam. Recently I talked to another student who told me that I’m making my assignments more difficult than I need to; I’m over-thinking them. Really? Me? The woman who can’t order food without having an internal dialogue (complete with debate of the pros and cons) between a grass-fed hamburger that is cooked medium versus medium-well?

I guess it’s really not that surprising.

Another example of how I have to be like Nike:

and Just Do It.


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