Sometimes it's good to catalog things-- to tuck them carefully away in your mind. I know that I won't always be a birth assistant, I don't think I could hang at 85 years old. Because the privilege is here now, I want to remember this special thing that I am a part of.
I will remember the sound of my quiet phone ringing in the middle of the night, and always being thankful that it was because someone needed me for a happy reason.
I will remember showing up to work at ungodly hours like 2:10am with no make-up and crazy hair that I had slept on while it was still wet.
I will remember how no one cared. (see above)
I will remember the way that a women's body looks all round and full with baby.
I will remember the comforting little "choo, choo" sounds of those small but strong heartbeats.
I will remember offering hot towels, and cold washcloths, and back rubs, and hand holding, and reassuring smiles.
I will remember sleeping (or not sleeping) in shifts. For hours.
I will remember being shown the delicate balance between standing back and giving space, time, and respect to the process... and stepping in with guidance, encouragement, and help.
I will remember how loudly my stomach growls at 4:30 am.
I will remember how I found myself invested in these growing families and invited in to one of the most intimate moments of their lives.
I will remember the tools of my trade being simple and fitting easily into a large duffle bag.
I will remember the knowledge, the experience, the gentleness, and the sacrifice given by the midwives that I worked for. Marvelous women.
I will remember the scrubbing, the washing, the sanitizing, the mopping, the changing and making ready again.
I will remember the salty sweet smell of "new baby" and how I would often come home with it on my shirt.
I will remember some the best naps in my life were taken afterwards (and documented by 11 year olds who sneak into your room).
I will remember that mostly...I just stood back, tears in my eyes, in total awe.
I will remember.