You arrived on our front doorstep looking very dapper and cheery. You were to be our primary midwife. In you came with your cane basket. Extra trips to the car were necessary to retrieve the birthing equipment required for – the day or night.
(She had a big black bag, an orange bag, a bedpan and something that resembled a Christmas stocking, only it was black. There was no sign of Christmas cheer in there, only an oxygen bottle. She also deposited some drugs in our fridge. Perhaps I was going to get high after all.)
From the moment our midwife sat in our lounge chair, smiled her brilliant smile, and accepted a coffee (a “proper” one, that is), she enveloped me with her wings. I knew she’d care for me, guide me and encourage me through our birth. She has a quiet tone to her voice. During labour, it was soothing to hear her speak. It seemed to soften the situation, yet spur me on for the next round.
We were in labour for 3.5 hours and our midwife worked around me in our small bathroom on bended knees or sitting on the edge of the bath allowing me to lean on her knees, or suggesting helpful postures to guide the baby through the canal. She never left my side, which gave me a feeling of security and comfort. At certain times during labour, she informed me quietly and calmly what stage the baby and I had reached or what I may expect next. The fear of the unknown was never felt.
Finally, Kayla Anne was born at 7.40pm on Thursday, 23rd June, 2005. Our midwife allowed John to “catch” the slippery Kayla but John was hesitant in case he dropped her. Kayla was placed in my arms until John cut the cord. In the meantime, Sean was retrieved from the neighbours to meet his beautiful sister; photos were taken, tears were shed, prayers were spoken and my pain disappeared.
I sat on the birthing stool holding our baby in disbelief. We had done it! We had all worked as a team to birth this child. Suddenly a gush of overwhelming love and light surrounded the bathroom and we all blended together with Kayla shining brightly in the centre of us.
Soon Kayla was a week old and then two weeks old. Our midwife had continued her regular visits offering suggestions, kind words and understanding. Suddenly, it was time to be discharged. This lady of strength and warmth had come into our lives, always to be remembered, especially on Kayla’s birthdays.
You know who you are – thank you for giving so much of yourself to all of us. God bless.
Love, Debbie, John, and Sean