Every birth is holy.
Theologians can wax eloquent about the Incarnation; but only a midwife lives in the world of birth.
This work that I am graced to do is holy. Every time. In homes, I am privileged now to move and breathe with women as they do the dance of labor. I have welcomed babies in hospital, birth center, and home settings. In each space, I am a guardian, protecting the space for a woman to find her primal instincts. But in the privacy of her own space, there are fewer distractions.
The veil between Heaven and earth is very thin.
There was a birth, quite famous, that took place in a more rustic setting. We have done births in big houses, in little houses, in apartments, in a hotel, and once in a tiny house that had once been a truck weigh station. But never have I midwifed a birth in a stable. Dogs and cats have gathered near, drawn by the mystery; eerily accurate in their knowledge that “it is time”. Did the “ox and ass” know too?
I get calls to say “it is time” from the women, from grandmas, from doulas and dads. Angels called this one. They knew the time. Angels often have to say out loud “do not fear”. In every birth, we have to remind each other to not be afraid. Fear comes in the door to a birth space, changing the cascade of hormones. We usher it back out again, reminding ourselves and the mother, “be at peace…all is well“.
Women find themselves pregnant at all ages, young and old. I work with teen mamas, whose lives are changing in every way. I work with mamas who have battled infertility, and mamas who have had only a short space to say hello and goodbye to other babies. Some Mamas are surprised by this pregnancy, and other mamas have waited a long while. This mama was young, and very surprised.
And Heaven watched. The stillness was more pronounced that night, the veil extra thin.
A baby was born.