This summer as a midwifery fellow with Shar and Carol has been remarkable. I feel so privileged to have become part of the family that is MCNYC, to have shared in the excitement and joy of expecting families and to have been present as they welcomed their new babes.
I have been immersed in the “birth world” for 5 years now, as a labor and delivery nurse and midwifery student, but this summer gave me a new degree of respect and appreciation for the birthing process and the strength and power of women. It also showed me that there is another, more humane and family-oriented way to care for women and their pregnancies at a time when I was disheartened by the many limitations of hospital-based practices.
Shar and Carol support and nurture the families they care for in a way that I had never before seen from a provider. They gave me that same degree of support as a fledgling midwife—generously teaching me the ins and outs of running a business, the skills of careful palpation, basics of herbal remedies, and how to hold space for laboring women in a place that is theirs rather than ours. I will be forever grateful to them for this experience.I am also so thankful to the families who opened their homes to me and let me be part of their experiences. I learned so much from each of them.
And here is what I will remember most: a four-year-old girl waking up in the middle of the night to find her mother moaning deeply in the pool in their living room, and then, sleepy-eyed, pulling up her little chair to the edge of the pool and resting her head in her arms, watching her mother, turning to me now and again, smiling in wonder at her mother’s strength.