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Dear midwives who supported me

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You are amazing.

Recently I wrote a piece to open a dialog about the power dynamics between some midwives and women and parents. It is fiery, it is passionate, it is a call for an end to patriarchal and paternalistic maternity care that leave far too many women, parents, and whanau family traumatised.

I was asked if the midwife who supported me in my last birth had upset me. I can emphatically say, you did not upset me. You supported me. You respected my rights. You cared for me. You were gentle and kind and considerate and respectful. You collaborated with me. You walked beside me. You protected my power.

My last birth was not what I expected. It took me to the very depths of my soul and opened me wide. So very wide. I felt powerful and vulnerable. Torn asunder and made whole. I was reduced to the very fabric of my being. Through it all, three midwives journeyed with me. You three held space for me through the maelstrom. You listened when I asked. Guided me when I felt lost. Held my body when it became too much. You gave me time when I felt eternity.

And when I gave up, you all Stayed. You gave me the hope I needed. You were there every step of the way when I learnt there is strength in vulnerability.

You were by my side, answering my requests. But not any more than was necessary. You respected and held my space. You were there when my heart-wrenching sobs of despair transmuted, changed, translated into pure sobbing of utter joy and numinous ecstasy. “I DID IT!” I did it. I birthed my baby!

And you were there with gentle hands. Quiet words. Compassionate presence. And love.

To the midwives that have supported me in birth – you are amazing. You are everything that women, parents and babies deserve. So the answer is, no I am not upset at you. I am upset in knowing that other women and parents don’t receive the care you have given me. You have shown me what midwives can and should be. With Woman.

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