At 4AM in a labor and delivery suite of a recently built hospital, a midwife says
“Relax your shoulders.”
The laboring mother screams
“I can’t. ”
The midwife’s voice carries decades of wisdom and her hands the caress and confidence of 1,000 births as she affirms, “Yes, you can”.
She lays her hands on the Mom’s shoulders and the touch melts the tension immediately.
Mom whispers, “Okaaay…”, and is once again able to focus on her breath.
The veteran midwife, Maria, had done the work leading up to this day. She found out what Mom wanted to happen, what her needs were, and how far she wants to be pushed to stay true to her wishes.
Maria holds firmly and defends the requests that Mom has made OF HERSELF. Maria advocates for the Mom to do what SHE HAD DECIDED she needs to do. She helps guide Mom’s decisions when Mom can’t distinguish between the fear from actual risk and the magnification of it by mechanisms of self-sabotage.
Maria is an advocate.
Maria is an artist.
We can all be like Maria for those we serve.
Find the needs and fill them.
And hug a midwife.