why I am up and on the computer at this truly oscene hour

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A birth at 0300 is pretty typical, and it was what we refer to as an "Unremarkable" labor and birth. For the birth attendant, births have a way of blending together in the memory - each one is a special and unique miracle, and even after all these years and the hundreds of births, I still find great joy in the privilege of being there. But I don't always remember the details. I think that is probably a good thing. The ones I remember clearly almost always have something unusual, and maybe even sad, about them.
I used to think that my forgetting the details was a problem, but then I realize that it is really the way it should be - because it isn't my birth, it isn't my baby, and my task is to be there and help the family to become, to help the mother give birth rather than be delivered.
And so, after the baby is out and all are doing well, I and the other attendants step out, full still of the energy of the birth, and let the family begin its first steps as a new creation.
I think sometimes that the forgetting that happens after the birth is much like how a priest forgets an individual penitent's sins after said penitent leaves the confessional. It wasn't that the sins were unimportant or that the sacrament was unneeded - but rather that the priests' job is done with the absolution and now the job of healing and restoration shifts back to the penitent with the aid of God.
I had thought of some nice things to blog about for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. A friend sent me a thought that a priest had shared with her about the connection between the Immaculate Conception and the Heart of Mary, and I wanted to flesh it out a bit. I was going to try to make it to a Mass local to the hospital either at 1730 or 1900. But I have spent much of the last several hours awaiting a birth, as I do so very often. Now is time to try to get a few hours sleep, and later in the morning to see mother and baby again.
good night


Well Alicia, as a fellow midwife I can tell you that I have never even thought about drawing a connection between a priest and confession and us as birth attendants or doing intimate things like pap smears and breast exams, but you are right! It does make sense. I don't always remember all the details either and I also have had a hard time accepting that at times. Just today I had to look in my delivery log before going into a room for a post-partum visit to see if *I* had been the one at the delivery (I was!).

What a good point you've made! Now maybe I won't feel quite as guilty sometimes!

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on December 9, 2004 3:54 AM.

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