It was quiet. The morning light was coming through the windows giving that -not quite full daytime everyone should be bright eyed and bushy tailed- light but just enough to find another little burst of energy. They had been laboring in the birth tub together for a little while when the woman decided she needed to try something else. As she slowly stood and reached for her towel, another contraction wave came and she paused to breathe through it. When she was able, she half wrapped the towel around her and decided it felt good to just stand in there and sway back and forth through her contractions. Her husband still sat in the tub, waiting to see if she would need him and if she would want to get back in the water. Everything was so quiet and peaceful, but honestly just a very ordinary scene for a home birth. A moment later I happened to look up from my coffee and charting to see the husband looking up at his dripping wet, loosely wrapped in the towel, eyes closed, swaying, laboring wife who in that moment was completely uninhibited and confident in what her body was doing. I sat in my quiet, unobtrusive space watching him just soak her in. I watched his admiration, trust and love for her so strongly radiating from him that I had to squelch the little tears that were trying to make their way out of my eyes. His love and belief in her was so unwavering and absolute you could have felt it miles away. Neither of them knew that I was witness to that sacred moment. I’m not sure they even know that it happened at all, but I surely do.
So often we think of the moment of birth as the most sacred moment in time, and it is, but it certainly is not the only sacred moment in birth. I am privileged to be given the opportunity to be a witness to many sacred moments, ones that may never be outwardly spoken of but are always gathered, appreciated and then tenderly tucked away in the midwife’s box of her treasured memories.