It has been said that when a woman is in labor she goes off into the universe, the cosmos, and is gathering the bits of stardust that would be her baby, to bring back with her (paraphrased). I happen to love this analogy, this idea, as it feels glorious, powerful, magical, beautiful, and at the same moment the raw feeling of the great expanse, the vastness, overwhelming lack of control, not knowing where the beginning or end is…. is powerfully inexplicable.
It is with the deepest of knowing that this is where she is when she calls my name. She isn’t really asking for me to fix it or make it go away, nor is she calling out in weakness. She doesn’t need that kind of help. She isn’t asking for that kind of help. She is calling my name because she is out in the cosmos unsure of the way back and is reaching for a familiar outstretched hand, she is in the middle of the ocean needing to know that even though the winds are blowing and the waves are crashing, that her anchor is going to hold. That she is not alone.
To this day I am completely humbled whenever a woman in the raw, out in the wonder of the universe, calls out my name. That she wants me to be her anchor. Her outstretched hand guiding her back. That she instinctively knows I know what she needs in order to finish the work. Sometimes that looks like a face to face conversation, sometimes just locking eyes, sometimes a hand holding hers, sometimes my arms wrapped around her body holding her steady and strong, sometimes it’s softly calling her name. It doesn’t matter, as long as she knows the way home is safe, steady and close. This is as time honored a midwifery tradition as there ever will be. Holding anchor and showing the way home.
We’ll wipe some of the extra stardust off later.