An Open Letter To My Family and Friends

Dear Loved Ones,

I know that I am busy beyond reason. I sometimes forget that can be as hard on you as it is on me. The price I pay to pursue my calling as a midwife is steep. I give up time. So. Much. Time.

Too little goes to my family. Too much to frivolous time-wasters. My friends? Somewhere in between. I seem to fluctuate between doing way too much, and not enough. Sometimes, I remember to call and check in, just to see how you are. Other times, I do not. Sometimes, I remember birthdays. Other times, I forget completely, but mostly because I usually don’t know what day it is anyway.

I know it’s hard to be counting on my presence for some event, only to have me shoot a quick text to let you know I’m at a birth, and won’t be able to make it. I know it’s hard not to be able to count on me to babysit, or to bake 36 cupcakes, or to be there for you if you’re having a bad day.

What I want you to know is that it’s not easy for me, either. It’s not easy to see the look in your eyes when I have to say no, or to hear the sadness in your voice when you bravely tell me, “No, it’s really fine,” as I bow out of yet another commitment. Believe me, if I could do it all, I would.

I have to make decisions. Hard ones. If it’s a choice between coffee with you, and a birth, the birth wins. Just like the fire wins for firefighters, or the heart attack wins for the paramedics. I have to go.

Someday, a mother and her baby’s life will be in my hands. This is not a hobby for me, and I do not attend births for fun. This work is a clear calling I must answer, so I attend births to learn. To grow. To become a capable, wise, and strong midwife who can make the right decisions when the decisions count the most.

I want you to know that the decision to skip coffee, or a play date, a birthday party, or a date night is not something that brings me joy. It is a sacrifice I have chosen to accept as part of this job. Sometimes, I can control for that, but most of the time, I cannot. Babies do not care one bit about how tired I am, what my plans are, or what the weather is like. They just come when they come. Midwifery is about letting go of controlling the process.

It is what it is. I must take it or leave it.

I have chosen to take it. And, by the grace of God, I will walk out the consequences of that in the best and most loving way I know how. I will not make promises I cannot keep. I will be present when I can be. I will run when the call comes. I will love and work and serve and play and rest and sleep and drink coffee and catch babies until I can no longer do any of those things. And I would love to have you along for the ride, as long as you are willing.

Thanks for being there. For understanding. Thanks for letting me go, and for holding me close in your prayers as I walk out my calling. Thank you for helping me create the most supportive village on the planet a would-be midwife could ever ask for. Thank you for being a part of my life, even though it’s hard sometimes. You bless me.

Grace & Peace,

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