This is the most common response I get when I share with someone what I do for a living. When I share that I’m growing into midwifery.
If all we did was snuggle babies and drink margaritas, I suppose this statement might be true.
But this job isn’t all baby snuggles, and it rarely involves even a chance at a margarita.
Fun? Not so much.
That word, in fact, minimizes what midwives do. It reduces it to the same level of a weekend hobby. Is there joy in this work? More often than not, yes. While the joy inherent in this work is a big part of what sustains a midwife in the long haul, there is so much more to it. There is a hidden side of midwifery that many don’t see or understand, and it is this hidden side that flashes before my eyes when someone comments that my job must be “so fun.”
This is not a job anyone signs up for to have fun. This is a job we sign up for because we are compelled. It is an irrevocable call on our lives.
As Desirre says, “It’s a calling that follows you around until it catches you.” We often don’t even realize it’s our calling until one day we awake to the startling discovery that we cannot escape what we are meant to do. And what we are meant to do is to be “with woman.”
We are meant to be midwives.
Like the “witches” and wise women of old who quietly served women and their babies with dignity and a deep knowledge passed down over time. It is our inheritance, and it carries with it the weight of responsibility, accountability, and power. The calling of midwifery is inescapable for those who hear it, and insurmountable for those who only wish to.
It is “fun” for no one.
There is, however, fun within the work. Laughter and joy are bricks in the foundation, and this work could not be done sustainably without them. The joy of watching a father’s eyes light up at the first sound of that pattering heartbeat. The laughter when big sister has to have her tummy measured too, or big brother insists on helping us hold the Doppler.
Of course, there’s the ultimate culmination of joy, the crowning glory, when that slippery wet tiny human is lifted into a mother’s arms, ready to meet the great wide world. The moment heaven itself pauses to rejoice at another everyday miracle.
The arrival of a new soul on Planet Earth is no small thing. It is a great mystery and marvel, and it is midwives who have always been there, very near the heart of it all, acting as ushers and servants making way for the tiny new being and his mother to step into life together.
Miraculous, joyful, powerful, fulfilling, important? Yes.
Ultimately, this work is eternal, impacting future generations forever. And that is a weighty thing, not to be taken on for anything less than a deep and abiding call.
Grace & Peace,