After reading Jasmine’s post that ended with the strong set of words I’ve used to title my post, I was inspired to reflect on when I felt the same. Today I share my most recent time.
She approached the table with recognition in her eyes. “You delivered my baby!” she announced with a smile. The words could have been directed at any of us, three midwife friends out for the night. The comment has always struck both joy and panic in me. It feels wonderful to be recognized as being part of someone’s most intimate moment. I had another midwife friend once say “The next best thing to being someone’s mother, is being a midwife.” There is a little panic in the comment because I don’t always remember my patients outside the delivery room. We have a busy practice- I deliver probably around 75 babies per year- plus I’m in labor with numerous other women who go to c-section or get delivered by the midwife after me, so I don’t always immediately register the face of someone I delivered.
This time the comment was not directed at me. She faced one of my friends and they caught up a bit. She looked at her midwife and said, “Would you like to see a picture?” There was pride and hope in that voice. Her midwife eagerly acquiesced as the mom flipped through cell phone photos and gleefully showed off her child.
I had been enjoying such a nice evening- spending time with two of my favorite people. There is something special about midwives, and I say that as a friend of them not as one of them. They are not afraid to talk about difficult things; they delve deeply into my emotions. We can talk about both vaginas and good wine in the same sentence and it’s not weird. In that same way I can talk of Mabel and my day at the beach in the same sentence and it’s not weird. Spending more time, growing closer with these two friends of mine has been a secondary gain in the aftermath of losing Mabel.
So when this woman introduced her baby into the conversation, I fell off the cloud.
My breath caught and my heart sank. I felt that familiar pit in my stomach fill with lumps of sadness and jealousy. I had witnessed many acts of parenting that day, but for some reason this one got to me. My own pride in my child will always be tinged with sadness. I will have no future pictures of Mabel. I will never get that chance years down the road to pull out my phone and show her off in that way. It made me sad.
The night was wrapping up anyways, so we paid our bill and said our goodbyes, but it was too late. I had already fallen off the cloud.
When have you fallen off the cloud?
Do you have any secondary gains?