As I listened and watched and sat, I couldn't help but smile as I remembered the mamas sitting in my living room, pregnant bellies and curious wonderings for how their birth stories would unfold. I think about the papas, so supportive of their partner's preferences and eager to learn ways to help her during the stages of labor.
After these lovely families returned to their homes, I thought back to the many families with whom I've worked, all the way back to November 2008 when I first had the honor of being with a family as they prepared to meet their baby. I think about the countless families that walked through the doors of Bloomington Area Birth Services, eased themselves into the comfortable couches and chairs, and prepared to meet their babies. I taught with knowledgable and caring women, dedicated to providing information and support during this transitional time.
I have seen many of these families throughout my years in Bloomington. Some families have moved away, and I have the pleasure of watching their child (or children!) grow via Facebook. And there are also so many others that have gone their own way, raising their family in another town, state or even country.
What I may not communicate well, is that I remember each of these families. Some memories are not as strong, having only interacted once or twice, perhaps, as someone came into BABS for prenatal yoga. Others, I have this invisible thread that loops around my wrist and back to them, having witnessed the birth of their baby, the birth of their newly defined family.
I read the birth stories I have given to the families with whom I've worked, and I am brought back to the day (or night) when their sweet, new person arrived.
Let me say, these births are not about me or even how they make me feel! I am there for you, to provide the support you seek. I am there for your birth partner, too, sharing reassurance and guidance.
So, if you see me out and about in town, please say hello! And if you're no longer living here, please share a picture of your (now bigger!) child! I love to see how these new people grow into big kids.