Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring on Labor Day

Well, it's been a labor day full of ups-and-downs for this Itinerant Laborer.
I was awakened from my pre-shift rest by a phone call from Jen B. who was in the neighborhood...because Kelly went into labor last night. Apparently Kelly hit the seven cm mark and just stalled, so Jen wanted to come over for a couple of hours to give her some space.
I was really happy to hear from her and to have an impromptu visit...Jen is one of my favorite people. It is also just so wonderful to be reminded that we can, indeed, trust a woman's body to deliver her baby in its perfect time. A seven cm stall at the hospital would have triggered a whole cascade of events and Kelly's cervix would have been labeled, like so many, a failure, an anomoly, something incompetent for having the gall to deviate from the prescribed protocol. Who is this cervix, anyway, to tell us how this baby is going to be born?
Of course I can imagine anything I care to imagine would happen because Kelly would not have been permitted to labor at all under the medical model. Her baby, apparently unaware of the prescribed choreography as well, failed to turn.
Kelly is still breech, which means Jen is having two other midwives attend with her. Add to that her apprentice, who I met for the first time tonite, and the sum is evident: No room for me at the delivery.
I was bummed. I have to admit, I cried a little bit. Jen was sweet and apologetic. (She had no idea I cried.) It was obvious to me by the time she left, though, that I was just not meant to be there. Not tonight. The timing made that clear, at least to me, which is really all that matters.
... Kelly went into labor early on a day I was not supposed to work but signed up to work anyway.
Labor day.
I am supposed to be at the hospital tonight. I have no idea why. I have to move forward into my shift with that in mind. Be grateful I am, at least, in the presence of laboring women and the miracle of new life and send love, light, peace and validation to Kelly and her midwives and trust that my time will come.
Amen. And Happy Labor Day.

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