Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Midwife's Hands

I notice hands. I just do- it's one of those things I notice about people. When I think of them, I often think of their hands. Weird? I'm guessing, either that or no one talks about it...
I've wanted to do this picture set for probably the last 5 years or more. I was going to take them when I was pregnant with Naomi, but we ended up having her 3 weeks early, at the hospital. My midwife (from another state) made it, but she was just with us at the hospital. So I was glad when I got pregnant with Titus, because then I could have a homebirth again and take these pictures. Because Naomi was so early my midwife was here for a couple weeks before Titus was born (3 days before his due date).

Most midwives are very special to their clients and vise versa. It's a different relationship. This is the woman that was with them in their most vulnerable time. There is a sense of respect and awe, and for me, I longing for her approval.
Karen is not just my midwife. I met her when I was 17 and started apprenticing with her. She has been my mentor all these years (15 now), helped me through 4 miscarriages and 5 births, a very difficult marriage and break up, being a single parent, learning to trust again, growing in my relationship with my Heavenly Father and His Son, and now some of the happiest years of my life.

All these years though, I have noticed her hands. The way she touches women's beautiful pregnant stomachs to feel where the baby is, the way she gently touches the perineum to prevent tearing, the way she holds babies and carefully checks them over.

These pictures are her hands:

Feeling Titus, before we knew who he was.

Folded on a Bible, because I know that she relies on God to guide her in the ministry of being a midwife.

Her hands holding Titus, who looks huge, but was really less than an hour old.


hannamades said...

How special! I love the neat pictures and the story about midwife's hands. Very sweet. :)

Gretchen said...

Rachel, that is SO beautiful!


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