The women I serve are not just women that I serve. There is always “so much more” to midwifery care.
The women I serve are individuals with deep hearts, minds and souls that are unique and layered with a variety of characteristic traits that shape who they are.
In midwifery, we have the pleasure of creating and fostering relationships with women, which is one of the main reasons it is a desirable choice for maternity care. Without the relationship, it becomes a business relationship that might leave a woman and her family feeling like they are just another number, invisible, not important, not valued, or insignificant in the large picture of these extremely vulnerable and exciting times in their lives. Having relationships with “patients” or clients is the opposite of what Providers in the United States are admonished to do.
“Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen
A great midwife would be able to peel back all the layers of each individual and really minister to each blanket, each fabric of who they are. Most of the time, I have a small practice with one or two clients a month. I believe that having a small practice allows me to try harder at discovering each woman and her family in depth. What drives them, what are their surrounding circumstances, what variables play into their decisions, what support systems they have, what knowledge they have acquired about the birthing process, what understanding do they have about how their bodies were created to give birth, what generational lies and myths have framed their understanding up until now, and finally why they are choosing this alternative care from the Western cultural norm here in America.
I feel like I am a good midwife, in spite of having a smaller practice. Why? Because I am keenly aware of the sensitivity it requires to build a quality relationship with clients. Having an awareness says something. It says that I am intentional, I am striving to be authentic, open, and vulnerable; admitting I am not perfect but am acquainted with the importance of the ability to connect with women in my practice with the utmost care and understanding.
The relationships we have are ever-changing, and maturing; not just for them, but for me as an individual and midwife. My midwife’s heart is on my sleeve. To be seen, read, used, valued, and respected. I believe this work takes enormous amounts of time, patience, understanding, gentleness, respect, communication, and love. When you have a consultation, think about these insights. It goes beyond the woman hiring you – and you accepting her family into care.
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen
This is who I am, who I am striving to be as a midwife. My arms and hands are open wide to receive. Email me if you would like to learn more or have free consultation. —-Doran Richards, CPM, LM, M-HYI