Treska attended her 16th birth with me today. I honestly can’t imagine anything better than going to a birth with my daughter. At each birth she learns more and takes on more responsibilities. She is assisting our apprentice here in the newborn exam. Phenomenal learning happening and she is so quick. She reacts well with alertness and curiosity. She also has a natural intuition about what is needed. She doesn’t shy away from the hard work of birth and is actually still cleaning with the other apprentice - it’s 11 pm here. It’s dirty, bloody work. She’s like me – she will do anything to go to a birth. I still feel that way after attending births for 12 years now! It’s an auspicious beginning for her and I hope she does continue along the midwifery path. I wonder if she will, I won’t push her. I never have – she just loves it. And I am (not so) secretly grateful that she does. She’s grown up with midwives, apprentices, mamas and babies almost her whole life. She already knows so much just because she has heard conversation after conversation. She has answered phone calls from laboring women, rushed out of the house with me, packed “birth bags”, listened to countless women “om”ing and groaning and pushing and vocalizing through their sweet transitions. She’s held countless squeaky newborns. There are no closed doors around birth for her. I’ll never forget her first birth. She was invited to her babysitter’s daughter’s birth. This birth ended up being a transfer and our back-up OB/GYN was happy to bend the rules and allow little five-year old Treska to attend the birth in the hospital. Everyone made room for her and gave her little jobs to make her feel useful. She washed the face of the laboring woman with a cold dishcloth and handed her orange juice with a straw. I was thrilled. Ecstatic even. Now that Treska is a teen and a natural in our birth world, she is able to be truly helpful and well on her way to becoming an apprentice and Midwife. I won’t spend too much time daring to dream that one day I could work with my daughter! Just a little time! And, really, isn’t this the way women trained to be midwives earlier? Women came from long lines of midwives and mothers trained their daughters.
I will learn from Treska as she will learn from me. Together we will catch babies. Maybe.