Sunday, May 29, 2011
I count my blessings and have decided to stop the whining. My house is standing, my basement is not flooded, the trees are budding and my family is around me. I sit and once more turn on CNN and sit transfixed while watching the horrible devastation over a large part of the United States, both with flooding and the horrific tornados that ripped apart lives and communities. Once again, a lump forms in my throat as I watch a father struggle to get out the words, “I have lost both my sons.” Another woman still looks in shock as she gazes about a pile of rubble that used to be her home and states, “I have nothing left. It’s all gone.” She shrugs and her eyes are glazed over. Another parent is frantic because he’s traveled to all the local hospitals and still he cannot find his missing son. These events are almost beyond comprehension.
I count my blessings because I don’t have to stand in shocked awe, I don’t have to deal with the fact that one of my loved ones is still missing. I don’t have to worry when the chance of a warm meal and a hot shower will present itself. I don’t have to dig through a pile of boards and branches searching frantically for some favorite memento that I can cling to, something that will ground me and help me to take the next step to recovery and rebuilding. Something that will give me hope.
My heart goes out to all of those poor souls who have been affected by the tragic events of the last week. My respect is tenfold for those who despite the fact could have lost their own lives, instead they stepped up and went beyond the call in order to help others and save them from certain death. And I sit in wonder as I watch the strength of the human spirit. One man has already begun rebuilding his home. Another works tiredly yet with firm conviction as he rebuilds his wife’s beauty shop. Amazing.
I count my blessings.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Seeing as it's 5:40 pm on the day of the predicted earthquake that brings forth the rapture or end of the world as we know it, I decided to get this in before there was no one left to read it. :0
Sunday, May 8, 2011
“Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.”
The Princess Bride
This month has been a difficult one for me but not as difficult as those who have been in my care. When I tell people that I am a midwife their response is often “Oh what a lovely job!” The reason for that of course is usually that they have either not had children, or had uncomplicated pregnancy and deliveries. In this day and age and in most countries we are very lucky to have the benefit of modern maternity services. It is rare nowadays for things to go badly wrong that the worst happens and people often forget that women still become seriously ill and yes, lose their lives when having a baby. The other thing that people never think about is sadly even more common; losing a baby.
This month has brought that very clearly into my focus as I personally cared for two couples who lost their baby and my colleagues looked after another three. At times like these I question why I do what I do...because as you see, it’s not always a lovely job. I have to do things that make me very uncomfortable and are upsetting and while I’m in the moment, I hate every second of it. I feel sorry for myself in private and I grieve along with the parents. While I take handprints and footprints and pictures I often cry. But I do it. Because I am responsible for the only thing these parents are going to take home from the hospital. Every single thing that I do matters to them. They remember it and are grateful for it in a way that those who take a healthy baby home will hopefully never understand.
At the end of the day my goal is to make this horrible event as easy as possible and to send them home with some measure of peace. Occasionally I get a card telling me that I did that and those mean more to me than any other card or gift I receive. I wanted to take a moment today to pay tribute to those mothers and fathers who have been there. Please take a moment today to give a thought or a prayer or donate to a charity for those in this situation. In the UK most don’t realise that it is charities like SANDS and SIMBA who furnish ‘home away from home’ rooms and provide memory boxes, counselling and other vital services. If you knit then think about making small hats and cardigans or blankets to donate to your local maternity hospital. People often think of donating to the Neonatal Units but never of the little souls who don’t make it there. You could help someone like me give a little peace.
“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”