I remember talking to a group of people under 20, who had been kicked out of school about the myth of time.
‘There is no future place’, I told them, ‘it’s just an illusion produced by thinking’, ‘there is no past either, it’s just a story you made up about what happened’!
‘All there really is’, I went on, ‘is the moment you are in, this moment’. ‘You wonder how your life will turn out’? ‘Well , here’s the Truth, it turned out, this is it’!!
A small chap on the front row, shouted out, ‘are you saying we should live today like it’s our last’?
‘Hell no’, I said, ‘if I knew today was my last day I wouldn’t be here with you’!
‘I would be home looking my loved ones in the eye, telling them I loved them and that they can do anything in live they choose’.
‘What I’m saying to you is that we should live everyday like it’s our last ‘ordinary day’!
People wake up on ordinary days, and go to ordinary jobs not realising that this ordinary day will be their last.
People die on ordinary days.
‘How can I support a man who has been traumatised by his partners first birth and is panicked about her second’?
The beginnings of an answer:
Listening, with nothing on your mind to his birth story is an act of love that he will probably have not experienced. So as a starting place offer him that. He will have questions about how things went last time, give him time to ask them, listening for his sense of failure at not being able to keep her safe. When you feel he has talked him self out, answer his questions….these are good places to start….
A midwifery student friend posted a status:
‘Time for nap the assisting women having babies later’.
In reply I wrote:
‘Assisting still has some sense in which the midwife is adding something to the process…..just me probably’.
Then she said:
‘Well, aren’t we? Since the moment the woman walks in the hospital we add so much: questions, montoring the baby, touching, examining, give choices etc etc. I know it’s not perfect to say “I delivered a baby” because the woman pushes the baby out herself but I can’t change the language that 99.99% of mw’s and doctors use’.
‘I don’t think we are adding anything very useful to the birthing process myself. She has all that is needed for that, she is to be worshiped in that sense. Anything we offer should be just that, an offering, which she takes or leaves dependant on her whim!
We may be adding some of the stuff you mention, but it’s worth little if we don’t have faith in her magnificence……..
As for the language that others use, who cares how they talk, it’s my mouth and I’ll shape my own behaviour through my language and I’ll be a leader when it comes to shaping the culture that women of the future will birth into. The others? Well they can do as they please’!
Here I stand.
Ps she is an amazing midwife who I am very proud to have worked with as a student.