We know a lot about the science behind birth. We know what hormones play a role, we know that baby's body manufactures a special type of hemoglobin that can hold 4 times the oxygen of normal hemoglobin. We know how baby's body will need to move to be born whether head down or breech. It seems we know so much that sometimes pregnancy and birth can be stripped of the wonder because of all the knowledge we have.
Every time I am called to a birth, I use everything I know about birth. I monitor baby's heart rate, I assess how labor is progressing and how Mom is handling labor. Even with all the scientific knowledge though, I find myself in a place of wonder at the miracles that are happening before my eyes.
Birth is a miracle. There is that moment between birth and baby filling his or her lungs with air for the first time that is truly miraculous. The line between birth and death is a razor's edge and yet I trust that birth will result in the miracle of life. Birth is only part of the miracles I get to witness.
Watching the moment Dad falls head over heels in love with his baby, watching Mom realize the strength she has, watching baby look into Momma's eyes for the first time, hearing that first cry of the newborn, seeing how quickly Mom's body shifts from birth to recovery, seeing Mom with a confidence she did not have before the birth of her baby, seeing parents work together as a team to bring baby into the world, seeing a sibling meet baby for the first time and more. All these things are a portion of the miracles I hold witness to. It is an honor beyond anything I ever imagined. I can know all the science there is to know about pregnancy and birth, and yet that knowledge will never diminish the awe I feel when I witness the miracles that occur when I am working.