The Good Bits
There is something especially right about watching Call the Midwife on Mothers’ Day, especially as I am about to head into the hospital to help deliver the baby of a colleague and soon-to-be first-time mom.
Fans of Call the Midwife rave about how good the show is, how accurate it is from a historical perspective. There is another wonderful characteristic about the show that only some of its viewers get to experience. Those of us who are midwives get that special thrill when a character or plot line stirs our own special memories. As the oppressed wife Annie tells her son, we have “the good bits” to help us through the hard times.
I remember a text I read in midwifery school that said the only thing more stressful than pregnancy and childbirth was dying. I have been there when a woman amazed herself and her family when she finds that last bit of energy to push the baby out even though she is exhausted. I have seen women revel in the power of breast feeding their babies. I love the energy and joy in a labor room when everyone works together — the mother-to-be, the nurses, the family. I remember thinking myself that I could not make it through labor while I was in middle of it. I was already a midwife when my first was born. Afterwards, I felt I needed to call about two hundred women to say I might have underestimated how much work they had all gone through. My midwives helped me, my husband and mom helped me, my nurses helped me. Looking back I can describe what happened in the labor, but mostly I remember the funny stories as the pivotal moments; the pains are just part of the narrative. It’s the good bits I remember.
The good bits may be learning to ride a moped or having friends return from a journey. Then for a special few of us the good bits are a baby coming into this world into our hands then up to the loving arms of a waiting mother.
(Elizabeth) Tish Roeske (CNM, MS, BSN, RN) is a nurse-midwife and has been practicing in Metro Detroit as a certified nurse-midwife for 20 years. Roeske graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science and from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a Master’s Degree in Science for Nurse-Midwife.
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