Midwife. The word literally means 'with woman'
I know I have written this several times in my posts. It is a pretty simple thing to understand at face value. But once that title is seemingly snatched away, when the privilege of being ‘with woman’ is not longer an option, a far deeper meaning surfaces. You begin to realize just how ‘with woman’ you really were.
I learned this full well this past week
I have this patient named Jen. She is a 15-year-old girl from one of the clinic’s outreach areas where I volunteer once or twice a month. I did one of her early prenatals back at the beginning of this year and decided to take her a continuity patient of mine. I was to handle all of her prenatal care and be the one to manage her labor and delivery at our clinic. She had some complications prenatally so from then on out, I began to see her every two weeks, monitoring the growth of her baby and building a relationship with her. We became close and were frequent ‘text-mates’ as she had a lot of questions and wanted someone to guide her.
I began praying for her upcoming birth. We couldn’t quite figure out her estimated date of delivery as her dates seemed to be mismatched with our clinical findings. When she finally was able to collect money for an ultrasound, it turned out not to be of much help. With an unsure due date and my upcoming break for month of June, I was sure that she would end up delivering while I was gone.
Then, I got a text at 2:30am on May 28th that she was hurting and in labor. She continued to say that she was heading to the clinic, so I woke up and got ready. Several things happened very quickly at the clinic as I was awaiting their call. Because her chart showed that her dates were early for delivery, the supervising midwife made the decision to transport her right away to the hospital. I had feared that would be the case, but given the same circumstances, I would have done the same. Jen texted me that she was being referred, and then the call came from the clinic that she was indeed already at the hospital. I was so crushed. All the prenatals, all the time spent trying to prevent a transport to the hospital, all the efforts to prepare her for a birth at our clinic—all of it seemed to be for nothing.
I was really upset. I sat on my desk at home, 4 o’clock in the morning, crying. My patient continued to text me from the hospital as she waited to be taken to the delivery room. I was so discouraged and defeated. A midwife is with woman. And I couldn’t be with Jen. I had advocated, I had fought for her, but it didn’t turn out like we wanted.
The beauty of the situation is that she gave birth to a very healthy, beautiful baby boy at the hospital—no complications. I went to visit the pair the next day. It was wonderful to see them. In the end, I just wanted them to be healthy. And that indeed they were.
I’m learning more and more and more that it isn’t about me being the one to deliver a baby, or be close to a woman, or me doing anything at all. Every effort of mine is comparable to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and if I do not abide in the Lord, I can do nothing. (John 15)
I have continued to talk daily with Jen, and am excited to continue being her friend, to continue loving her, and to continue to share the incomparable love of Christ with her. She has a special place in my heart. And God has used our unique relationship to show me so much already.
Continue to pray for Jen, her family, and her baby boy Prince Yusop.
Pray for salvation, as they are unbelievers.
Pray that God may be glorified through our sweet relationship.
Pray that I would die to self and allow God to work through me.