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Friday, 9 December 2011

Holding on to the future.

We all have a birth experience. Our unique walk on this planet began with a unique birth experience - in which we were brought forth and started to be the person we are now. Track backwards through all of your life's rich experience - each shaping you into your current form - it all started from your birth. 

It is a priviledge to see the beginning of a new person. A midwife shares in a small portion of a whole life - the first 4 - 6 weeks or thereabouts. Usually, it's just enough time to see a glimpse of a baby's future self. One day, these newborn babies will become adults - what will they be like then?

I love to hear a mother talk about her unborn child and share what they know about them already - how baby moves, how they react to familiar voices, when they wake and when they sleep. The stories about the rascally ones who kick their dad in the back when he's trying to sleep in. The 3am flip-floppers when mum is trying to sleep. Then there's the ones that make this student midwife grin: after a longer-than-usual 'learning' palpation - kicking back at my hands ("hey man, this is MY space - back off!"). So even before they are born, they are already giving us a hint as to their future personality...

The other day I looked down at a freshly-born little person and thought: Today is the start of your future.  Fast forward, and one day it could be you in this room, catching babies. You could be the doctor that was here earlier, or the administrator that took the call when we were coming in. And one day, when I am most likely long gone from this earth, you could be pacing these very corridors, waiting for your grandchild to be born...

But today you're here; and its you being born. Full of potential, bundled up in a perfect little body, primed for learning.  I wonder if our paths will cross again, when you are grown?

When a midwife catches a new baby, she holds - ever so briefly - the future in her hands. She can look straight into those first-blinking eyes of a new person - who will go on to influence the world in ways we can't even imagine yet...

source: google images
I can't think of better hands for the future to start in...

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