so basically, i have spent the last two years of my life in prenatal care land. appointments, ultrasounds, glucose tests. last year of course, it was for my own sweet t who eventually made her appearance in january. and just as i finished up the last of my postpartum visits, one of my friends, one of my language teachers found out that she was pregnant. in fact that she was already several months pregnant when she found out.
so, we went to prenatal visits together, to ultrasounds together. she had a uncomfortable pregnancy, but nothing dangerous. and this baby was due last week. naturally, baby girl didn’t come when the calendar thought she should.
so when she texted in the middle of the night yesterday to tell me she was in labor (gratefully, t woke me up because she was gassy, otherwise, i might have missed it!) i was excited! of course! it’s time! i picked up my bff the doula/painter/community organizer/yoga awesome-er/has too many jobs to list and off we went to see how things were moving along.
and thus began the day at 2:30 am.
she was a champ! she worked so hard, even though she was exhausted, she stayed with us, she trusted us, even though she wanted to run away so badly. i wept with so much grief for all she has endured in her life and then enduring labor with grace and faith. it was so amazing to be a part of her journey like that.
and that is really what i am feeling this morning: how amazing it is to be invited to join in another’s journey. it is a great honor to be sacredly entrusted with the vulnerability and tender terror that rises in us when we do not understand our lives.
and the truth is a birth is only a well illuminated metaphor for this phenomena. every day, we are all given this trust by people in our lives, sometimes even by complete strangers.
it was a great privilege. one i will never forget.
and of course, at the last moment, when she thought she could do no more, this lovely lady arrived (see pic below), full of fierce grace and beauty.
as we sad goodbye to her last night, sixteen hours from our first texting, she hugged us and thanked us for being there with her. her heart was full of a new baby and gratitude. and then i thanked her for the honor of trusting me to walk with her.
my friend doesn’t believe me yet. that it was an honor to walk through those sixteen hours of her life with her. it’s okay, i didn’t believe it either the first time someone told me that about the hard thing i walked through. but maybe i am catching on.