Monday, November 11, 2013

I said goodbye to my midwife today.

I said goodbye to my midwife today.

This is the day I've been the most hesitant about since learning we'd be moving. And really... all along, I knew this day would come --- I knew this wasn't our forever home, here in Iowa.

But the closer we got to our moving date the sicker to my stomach I'd get, or the more nervous-twitchy my hands would get,when thoughts of this day passed through my mind. I didn't want to leave her.

I was actually supposed to see Sheryl last week, but when it came time to leave the house I couldn't find my keys anywhere. I tore my purse apart, looked everywhere around the house, but just couldn't find them. We had just gotten back from Blake's parent's house so I thought maybe I left them there, or lost them on the way.
But a couple days later, I found the keys tucked away in a pocket I'm sure I looked through.
I kinda think God was giving me a better day to say goodbye.

I had to call and move our appointment back a week.
And something about that felt better.

(Oh I guess I should clarify, that my midwife has also been Ruby's pediatrician since she was born, so she's done all our baby wellness visit.)

I felt better seeing her later, and closer to when I'd actually be moving.
I just didn't want to rush it.

I've never felt this way about anyone before.
I can't fully wrap my mind around it, and so I can't fully even describe it.
But sometimes I feel so much love and respect for Sheryl I almost I idolize her. I don't think I really actually do. But she is my famous person. She is who I want to send paparazzi after. She is who I want to be like.
She is someone who knows her stuff -- she knows so much, she's taught me so much. And she's corrected so many things I had been told incorrectly by my past care providers -- like mom's don't die from becoming rh negative sensitized. (Why did they tell me that?!)
She is someone who rescued me from something. She is someone who gave me something no one else could. She is someone who respected me in a way no one else ever had. She is someone who literally flat out told me "I believe in you." when no one on earth did, not even me. (Well Blake did too. But he didn't have a medical background so it felt more like love, and less like a stamp of approval.) And she is someone who has explained vastly detailed concepts in easy to understand english in a way that never overwhelms me emotionally, any time I've asked, and I ask way too often way too many things.

I have a well a gratitude for Sheryl that starts over my head, and goes deeper than my feet.

And I am gonna miss her like crazy.

I'm even gonna miss her other patients.

Her office isn't like a normal office.
Its not fancy.
In fact its nearly dumpy.
But its magical in there.

Every time I've been in there I feel people's real-soul living in love and being who they are made to be.
And I think somehow Sheryl blesses that into them or gives them more room in the world for it to be.
If ever someone is in her waiting room, we interact. We don't try to stay in our own space and keep safe. Its like no walls ever were when you are in that room. And because of that I've always come away from an interaction there feeling more wise, or well, or encouraged, or hopeful.
Our kids interact with each other's kids and I always want to cry at the beauty that family is.

I'm literally not over talking this stuff. And I'm not trying to wax poetic.
This is exactly how I feel when I am there.

But to be honest.
I also always feel a little scared.
I think its because I am prone to fear.
And Sheryl is a firm lady, which can intimidate me a bit.
And of course before I gave birth I was swimming in fear.
But even now, when I am there, because the office is not normal or fancy, I always have to lay down some pride. I always have to step out in some faith. And I always have to see with my heart eyes instead of my real eyes.
And I guess that's why everything there is so beautiful.
I think I kinda see it more how God sees things.

I was really scared to say goodbye today.

But it all worked out so well.

I was running 15 mins late. (Ok even later, but speeding got me there only 15 mins behind.)
And I was scared that I wouldn't get to ask her my last little pile of questions I "needed" to know because I was so late.
But the timing was better than if I had gotten there on time, because no one was after us. The ones who should have been after us, went before us. (I'm guessing another God thing.)
Sheryl was her usual self, which is kinda of gruff but its always because she wants the best for you, but she needs it to be the truth real and gritty. I got time to ask my questions. And she gave me a firm hard admonishment, in regards to future providers (I was talking about how I go long with pregnancies, and her and I both know many providers don't let VBACers go long) she said, "You are the one who has to tell them no." Firmer now with something that almost hurt my feelings, "YOU are the one who has to tell them no." Voice stiffening eyes hard and determined to convey, "YOU are the one who has to tell them."
I weakened a bit, feeling like she was saying I was failing. (My baby was also crying quite loudly at the time as we had now passed nap time.) And as I gathered things together, my literally belongings, I started to gather my thoughts, and I realized... that is my Sheryl. She's not being mean, she's not saying I failed. She is telling me the flat truth, loud enough so I can hear it.

I love her.

It started snowing.
She has a HUGE window behind her outlandishly messy desk.
And these little tiny white snow flakes began to be pulled slowly across it, starting high and left and ending low and right.
I said, "Its snowing."
And no one heard me.
I said it two more times, and Sheryl turned looked and said,  "It really is....I always say our fist day of snow is right around Veterans Day. I was right."
And I just couldn't get over how smart she is. She pays attention to what she pays attention to. And she keeps it.

I said goodbye and it didn't hurt right then.

And I drove home in the snow, just fully and utterly grateful that it was snowing.
Something about the snow made it feel like I could leave.
Something about it gave me closure.
Something about it showed me a full circle.
We came here in the snow. And we are leaving in the snow. But everything is different. And everything is better than it was.

And so I got wistful in the van on the way home.
(The girls had fallen asleep.)
A heart FULL of gratitude.
A heart bursting with amazement of where God has brought us, and a peace about where we are going.

I still ache a bit for what I am leaving.
But I have to just be grateful that I was ever here to start with.
That God ever said, "Lydia meet Sheryl."

Sheryl has told me a number of times now that if we have more babies I can come back and see her.
The first time I kind thought she was joking. But she went on to explain she meant it.
She said she's had some moms come back and stay in a hotel the last three weeks.
And I smiled just happy that was an option, but didn't think I'd really do that.

But today when she said it, I definitely let it play out in my mind, many times on the drive home.
I still doubt I'd go that far. I do think I have some pretty good options where I am going. And I know I have a "proven pelvis" now. So I think I'd be ok with future births with someone else. I'm also cool with doctors and hospitals. (But truth be told, I am worried about how my emotions may get in the way in that environment. I'm hoping to feel safe in a hospital now that I know what I know. Only time and the ability to walk in those doors again can tell me.)
But anyway, I'm not gonna rule out any moments with Sheryl. I'm leaving it on the table.

And whenever I get really deeply moved by Sheryl's goodness to me, I always have to stop and see the way she portrayed God to me in her actions and treatment of me. And I am forced to think of God as good. Which may sound pathetic. But I gotta be honest, I struggle with that.
Sheryl won't ever fully get how well she is showing Christ to the world. But I sorta do. She tangibly saved me from something, and it forces me to remember that's what makes God good -- that he saved me from the worst things to give me the best things. That His saving me is his Goodness.

Thank you God, for a Sheryl --- who could show me in a way I could grasp. Bless her like crazy. Amen.


  1. Just read this post, and I'm praying that I find a caregiver like Sheryl when I need one. How did you end up finding her? (I know you've written about that before - I'll try to look for it, but if it's easy for you to link to that post eventually, that would be awesome)

    1. I'm praying I find someone else too, once we move! Sheryl is a one is a bazillion!

      I found her through a doula. We moved and before we got here I googled up doulas and kinda narrowed those down -- the doula I choose had been doing it for 15 years and really honed in on VBACs. So I talked to her and asked her what my options were. (She actually gave me all the info I needed long before I hired her, so you shouldn't have to pay someone to find out that kind of thing.)
      ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Method) is also a good place to find out about care providers -- even if you haven't had a c-section they are a good place to get info.

      This link is to my "How I Chose a Home Birth" post:

      And this is a good post for helping you find a good provider. Its a list of questions you should ask to get a feel for how they will care for you:

      Good luck to both of us on our future hunting!

  2. I know it feels bad, but it's time to accept that change is indeed inevitable. I bet your midwife was a very nice partner, wasn't she? I'm pretty sure you can still find a new and caring midwife as you move to another place. Well, update me when you've found a new one. Good luck on the move! :)

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