I have always enjoyed working on Christmas; welcoming a new babe into the world seems the perfect Christmas gift for me. The years I spent working as a labor and delivery nurse or hospital midwife, I gladly took the Christmas shift. Growing up Jewish, and marrying a Buddhist, Christmas is not a big family event for us. Rather, Thanksgiving is the time our family gets together. But the story of Christmas does touch my heart deeply; it reminds me to pay attention to this truth : each baby born is a holy child.
Every midwife loves the story of Mary having a peaceful birth in a warm barn. No epidural or fetal monitor needed, just the friendly presence of the cow and the horse. Natural childbirth - only the best for the son of God! The way the stars shone to celebrate the birth, and the arrival of wise men to welcome the special child; and the angels singing overhead; I love these elements of the story. Many a quiet dawn, leaving a peaceful house after an all-night homebirth, I have seen nature display wondrous signs to celebrate a baby's birth: A perfect V-shaped flock of migrating birds against a pink sunrise, Jack Frost's paintings across the rice fields and foothills, rainbows, a mother and baby BEAR crossing the road, an unexpected snowfall, a bright yellow moon in a purple sky.
Every baby is a baby Jesus to me. A holy being, a child of God, a manifestation of Enlightenment. Call it what you will - I have seen hundreds of them come into this world and I am certain that when we look into the face of a newborn we are looking at the face of God. To have a baby is a tremendous gift- you are holding something so sacred and precious in your arms. Hold your baby, wear your baby, breastfeed your baby, sleep with your baby. Encourage your friends and relatives to do the same with their babies. Every year at Christmas I re-dedicate my life to protecting babies and manifesting as much love and safety for them as I can. I remember what an honor it is to serve birth and babies. I feel gratitude for having an autonomous, out-of-hospital midwifery practice, through which I stay true to these core values and beliefs. I give homage to our American midwife foremothers, and colleagues around the globe who work under all kinds of difficult conditions and political regimes to help mothers and babies. Happy Holidays!