Kimla McDonald, CNM, Guest Blogger
Two weeks ago my son started college. He is my second child,
four years younger than his sister, so this process of becoming an “empty
nester” has been going on for a long time. I’m slowly getting used to it, which
is, frankly, the only option.
Last spring, I sat on my porch and watched a family of birds
who had nested in the birdhouse my son constructed when he was 11. Two baby
birds squawked loudly, their wide open beaks just visible through the opening
of the house. Their parents came and went with food, and then one day one of
the babies flew out of the nest. That’s me in a few months, I remember thinking
when I saw the mama bird return to a home considerably quieter than it had been
just a moment earlier.
Every day at work, as I send new mothers out the door with
their tiny babies, I think of the future spring day when that child will
graduate from high school and move on. I hope I’ve served them and their
parents well during pregnancy and birth, and I offer them words of advice that
focus mainly on getting enough sleep, taking probiotics, and immediately
starting a college savings fund. I hope that the midwifery care they’ve
received serves them well, reminding them that when they walked into our
practice, they found a place where they were truly cared for and listened to,
regardless of the language they spoke or whether or not they had insurance. I
hope these new mothers take the time to embrace and remember every single day,
and not be too astonished at how fast the seasons go by, how quickly each full
moon wanes and then becomes full again.
A good friend of mine is a poet and activist in the San
Francisco Bay Area. Every full moon, he sends out a poem, and for September he
honored the Midwife Moon.
La madrina luna nos mira
con cara impasible
Nos protege de los meteoritos
partera de la vida terrestre
pues sin su jalar de los mares
no hubieran los charcos
de la marisma que nos dieron nacer
a quienes nos arrastramos
andamos en tierra.
Nos bendice la luna
Godmother moon looks at us
with impassive face
& blesses all
with her lent light.
She protects us from meteorites
& is midwife of
for without her pull of the seas
there would not be the pools
of the tides that birthed us
who crawl or walk on land
The moon blesses us
with her borrowed light.
Rafael Jesús González 2011
Full moon by
CodeCutter via Flickr.