I'm in the kitchen at the birth center listening to a momma in labor. She's been here all day and she's getting louder now as darkness falls over the city. Mammals have higher hormone levels at night so we birth when the predators are sleeping, or so they say. We're ancient, you know. In spite of soap and bath water and Glade plug-ins.
I've been here all day seeing clients in the prenatal clinic. Babies and moms and dads and toddlers. We've got a few babies who are struggling to gain weight, to nurse properly. Little babies don't have a lot of reserves so we stay on them til we figure out what is wrong. Low milk supply? Sucking disorder with a tight frenulum? Back when my kids were small, you shoved a boob in the baby's mouth and hoped for the best. I was so sore for a while. No instructions on proper latch or position. We know more now but still some babies need donor milk or some formula and some mothers just don't want to nurse, for a variety of reasons. Reminds me of the recent NYT article that talked about the disservice done to mothers who don't breastfeed. We make them bad or wrong. Honestly, you don't know, looking at a bottle fed baby. Perhaps the kid was adopted. Maybe the mom has to work.
Today I talked with my young colleague about buying the business from me (gulp). I need to find someone to 'value' the practice so I know what to ask for, price-wise. In the next five years, I need to stop being on call for births and 'retire' from that end of midwifery. I could still do some clinic and keep my hand in training students. But the night call is, shall we say, difficult. In five years I'll be 70, jeezus. How on earth did that happen. And I might want to spend more time with the ones I love, including my honey. She remains my honey, after almost three months!