Bearing Witness


I saw you; your naked back exposed to the needle, your belly soon to be offered to the scalpel. I felt your knee shaking under my hand; the tear sliding down your cheek glistened in the harsh light.

I saw you; your eyes on the clock, hours of toil already behind you. I know you thought you could not do it for a second longer.

I saw you; summoning the last shred of energy in your body to help your baby out. Muscles straining in your neck; sweat on your forehead.

I saw you; your arms stretching out to touch your babe; but then wrapped around yourself in despair as you surrendered her to the frantic ministrations of the doctor.

I saw you – all of you. I bore witness.

(As a doula, I have the enormous privilege of being present at some of life’s sweetest moments. I also see the tremendous courage, determination and strength it takes to birth a baby – however that happens – and I am in awe every time).

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