borning: on moving from being a student to being a midwife

i wrote this piece recently and read it yesterday at the hand blessing held for my cohort of new midwives. it was our very last day as students. now, it seems, we are midwives. looking forward to licensure in october or november. here’s the piece. enjoy!

borning

standing on this precipice
i am thick with the unsure
 
i am a nowhere person
can’t go back 
but don’t know quite
how to move forward
 
i am scared
and fresh born
newly minted but cracking
feeling empty of experience
 
and i don’t know how to be
 
i look around
to search for myself
and for the first time i look
not up, to the mirror
but down, to my hands
 
and i don’t know them
i don’t know how to be them
but i am awed by them
i lean into them
mustering hope and ready to grown
 
because these hands
 
these hands have become
the first hands to touch new life
vessels for easing being into the world
 
they have learned the measure 
of a body opening
of a family emerging
these have been the tools
that help bring forth the babies
that change the world irrevocably
with their bloody sweet entrance
 
these hands have become
extensions of eyes
of tastebuds and inner ears
of brain cells
they have wallowed in the murk of
strange new ways of knowing
they have learned the measuring 
of space and of hope
by feel alone
they have discovered the tension of tissues
reading the stretch and give
of our physical selves
as love letters to the newest among us
that we haven’t yet to truly meet
 
these hands prod the unknown
slip slick over unseen skin and bone
dance across the soft spots 
of ears and of skulls
move systematically over and in
the most internal of organs
the soil and the ocean
touching people inside people
and calling them out
 
these hands have been taught 
to learn
to trust
the way of life unfolding
the feel of flesh yielding
the way a body moans open
when it finally lets go
and brings forth
and becomes two
 
they have been taught so much
 
and sometimes it feels like
too much
and too quickly
and with too much trepidation
 
so sometimes, staring down
i do know how to trust them
i don’t know how to ever trust
my own self
again
my intuition
my competence
 
but i AM these hands
and my future is seeded in them
and terrified as i may be
i can only have faith
i can only push with all my soul
i can only trust the process
and know
know that i will grow into these hands 
that i will yield and be born through them
that i will  yield and be born into them
 
and become something more
than a scared little once-girl
who has had a taste of creation

3 thoughts on “borning: on moving from being a student to being a midwife

  1. Emi says:

    This is sooooooo beautiful! Love you lots, Simon!

  2. Carina says:

    Beautiful, sweet Simon, simply beautiful. Congratulations on crossing yet another threshold and stepping more fully into all you are meant to be in this world. By the way, I showed my YMI youth your story and they were quite moved by what you had to share. Here’s to being with people at all stages of their lives. Lots of love, Carina

    PS Super cute pic on the DP invitation! I can’t wait to toast you and Maxx.

  3. […] babies this year. They will “touch people inside people and call them out” (to quote a poem by your friend and midwife Simon Ellis). Your heart will expand further than you knew was possible. […]

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