So, yesterday I went to the outdoor pool at the condo to which I moved a few months ago. It was a warm, sunny day – the kind I dream about on the bitter cold, grey, frozen days of winter, which seem to last forever. There were only two people at the pool – and – you guessed it: they were both pregnant.
This is a new complex and people seem to be very friendly. They introduced themselves and asked which apartment was mine. When I told them, they said that was where the car with the cute bumper sticker was: “Midwives help people out.” I told them it was my car.
“You are a midwife?” they asked, and I said, yes, and that I attended home births. Pregnant Woman #1 said, “This is my second, I had a natural birth last with my first.” I was so delighted, as I rarely run into anyone who has had a natural birth – or – who even wants one ( with the exception of my clients who are seeking natural, home birth – bless them). She then went on to talk about how much she loved her doctor, who induced her, gave her pitocin, and then, when she wasn’t dilating, put a balloon in her cervix to help her “get to ten.”
Natural?? I wished her well and started swimming.
When I was turning around at the end of the pool and had just come up for a breath of air, PW#2 found her golden opportunity to tell me that she was already scheduled for a cesarean ( for NO GOOD REASON, trust me) in eight weeks and that she trusted her doctor and was okay with that decision.
What a way to ruin a perfectly good swim….
Then, this morning, I went to do my water aerobics workout. Same pool, different day. A sweet little girl, Jasmine, was swimming in the pool. She asked if spoke Cantonese or English and when I replied that I speak English, she told me that she can speak both languages, a little bit of Mandarin, and one word of Japanese! She announced that she was almost eight and going into the third grade. She told me that she lived with her grandmother and that her mother lived in China.
Jasmine then asked if I knew how to play “Marco Polo” and if I would play that game with her. I told her I only had a little time and had come to the pool to do my water exercises. As I was getting out of the pool, she asked if I could play with her. I told her that I would be happy to play another day but that I had to get dressed and work. She asked what was my work. I told her I was a midwife. She said she didn’t know what that was, and I told her that I helped women who were having babies to help the baby be born. She said, ” Oh, you cut babies out of the mother’s bodies!”
I want to cry.
Someone, please hand me a pack of tissues to put in my bathing cap and in the console of my car, the one with the great bumper sticker.