And I consider that they are about to give birth to their baby in the same place he or she was conceived.
Only this time, I get to be there.
I am there when she screams. I am there when she sobs. I am there when they both laugh and cry in relief when their baby comes exploding out of her body and they kiss and embrace their child together.
I am the keeper of her secrets, the words she may have let slip in her anguish. I am the keeper of his secret, that he is not the tough guy the rest of the world thinks he is.
I wrap up the naked child in a blanket and teach the new mother how to nurse. I wrap up the bloody sheets and remove the placenta while the parents count fingers and toes and call relatives with the happy news.
I make the family comfortable in their warm nest, and then I go out into the dark alone.
This is what it means, to be a midwife.
It means I will share a couple’s intimacy for a moment.
And then walk away, and let them keep it.