The Midwife’s Tale Part Three

The Midwife’s Tale Part Three

I looked to her husband. “Wait outside.”  He cast an anxious look at his wife.  She nodded at him, then turned to face me again.

“Tell me what to do.”  Her dark eyes were filled with worry.

“Is this your first child?”  I set my satchel beside her head and loosened the strings.

She nodded.

“Have you ever assisted at a birth?”  I pulled a small sheet from the bag.

She shook her head, eyes closed. A tear ran down her cheek.

I forced a smile I didn’t feel.  “Fear will steal your joy. Don’t be afraid. You are in good hands. I am one of the best midwives in Bethlehem.”

She opened her eyes and smiled at me.  “I don’t know you, but I trust God, and I trust Joseph, and so I will trust you.”

I laid a hand on her protruding belly.  Deep inside I could feel the contractions that would soon increase to push this baby into the world. “Sit for a moment, take a rest. This baby isn’t going to come this minute.”

She relaxed onto one hip, and I leaned my head to her stomach and listened. Her heart beat regularly, and there — I could hear the baby’s heart beat, strong and sure.

Sitting back on my heels, I patted her hand. “Everything sounds fine. Now, let’s get you in position to deliver this baby.”

Over the next half hour we worked together, this scared young woman and I, to get her in the delivery position. I went over the stages of labor she could expect, and how long each might be expected to last.  As scared as she was, I left out the description of what could go wrong. She had enough on her mind right now not to deal with that.

When she was as comfortable as she was going to get in this dark damp cave, we knelt together, two women alone in the dark, as Joseph paced outside and the sheep in the corner nodded.

In between her contractions, when she could speak, we did what women do, what they have done for eons.  We talked.

I learned that Mary was a newly married maiden, married only six months before. My eyebrows raised at that, let me tell you. And when she told me the story of the baby she was carrying, about an angel of the Lord, in a dream, and the Messiah, well, I thought she was just trying to cover her indiscretion.

Donna

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Posted on December 20, 2015, in Devotions, Research, Writing Tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Midwife’s Tale Part Three.

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