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Making a List and Checking it Twice


When I go on call for a client, it's my habit to do a detailed restocking of my birth bag following a carefully constructed packing list. It's almost more of a ritual than a chore as it helps me mentally and emotionally prepare for her birth too. I go through each compartment taking inventory, being careful to check expiration dates and the integrity of sterile packaging.

The only thing I can really control about a birth is how prepared I am for it. It's a carefully curated bag, and each item has been strategically chosen and packed in a way that makes me feel ready for any scenario. I want to be able to grab what I need quickly if there's an emergency, be able to clearly direct someone else to grab something if I need someone else to do it, and I want to be able to transport used items in a way that my bag stays clean to be repacked for the next birth. It took time and practice for me to refine this system, and yet each midwife has her own unique way of doing it.

It's another example of how midwifery is a marriage of science and spirituality... This bag is full of instruments and medications and monitoring equipment, but it's also full of my desire to make this birth as safe and smooth and joyful as possible. Packing it is a meditation of sorts...practical and ethereal.

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© 2019 by Jennifer Courtney. These images are sacred to the families who graciously allowed me to use them, and are the artistic property of the photographers who worked hard to capture them. Please respect the copyright laws and do not copy these photos without permission.  Proudly created with Wix.com

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