I love the Nativity story. Regardless if you believe the baby in the story is the son of God or not, the story resonates. Picture a young, pregnant Mary searching with Joseph for a place to stay . To complicate matters, Mary’s birth time was near and she surely wanted to get off that donkey and put her feet up. Although there is no mention of Mary’s birth attendants, I’m sure she did not give birth alone. The local midwife, perhaps the lady of the too full inn, would have been called to Mary’s side. In the warmth of the manger the work of labor would be accomplished by a young mother, far from her own mother and sisters. The women around her would act as surrogate mothers, sisters and friends. In this sacred space a baby was born.
Over 2000 years later we continue to celebrate the humble birth. Much like the unnamed birth attendants that witnessed the first Christmas, nurses all over the world are welcoming babies into the world today. Even today there are times that there is not room at the inn. When labor rooms are full mothers are not turned away. Triage and PACU become makeshift labor rooms and when those are full, out come the partitions to provide privacy in the hallways. Nurses know that you can never “max” out on patients in labor and delivery. No matter how many women show up in labor they will be taken care of by the nursing team. Most days there are enough rooms and enough nurses, but even when it gets crazy, nurses meet the challenge and take care of the mothers and their babies.
Santa will make early and late deliveries to many homes. Special people are waiting, in hospitals all over the world, for each Christmas miracle that will be born today. Christmas babies will be greeted by smiling nurses and doctors that are missing their own little ones in order to care for others.
Thank you to all the first responders and healthcare workers that are working today to care for other people’s families. We are thinking about you while we enjoy our time off.