A Thank You Letter to My Midwife

My daughter, Hannah, is a midwife, too. Many of you know that already.

Hannah’s apprenticeship was born within a conflagration of extremes, representative of nearly the whole of her remarkable life, when a pair of our dearest friends birthed their third baby with us only six weeks after the death of our Brent Woodard—Hannah’s dad and my husband.

The baby came in an astonishing show of power and beauty, and was followed by a heart-stopping freshet of blood. I was without a partner at that birth so, of necessity, I recruited fifteen-year-old Hannah to help me. She’d come to tend the older children when they woke, but rose to the challenge and together we stemmed the flow and stabilized the mama while trying hard to preserve the sanctity of the moment.

We succeeded.

Some hours later, with our roles of midwife tucked away in the van with our gear, we lounged around on the bed of our friends for a final bask in the glory, and were surprised to find ourselves inundated in yet another freshet as the mother of the baby began to cry. A river of the woman’s tears swept over us in the wake of her realization Brent would never know her baby and that her baby would never know Brent.

Death! Life! Darkness! Light! Pain! Joy! Trial! Triumph! Fire! Flood! Redemption!

Eleven times the earth has circled the sun since that poignant day and more death, life, darkness, light, pain, joy, trial, triumph, fire, flood, and redemption has been squeezed into Hannah’s experience than I’d have thought possible—among which is the sole proprietorship of a flourishing midwifery practice.

Day in and day out and through many nighttimes, with two small daughters, a breast pump, and an overflowing diaper bag under arms and in hands, Hannah tends to growing families with uncommon skill and excellence.

Though more than 1200 miles separate us, I see her as she works and I know what her work costs her. I’m proud of her, I’m concerned for her, I’m inspired by her, and I keep her before the Lord in continual prayer.

When one of Hannah’s clients, Lakota, wrote to tell me she planned to surprise Hannah with a public letter of gratitude and the opportunity to read it ahead of time, I sobbed all the way through. To know that even while Lakota was immersed in her once in a lifetime moment, she recognized and appreciated all the nuances of the care—of the love Hannah showered upon her went all the way into the depths of my heart.

Yes, Hannah loves her job. Yes, Hannah loves her clients. But, yes, it’s a hard job, too.

Here are some snippets from Lakota’s thoughtful letter:

“I want to start off with, I see you. I see the amazing mom you are to your little ones and how hard you work to make sure that they are cared for, loved and in the best hands while you are engulfed in your ever demanding but incredibly beautiful life calling…

What you do for pregnant women extends so far beyond the actual service you provide… 

When you decide to take on a client you aren’t just adding another name to a list or agreeing to have certain appointment times open and available. Taking on a client for you means so much more than that, and I assure you that every pregnant woman that you’ve attended in birth knows and feels that wholeheartedly…

You hold space for them…

Thank you for listening, hearing and sharing with me, it meant more to me than you might realize…

Thank you for never doing anything that wasn’t needed. Thank you for knowing exactly what to do and when, when it was needed…

Staying with me after the birth until I felt ready for you to leave helped ease my mind…

The fact that all of these things were done in the same caring manner that your best friend would offer was the single most important and cherished portion of everything you provided… 

Thank you for seeing me as more than just a client…”

Thank you, Lakota, for taking the time to see Hannah and to thank her so beautifully 

To see the whole post by Lakota on Emily Reviews, click here!


Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author

Books by Kim:

Homebirth: Safe & Sacred

Homebirth: Commonly Asked Questions

A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life

Nourish + Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing

One Little Life at a Time: Recommendations + Record Keeping for Aspiring Homebirth Midwives

4 thoughts on “A Thank You Letter to My Midwife

  • Lakota’s letter is a beautiful tribute to Hannah. Thank you for sharing it, and as always thanks to you, Kim, to Hannah, and to all midwives who carry on the mighty, humbling and necessary craft of supporting families in their birth experiences. Your gifts and efforts and love are so very important, and your tremendous sacrifices are appreciated. Thank you for giving. Thank you!

    • I really am just so proud of her. She’s one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever been blessed to know ♥

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