A shift on delivery suite. I was surprised at my fear and anxiety but I am pleased I over-rode that! But it was so busy- full and unable to go anywhere. I tried to consider what was happening about me. The reaction of the staff to the shift was one of horror, of negativity. They were in a position of ‘holding it together’. How could they do the best they could for all those people by stretching themselves to the absolute limit. On days like this midwives don’t have much time to think about anything they are doing but having to do their best to give themselves in so many different directions. Women are left unsupported but midwives are left unsupported too. I spent some time with a woman in premature labour with twins- there seemed to be limits in the ‘care’ that had been given- lack of thought in the clothes she was wearing with an IV in a very hot room- simple practical things like giving a wash, making the bed, changing position. Is this the ‘nursing’ care in me coming out? Then I cared for a woman and her partner in labour. The midwife in me took over and I could ‘feel’ the memories. What was the spiritual care in this? It was in the encounters I felt with the woman who were having limited help, with the partners who floated around looking anxious and stressed, with the staff who work in that environment day in day out, knowing they are limited in the best they can give. One midwife told me she didn’t really feel she could give spiritual care as she hardly had encounters with people- but I replied that that she gave spiritually through her smile, through the support she gave to her staff, through the commitment she gave. Isn’t spiritual care relating to acts of kindness and expressions of love? And I am sure of the continuation between the physical nature of birth and the effect on my body! I can feel the surge of hormones as the women was labouring in front of me. I watch and wait but I am feeling and remembering!