Last Wednesday I walked out of the local travel agents with our air tickets to Malawi.
We will leave London on Saturday 5th January arriving in Lilongwe the following day.
El dia de los reyes...Kings day. Having lived in Spain for the past 20years we not only enjoy a generous visit from Father Christmas on 25th but the arrival of the three Kings bearing gifts on the 6th.
I contemplate the significance of our arrival that day and it reminds me of the Christmas carols that we so loved to sing as children and continue to enjoy now.
What can I give him
Poor as I am
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man
I would do my part
Yet what can I give him
Give my heart
Yes that is what I shall take to Malawi on Kings Day, my heart.. but I know in advance that the gifts I shall receive just by being there will far outweigh anything that I could hope to give.
Carol is being a star and helping me beyond words to get organized.There is so much to do. As usual I am totally overbooked and need to fit in two homebirths, two teaching courses for midwives, parents classes, my usual working shifts and antenatal visits, all before the end of the month. Not to mention organize and plan a wonderful Christmas with my four wonderful children.
I have just received a mail from my contact in Lilongwe who had promised us very suitable living accomodation. He has rented it out to others!! This is a set back for me but I will try to be positive and think that maybe there is somewhere better just around the corner. Otherwise plans seem to be going well. Carol has sorted out a cheap way to send our excess luggage. This is important as Lucas will need familiar things around ..toys etc. to help him settle. I shall start packing tomorrow. The boxes will be on there way by the end of the week.
This weekend I have been teaching student midwives all about natural childbirth. How priviledged we are, as midwives, to be able to be part of this amazing moment. The birth of a new person. How our very attitude, our words, our actions, our care, can so powerfully influence in a good or bad way. We must be aware of this ,we must not take this lightly. What we do, what we say, makes a difference. One would think that all professionals working in this field realize this. It is not so. Caught up in the routine, the protocols, the business, the need to finish the job and get on to the next, cause them to forget the individual, the uniqueness of each birth, of each mother, child and family. Birth is primarily about safety, healthy mothers and babies. But it is also and importantly about love. Mothers bonding with their babies, parents bonding with each other through this marvellous moment, the birth of their child.