Hearts Still Heavy

I came across these words, written by one of my midwives, and feel obligated to share it here. Her words are so beautiful. Hearts. Still. Heavy.
Today my heart is aching. While the mother we were attending labored to bring her baby into the world, mothers in Connecticut were wondering if their children were safe or gone. As the horrific news unfolded, the reality coming to light, I felt sick to my stomach.

As the forces of good and light and love moved to bring a new perfect little baby into this world, outside the forces of evil were stealing the lives of young innocents.

Unbelievable. The news, twenty children murdered by a deranged shooter, teachers, a principal. The forces of evil, a child “not connected,” “child of divorced parents,” a child murdered his own mother…

Our young sweet family in their birthing process unaware of the horror outside, deeply at peace and pleased with their choice to stay home, birth in calm, unhurried, sweetness.

We tucked them in, mom, baby, dad, sweet, cozy, perfect. There is something so very lovely about a homebirth. Ask any birth-worker. The oxytocin buzz we get from a good birth is like nothing else.

On the drive home, I listen to developing news about the tragedy.

Then the robo-call from my daughter’s school principal. On regular days, when I see the school calling, my heart skips a beat, even when my daughter is safe with me. Something about the school’s number on the incoming call seems foreboding. They only call when there is a problem, something wrong. The principal tonight asking that parents talk with their children about the shooting so they don’t hear it from someone else or from the news. She followed with reassurance that the school has security measures and runs drills for situations just like this. Is this supposed to make me feel better? The world is upside down. School is supposed to be a safe place!

When I get home I receive the letter granting me tenure, a process I have been working towards for the last six years. This letter means a certain level of security for my girls. Huge exhale. I am simultaneously so relieved and still so very sad for the community of Newtown, the school, the teachers, the families who have empty children’s bedrooms tonight.

The world is a very small place these days. The Dali Lama reminds us that we are all one, interconnected. At home, alone, my daughter with her dad, I check facebook and the first post I read is a friend posting that her friend’s friend’s granddaughter who was a first grader who was killed. The world is a small place these days. Another dear friend posts about her sister who lives in Sandy Hook, down the street from the shooter’s home and the details of the stories of this small community. The world is a very small place these days. Last week another dear friend was in the mall with her young boys in Oregon when shooting broke out. She was fortunate to have gotten out with her boys. The world is a very small place these days. We are all interconnected.

What really sends me over the edge is the footage of the brave teacher telling the story of how she barricaded her class into a small bathroom and told them to be quiet and reassured them how much they are loved. She described how she was sure they were going to be killed next and she wanted to be sure the last words her children heard was that they were loved and that everything is going to be ok. She told them there are bad guys out these and we are going to wait until the good guys come to help us. She told of how when the police came to the door, she told them she did not believe them and that they would have to put their badge under the door and even then she did not believe them, that they would have to have the key to open the door themselves. The children were told to close their eyes as they walked out to shield them from the horror.

I do the work I do because I believe we are all interconnected and I believe in the power of love. It matters how we are born and how we are parented in the earliest days. The foundations of social and emotional health are established at birth and built in the early postpartum time. I believe the power to change the world lies in the one by one by one nature of this birth work.

We don’t know the story of the shooter and his mother but clearly it was a troubled situation.

Connection is the key. Without connection, we are nothing. When we are nothing, we have nothing, and when we have nothing, we have nothing to lose. The emptiness within this young man to go on this killing spree is frightening and tragic.

Guns are evil. It is possible this boy’s mother may have purchased the gun that killed her to defend herself from her son. We may never know.

I love how many folks are quoting the wonderful Mr. Fred Rogers today

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mr. Rogers

There are more helpers and more caring people in this world than there are evil.

Guns need to be made much more difficult to obtain. It is time for this discussion to move forward. I pray for the community of Sandy Hook and I pray for the families that lost their love ones today that they have strength and love and connection to help bring them through this tragedy. I pray for the souls of the departed that they may be free from suffering and be at peace. I pray that our president, the father of beautiful girl children will take this on as a battle worth fighting. I pray that the politicians can grow up for a minute and stop bickering and work together to do something good for the children of the country for once.

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