I am capable of holding your hand for 24 hours, for giving counter pressure endlessly, being awake and alert and present for you for as long as it takes. i can set up your birth pool, fill it, empty it, fill it again and clean it before i leave. i can give your husband and family reassuring looks, hugs, pep talks and sleep in between your contractions right beside you. and then, when you’ve got your sweet baby in your arms, in your bed and you’ve been fed and are feeding i can quietly sneak out and drive home to my family. and then: i can’t. i cannot bring that love home to my own family. i can’t hold my daughters hand or rub her back while she falls asleep, i can’t give the boys a bath one at a time because it’s gross to get in after olly peed, again! i can’t give hugs and pep talks or feed my family. i can only crawl into bed and pray for sleep before the next phone call comes. if i could bring home a fraction of the selfless, spirit-led love that flows freely from me at a birth to my own home, if i could remember to ‘midwife’ my own sweet family and treat them with the same respect and reverence i have for a birthing mom, if only! what drives me to love a stranger and their family and to give so freely? what stops me from loving my own family in that same way? Jesus in me drives me to love. surely there is no limit to that love, surely i can learn to bring it home.