A Lesson In The Lambing

May 3, 2018

My husband and I have been keen fans of the BBC series, “Call the Midwife.”

Set in post-war, poverty-stricken East London, the midwives – both religious and lay – face complicated birthing challenges in each episode. In each situation they show courage and grace, blended with their own human emotions and shortcomings. At the end of each episode, the narrator, Vanessa Redgrave, reflects on what was learned and celebrated.

This past month, I was a midwife during our lambing season. Though we had only 14 bred ewes, we had a variety of challenging births. Most of them involved lambs who had grown too large in utero for the mother to push them out.

One mother struggled too long in labor and, after my unsuccessful attempt to midwife, we called for help from a more experienced sheep farmer who sadly pulled out three stillborn lambs. However, with medication (and to our relief), the mother lived. In a couple more situations, I was able to successfully pull out the lambs -- even one in a breach position, hind legs first.

We are now entertained by 19 healthy creatures jumping for joy after being released with their mothers from lambing pens. Though exhausted, I am reflecting on the unique struggles we encountered this year.

I’ve learned that facing challenges can bring blessings. Every day can bring emotional, intellectual or relational challenges, but if faced with courage and grace, we can celebrate a blessing – sometimes in disguise.

I’m Connie Seraphine, and that is my perspective.