Mamatoto-In Memorium


In Memorium

I have been working on the March Blog this week, inspired by newborn lambs frolicking in the greening pastures of Oregon’s many rich fields and agricultural valleys. This is an ancient and recurring rebirth that we witness every spring, filling us with the hope of survival. Our spirits are lifted. We make plans for the future. We trust that rebirth will happen again and again, as it has for all time. The pattern of renewal can be counted on.

While pondering springtime and rebirth, the sad news came to us at PPG that our beloved friend and partner Darla had suddenly and unexpectedly lost her mother. I was painfully reminded that the wonder of life comes and goes on the terms of a higher power. We are honored as healthcare providers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors to witness the miracle of life as it slips through the veil into this world and out again.

Mothers are amazing. They give birth to us. In Spanish giving birth is expressed as “dar la luz” or to give light. If we are lucky they stay to feed us, protect us, grow us, give us our culture and faith. If we are fortunate, as we become adults, mothers befriend us. And just when we are ready to give back to them because we are strong and can, they leave us with a legacy to remember. We are all on some level (even if DNA is the only evidence) – we are all our mother’s child and always will be.

Perinatal providers have the privilege of ushering new lives into this existence - often several times a day. We place the newborn skin-to-skin with Mom and watch the bond of a lifetime become irreversibly complete. Mamatoto, a Swahili word meaning mother baby, reminds us of this oneness. There is nothing like baby lambs in springtime to remind us that we can trust in birth as part of an eternal cycle. We are all part of the miracle. We are humbled to witness life’s renewal.

In memory of Darla’s Mom