I met Paw when I went to pick her up for a prenatal appointment. This was my first assignment with Embrace and I was not sure what to expect. Although we do not speak the same language, that did not seem to matter at all. Paw is a gracious, kind and caring person. We somehow were able to communicate the important procedural things, and later, when we got to know each other better, we began to share laughs and joys over the small things in life.
Over the course of several weeks and months, Paw and I spent time in the car together, giving her a chance to practice some of the English she was learning, and later, her four-year- old daughter joined us, as we dropped her off for childcare before appointments. One day, I needed to pick up some paperwork at Paw’s home, and my husband was with me. I went into the house, but she insisted that my husband, who was sitting in the car, come into her home so we could meet her whole family. This was such a joy and privilege.
I was able to sit with Paw during several ultrasounds and we both looked at her beautiful unborn baby in awe. We commented on his hair and how big he looked. Again, we did not need the same language to get these feelings across.
Early one morning in February, I got a call letting me know that Paw was having steady contractions and was going to the hospital. I met her and her husband there 45 minutes later and made sure that Paw understood all of the questions she was being asked and that all was explained well so she could make good choices. I stayed with Paw and her husband that day for 14 hours, making sure we had good translation, that Paw had time to think about the questions she was being asked (no emergencies here), that her husband had food, that the nurse understood some important background about Paw’s previous birth experiences. I am not medically trained, but I did not need to be, to serve Paw that day. Sometimes we do not understand how important it is just to be present and walk with someone on their journey. I am so proud of Paw because she was able to make her own choices that day and welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world.
I love going to Paw’s home to visit her and her family. We sit on the floor together, with baby boy sleeping soundly on a little bed close to his mom, and little sister shows me her favorite toys, while big sister is at school. Paw’s mother gives me a big hug and offers me a drink. I feel so welcomed there and so blessed to have Paw as my friend.