Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Midwife

by Donna Voetee

Shiphrah’s blue eyes sparkled like the gem she was named for, especially after she had been at the side of a new mother as she brought life into the world. The first cry, the joy at the end of the pain, was something that her heart lived for.

Now, she knew her life was in danger, as she could not bring herself to destroy the child that her own hands delivered. Pharaoh’s orders or not, the deed could not be done, at least by her.

Today was her friend Jochebed’s second birth. Now Miriam would have a baby brother, but for how long, no one knew. If Pharaoh’s soldiers found out, there would be a price to pay, both for the family, the infant, and herself. But for now, all had gone well and mother and child were aglow.

She left the birth room and went home to her husband and daughters, whose own azure eyes reflected the dignity and strength of their mother’s.  

The clinic was full today. That chickenpox epidemic seemed to have hit all at once. Though some would have tired of the constant wheezing and sniffling of little noses, Priscilla always loved the opportunity to be with the children.

Since she had been hired as head pediatric nurse, Dr. Thomas’s patients actually had seemed to improve. Allergy visits were further apart for many, as Dr. Thomas had noted himself. Others had had to have their Ritalin reduced or even eliminated. Priscilla sure had a way with those kids.

Dr. Thomas thought himself so lucky to find her. Many nurses of her stature would have balked, because there was a trend to question the vaccines that were being given. But not Priscilla; she made sure they all got every single one on the schedule.

The last itchy child had left the office and Dr. Thomas would be leaving early tonight, too. Though it was not in her job description, she offered to stay and get ready for tomorrow’s schedule. Dr. Thomas gratefully bid her good evening and wondered what he had ever done without her.

The door locked after him, and Priscilla knew that it would be an hour before the janitorial staff arrived. She went to work quickly, opening the locked med case. With a syringe, she deftly withdrew from each small vial the entire contents and squirted it down the sink. With another, she injected saline back into the bottle and set it back on the shelf. No child’s life would be destroyed by her hands, not even if those shots were mandatory.

Her sapphire eyes twinkled with yet another day’s job well done.