Last weekend, I went out with a couple of friends. I guess you could say we had a Ladies Night Out. With loud music and glasses of wine, we shared time, company and secrets.
Lots of secrets.

As a midwife, I am professionally privy to many secrets.

Sometimes secrets are revealed when going over a woman’s health history before an exam.
(The grandfather that did things he shouldn’t have. The former lover that would get really mad, and sometimes hit, a lot. An abortion. Or two. Previous drug use. The stillborn baby brother that no one ever talks about…)

Sometimes, secrets are revealed during the exam, like when I roll up a sleeve to measure blood pressure.
(Fine, white scars of ancient cutting. Sweet ladybug tattoo from that Spring Break long ago. Phone numbers written on wrinkled skin because the mind won’t hold them anymore…)

Over the years, I have gleaned this truth: women have secrets.
Childhood secrets. Family secrets. Personal secrets. Relationship secrets. So many secrets…

Sitting on a stool, in a noisy wine bar, laughing and talking, my friends and I shared some of our own secrets, some long-buried, some new and raw.
Somehow, that dark room seemed brighter and more intense after the telling.
Somehow, we each seemed more alive, more connected from the sharing.

The very act of sharing these secrets brought my friends and I closer to each other, closer to our own selves, even left us feeling closer to all of womankind.
The very act of sharing also made the secrets themselves smaller, somehow less powerful.

And what about those secrets? Well, they will not be printed here.
A shared secret maybe changed, it may be smaller, it may be less powerful. But it is still private.
It is still a secret.


May all babies be born into loving hands