Monday, March 8, 2010

Midwife School


Bri taught "stretch and sweep" using tangerines,
and AROM using water balloons.

For the kinesthetic learner ~
No cervix right
No cervix wrong


Last week was MCU Conference and Skills Lab week. I have come to look forward to this so much. Student midwives gather from all over to study, learn, practice, comfort and support each other. MCU has found its rhythm and there is a feeling of continuity. It feels like a big reunion week as students, old friends now, return.
We taught Labor and Birth Lab this time. We started our class just hours after a night birth preceded by a week of exhausting, intense midwifing. It was very clear that our well planned outline was far inferior to our teaching from the trenches, sharing what we had been through - the core of Labor and Birth.
Towards the end of our second day, we felt prompted to share a case that was heavy in our hearts. Every skill mentioned in the PSGM that we teach from had been used as we followed practice guidelines in caring for a mother and her newborn. It was book work come to life. It was a hard story to tell as the outcome was still hanging. As we finished, there was a silent space in the room and a strong spirit of women circling - our students to hold us up. One student spoke up. She expressed appreciation for trusting them to receive this story, for showing up to teach in spite of all we had endured and hope that we would be able to facilitate healing in this mother/baby dyad. I couldn't speak. As my tears fell, I noticed Briana's. She quietly extended her hand and I gratefully held it as our students paused with us. No one had to speak the words that we all plainly understood.
Ours is a sacred responsibility and we have committed to a calling that few understand. There is so much hurt and lack of respect in the world of birthing. There are families that depend on us to return light to their lives.

Joanna was the last student to leave for home. Home to Saskatchewan. I drove her to the airport early this morning. Jack and Lukey have their mama back by now. Mark has his wife. Thanks guys for sharing her with us and to all of the other families that sustain these wise women.
See you in June!
**********

4 comments:

diane said...

So many thoughts. One day I will be brave enough to share them with you.

Watermelon Gypsy said...

This was a really neat entry Cathy. How glad I am that you and Briana were surrounded by such loving & understanding women.

"Ours is a sacred responsibility and we have committed to a calling that few understand. There is so much hurt and lack of respect in the world of birthing. There are families that depend on us to return light to their lives."

I found myself reading this over and over & nodding as I did so. You are such a neat person Cathy & I've no doubt Briana is as well.

I will forever be grateful to you for being my midwife during Tristans pregnancy & birth. It was an experience, from begining to end, that I will never forget.

cathmom said...

Ahh, ,Julia, families like yours make it all worth it. I loved your birth and all that you taught me as well. It was our time, you recognized it and I was glad to be your guide.

Briana said...

What a week! We made it through in one piece, and didn't even get sick. Thanks for this post, and for your beautiful words.