Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Friday, August 26, 2011

School shoes



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Growing the circle

This is one of the most beautiful book covers I have ever seen. Young Ina May. Tears came out of my eyes when I pulled it out of the Amazon box. I think back to my intro to Ina May Gaskin; my first reading of Spiritual Midwifery. I remember how it felt to be in Summertown, sitting right next to her as she described the sacred nature of the newborn. I could barely breathe. I recall the heart picture I have tucked away of her walking down a dirt road, hand in hand with her love, Stephen. She with her old wool sweater wrapped around her hemp dress, muddy Birks and silver braid.

I did not expect this flood of emotion I am feeling today about midwifery. Today is the NARM exam. Kate and Lisa are testing. Lisa spent the night here last night to be closer to the test site. Watching her get ready took me back to my test day. The years of study, the days and nights spent away at births accumulating numbers and experience, the dollars, the sacrifice of the whole family - well, it all rides on passing this test. My graduation from MCU was scheduled and a staff position at Better Birth was waiting. This was, this is a day when the outcome, the destination matters.

Kate and Lisa are from the Wise Woman tribe. Kate is expecting her 7th child in November. She has held me up and supported me in a huge way this summer even though her own life plate was heaping full. Lisa, mother of 10, is preparing to midwife her daughter, catching her grand-daughter in just a few weeks. Both have been students in the classes Briana and I have taught at MCU, both have assisted us at births. I feel strong connection and love for them today.

I am thinking about my own mentors and preceptors right now. Cynthia and Fran sent me to The Farm - twice! Ginger and Debra took me to homebirths of every flavor. Suzanne pulled me out of dreamy student mode and provided my formal apprenticeship. She taught me about the law of Plenty. Jodie, dear Jodie. As MCU president, she pushed me, guided me and convinced me to Get It Done. They saw something in me that I wasn't aware of. I can look back on the long, long road now with humble appreciation.
All of us, midwives and the families we serve are forever in the debt of Ina May Gaskin and The Farm midwives. They pioneered modern day home birth midwifery. They kept meticulous stats, wrote books, made movies and lived the mantra, "Each one, teach one." With confidence and competence, they began the movement to return birth to the women and babies that should have owned it all along.
Every midwife, student midwife, doula, birth junkie, UA birthers - you must go to The Farm. If only to breathe the Farm Clinic air or hike the hills of Tennessee or photo journal the old busses. Go. The spirits of the ancient ones and the unborn ones will permeate and become a part of you forever.
Peace out, Lisa and Kate! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Happy Birthday

David Crosby just turned 70!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

a good night

born in the caul
in a hot tub
received by his father
handed to his mother
ushered in by the wind
under the full moon sky

Friday, August 12, 2011

What does it mean? Li li li, li li li li li li li li li li li li

When this year was brand new, I looked at a calendar page of the months ahead. I gave each month a name. Whatever word streamed out, I wrote it down. It has been interesting to look back and see how each month has fulfilled its prophecy. I've tried not to think about it as the months start. For some reason August, "isolate", has been on my mind though. I'm not sure what isolate is supposed to mean. Right now it feels like separating myself out from the things I've clung to. Standing in my power. My drummer. My voice.
Today has been set up perfectly for me to do the things I love most - by myself. I started up early with a prenatal at 7 am. How cool to start the day with strong fetal heart tones and a radiant mom. Already showered and dressed, I was home by 8 am. No one here but one black dog. I made my favorite breakfast, listened to my favorite play list, lit up some brand new yummy candles, smudged my office with some Briana bundled sage and now I'm off. To do. What I love most. Work in my office.
I've been running in sheer survival mode for several months. Many, many deep thanks from the very bottom of my heart to all of you true loves that have carried me. I delegated out my work, my errands, my housekeeping, my thinking, my self care and even my breathing at times.
Today feels like the old saying: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Here I go. First up, chart review. I love to mentally check in with each mom that way. Then a couple of phone calls to take care of burdensome business. Hopefully the afternoon will be an opportunity to catch up on emails (one month behind!). I can already feel the giddiness of catching up.
And then, and then, hello Africa. Thanks for patiently waiting. I've got plans for you.
As for Simon and Garfunkel. . .It's full moon eve. Turn this one up loud. Sing out.
I have to include a favorite Paul and Artie moment here. A few years ago, me, Lin, Aurora and her mom went to Seattle for the long awaited Old Friends tour. It was a great concert. The crowd was mostly "polite". We didn't care. When Cecilia started up, we were on our feet, crazy, happy dancing. I bought a T-shirt. Loved it. Wore it on my happiest of days. Old Friends.
Anyway, this day of solitude has been a long time coming. I think I might be able to hear myself today.
i love you. all is groovy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It was my pleasure

I wish I could write about everything that is flowing through me right now. It's about the huge wave of gratitude that is washing over me. It started yesterday afternoon. It followed me home in the wee hours and keeps on this morning. I'll finish this blog post as soon as I get a little chunk of free time. Soon. I think.

just this very second i got this phone call:
hi cathy. can you give me your address. this is family first. we would like to send you a thank you note.

Really. Gratitude you are out of control today.
peace peace peace peace peace peace peace peace

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011