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!


michelle said...

I am going to the farm next month for a week long training with Ina May and the Farm midwives! It will be my second time there. Thanks for writing this, So inspiring! Love&Light Michelle

auntgigi said...

I am happy for you. For your knowledge. For your love of being a midwife. For your connection to fine women. For your understanding of a sacred event. For the time you're giving to yourself to think, dig, and remember all of your fullfillments.

Tiffany said...

Good luck Kate! I hope she does well on the exam. I loved having her at my home birth. She was so calm, loving, kind, and gentle. She definitely has the heart of a midwife. She has accomplished so much while raising a family. Kate=impressive.
I hope someday to visit the Farm. My favorite part of Spiritual Midwifery is when Stephen said, "When a child is born, the entire Universe has to shift and make room. Another entity capable of free will, and therefore capable of becoming God, has been born." What an awesome way to think of our divine nature.

Angela said...

I'm very interested in all things to do with midwifery. Because of all the things on my plate and no $ I can't go to school, but that doesn't mean I can't read and learn. What books would you recommend?

Someday, someday, someday I want to be a midwife.