Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm out.

Well, I'm not attending the MSL. It's been building and building and I'm glad to be released from it, but really sad that I will miss the experience of learning with women I know and care a lot about. That was one of the biggest things I was looking forward to, but I know there will be other opportunities to be with them.

I am grateful that I was able to sign up for the MSL because it was the excitement about attending which led to my epiphany about being a midwife in the first place. That was a really precious moment in my life and I feel warm every time I think about that 24 hours when it was revealed to me what I will do. It all unfolded in Divine perfection. :) It's okay with me that I am not going now, that is also in perfection.

I'm on to thinking about how I will gain these skills on my own and I have some options which I'm looking into. When you don't have what you need, create it if you can! I am excited about the possibilities and looking forward to the next steps toward midwifery.

So now what? Now I am talking to a midwife friend who has offered to teach me what I would have learned at the MSL and I am talking to her about doing a 'mini' session with a couple of friends who also want to learn. Nothing huge, just a few women getting together to learn together. I can't be derailed because of the shift in course on this MSL training and I won't be, I just have to create something that will meet my needs.

I also plan to contact the local Planned Parenthood and talk to them about volunteering there on Thursdays for the women who are terminating their pregnancies to offer a supportive presence. I know this is done at other clinics but not here (that I'm aware of). I realize that I haven't been exposed to this scenario much (beyond one abortion I attended a few years ago). I know that attending with women I don't know, and what I imagine to be a pretty wide cross-section of society. The majority of my practice is of paying clients- they know their options, generally, they have a good idea of what they want. I am not contacted by women in lower income brackets very often, for example and I don't think I've ever had a client of color, or a woman for whom English was a second language, etc. I've liaised with the public health nurses to offer free services to their clients since I started working as a doula in 2002, but we (the local doulas) don't get called very often. I don't know logistically how I can make this work but I'll talk to the hubs about it and see what ideas we can come up with. I can't see asking a friend (who might be pro-life, it's not like I interview my friends about things like that) to watch my kids so I can go sit with women who are having abortions, that seems weird.

I was thinking about it and I'm not attached to attending homebirths as a midwife. I don't have visions of what it will be like as women birth their babies at home. When I think about being a midwife what I think about is bearing witness to women stepping into their fullness, where ever that is. I love homebirth, but I don't have negative feelings about hospital births. When I think about being a midwife I think about meeting with a family, not just a woman, and standing vigil while they go through their own internal and external shifts into parenthood. Being there if needed and hoping not to be. Home vs. hospital is just not a part of my vision, but what I do see is being With Family, not just With Women.

I thought about why not going into nurse midwifery because I could do both, and I just don't think I'd be able to be present for families in the way I want and feel compelled to be if I was a nurse midwife. Maybe I lack information and I probably do- I never really looked into nurse midwifery because I just have a major aversion to being a nurse, being put in a position where I had to do things I had fundamental opposition to doing. Gah. I don't know. I'd love to hear from nurses/nurse midwives on this.

Time to get back to Daphne Singingtree! It was well worth the money I paid for it (and then some), it was definitely what I was looking for in a midwifery workbook for someone like me who is just getting started. I also downloaded some anatomy apps for my iPhone which I think is pretty funny. I don't know that I'll learn much but hey, every little bit helps. I know that I need to make a serious book list! I wish there were more apps besides Contraction Master for birth folk!


Anonymous said...

If you arent attached to home births and you dont think nurse midwifery is your thing... where would you catch babies? Confused. I know you are just working through all this.. but you are doing it very publicly, so people are going to ask questions back :)

Just a gentle suggestion meant with much care for your journey. As your write your blog, remember that midwifery is a community. I dont fit into any boxes.. they are too small for me. ;) But I respect the ability of others to package their philosophy in a unified way, so that it is easily disseminated.

I get the feeling that you are the same type of person... you dont want to be in any boxes. Try to put you in a box and label you, and you'll find yourself striking out at the box because of it's limits.. not because of it's content. Hopefully that makes sense.

If your heart is to be a midwife, watch the bridges you burn.. we all need each other to keep midwifery legal. I might not agree 100% with Trust Birth, or Midwifery Today or Ina May, or whatever.. but I respect the work that they have done to protect women's choices to birth in a way that is best for them. I know you do too.. but even without being in any facebook debates, reading your blog, I can feel some serious pushback and judgment from you in regards to them. I have to ask a very serious question.. and maybe you dont answer it here maybe it is just between you and the universe. But, in your heart... do you trust birth?

Because until you work though that very fundamental question you might find your self chasing alot of windmills.

“Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within.”

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

RedSpiral said...

Hi there commenter,

The issues between me and a couple of folks on Facebook had 100% NOTHING to do with Trust Birth or any other organization- it was a conglomeration of misunderstanding and lack of trust between us to hear each other. For me, that's ultimately what it comes down to. I have expressed myself to one of the main folks involved and the issue lies between us, and will remain so. I never, ever wish to alienate myself from a group! I know that amazing and powerful work is being done and that when I arrive as a midwife that I will be standing on some of that work.

Do I trust birth? I respect birth. I trust birth to be an organic process that our bodies are meant to do, and I trust it to throw us for loops sometimes. I don't believe we should assume something scary is about to happen, we should assume that an emergence is going to happen! Do I trust that our bodies are meant to give birth and that interfering with that process raises the risk of snafus? Yep, sure do. But I don't assume anything about birth (and I'm not saying anyone else does, just saying what's true for me), so my feelings about unassisted birth for example, are still being sorted out.

Where I'm sitting in curiosity is how we define interference, who defines it, when? When is interference known to be so, and when it is assistance? I have a million questions I'll post someday but right now I'm working to unwind myself from the recent intensity and move on for a little while. If I wrote a post exploring interference right now, I'm sure it would stir up another shit storm and I just don't have the heart for it, I really don't. I don't want any more hurt feelings, things left unsaid, questions left unasked and a bazillion ugly assumptions made.

I appreciate your questions- and when I said that I'm not attached to births being at home I meant that. As I wrote, when I envision myself as a midwife, what I see is being with families, not necessarily being at home. I think being a homebirth midwife is probably the most effective way to do the work I feel called to do, so that is the route I'll go.

I will come back to your comment again, I'm sure.. there's some juicy stuff there, I see it! I know I'm not uncovering it all right now, but I wanted to make sure to respond.



Anonymous said...

April showers bring May flowers..............................................