Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Birth Orgasms

When I looked up at my midwife, flushed and giggling after an orgasmic contraction, she was shocked as I told her that my contractions felt good. I will never forget the realization that went through me as I felt my uteris pulsating and convulsing the same way it did through the wonderful orgasms during pregnancy, but this time, in the middle of laboring. I had never heard the term "orgasmic" to describe labor and even though I had heard that child birth could be pleasurable, I had no idea that it meant I would actually be able to acheive orgasm, in a room with my trusted midwife and husband while laboring. Well, if I was going to be surprised during labor, I am certianly glad it was this.

I have since found a documentary called Orgasmic Childbirth and watched it, on the edge of my seat, the erotic and sensual side of birthing in a film that also showed the not so pleasent reality that so many women face unneccesarily. I have decided this movie will be one of the must watch selctions for any woman I assist in childbirth.
Upon attending a wonderful herbal class with Susun Weed I have digested some of what I heard that night. She said, "imagine where we are heading when we deprive women of their birth orgasms." For the last several generations, we have drugged women during their most vunerable and powerful moments. We have given them an easy escape of their fears, numbed the sensations that their bodies are meant to feel to birth properly and prevented them from the exstatic joy of the birth orgasm. We put them in beds, strapped down with machines, cut them, stretch them, turn them into machines, all the while keeping secret that the love they have for their babies could be ingrained in their very being with the expereince, the hormones, the pathways that are burned into their brains, the neurological development that a normal, healthy emotionally stable human being needs to receive at brith, the connection of the mother's hormones and nerve sensors communicating with the baby's is essential for proper development of the bond they need to share that has made survival of the human race POSSIBLE! We are deleting this from our genes, we are preventing this from happening and in return, we are sicker mentally and physically, we are less empathetic to our fellow living beings, we don't feel connected to the world around us and suffer from deep emotional traumas that can be scientifically traced back to birth.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sacred Waters Birth Center in Eugene, OR

Today I was blessed with the experience of meeting with the midwives and 2 student midwives of Sacred Waters Birth Center. I was pleasantly surprised by how welcome I felt, how much interest was given to me and how well I feel like I could fit into their center in the future. The building is a 2 story home that is in a fairly busy part of town. There are several exam rooms, a birth suite and a HUGE jacuzzi tub for water births. There is a big room for waiting family and friends. There are many educational brochures and ads for childbirth education and prenatal yoga. Pictures decorate the tack boards around the center of happy moms and babies. Several potted plants give color and life to the each room.

Anita, the primary midwife of the center, who started it (I think) 9 years ago is a skilled self taught midwife who clearly is the matriarchal goddess of the center. She is warm and motherly with a beautiful smile and long hair. Erin is another beautiful and friendly woman who is excited and passionate about birth. Zoey and Janell, 2 students, were bright and cheery, welcoming and full of excitement. It was really nice to meet these ladies and just makes me even more anxious to get to the conference.

It looks like I will need to establish some sort of curriculum and start advertising to do educational seminars and community outreach about csec awareness and natural childbirth. Once I get that in place, hopefully before April, I can present that to Anita and possibly find a spot in their busy schedule to have classes there and promote the birth center. A few of their students are due to move on this year and if the timing is right and I am fitting in properly, there is a pretty good chance I could be apprenticing at that facility. It would be a dream come true! I don't want to get too excited yet though. I need to be able to make some money doing classes to make it work. I also need to get enrolled in academics, on top of school and kids. It will be taxing for sure but there is no work more satisfying to me than helping moms and babies find a safe place to do what they need to do in birthing.

keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

so far so good...

This week I had an appointment to speak with a local midwife about the possibility of joining her practice in the near or distant future. An exchange of information, a mutually beneficial meeting of the minds to test out if she is someone I would want to work with or if I am someone she would see worthwhile to teach. I was very excited about this meeting and prepared with printing out my 13 page questionnaire which includes a brief history of my work experience, highlighting my managerial and marketing skills, while sharing personal birth stories and philosophies regarding birth and where I see myself fitting in this year. I was there on time, waited patiently for 45 minutes and then left, unfulfilled. As luck would have it, the midwife in question had attended 4 births in 3 days and was catching up on prenatals and it slipped her mind about our meeting. Understandable. I was thankful she is so busy and glad she forgot because her practice is calling her. She has 3 students already. I was able to touch base with her later and she agreed to touch base with me next week for a reschedule. I am taking this as a sign that she is overwhelmed and despite her 3 students, probably has room for another that can help take up some of the slack to leave her and her more seasoned students to take care of the patients' needs. I am still hopeful that we may see the value in each other and even if I don't end up apprenticing with her, I may find a way to be useful and absorb some knowledge through osmosis.

I also received in the mail today, a formal letter from the first midwife I interviewed with (5 weeks ago) that she was not willing to add me to her practice since I had no formal education and she does not work with people until they are finished with their academics.

I have decided to wait to enroll in any course work until after the conference in March so that I can get a better feel for what type of learning I want to undergo.

I was hoping to find a birth center to give my time to while doing the academics portion, even if I am not attending births, to do educational work with clients, make herbal tinctures, clean up the premises, help with marketing and book keeping and basically be more of a personal assistant, administrator type. If my work in that capacity allows for more time for more clients, than eventually, after other existing students complete their apprenticeship, I have created a space for myself and the relationship with the midwife to move forward with confidence.

I have an appointment next Tuesday in Eugene to introduce myself. I have heard positive things about the ladies working there and it is a very busy birth center. I am not sure they *need* me as much as I would like to be needed, but it will be a good experience anyway, even if I don't fit in yet. Tuesday night is the Corvallis Doula Network meeting I will be attending as well, so it will be a busy day. (oh great, just realized I have science class that night during that time... ugh, need to make a decision about that now...)

Balancing this is going to be fun...

Friday, February 11, 2011

It is Time!

For years when people would ask me what I wanted to be, how did I see myself in 20 years, I always answered I would be living on a small farm as the community midwife. I said I was going to retire as a long dreaded, grey haired old lady of the mountain and people would seek me out to help them birth their babies. I have studied natural childbirth for more than 10 year now, my entire adult life. A good percent of my female friends are midwives. I have always considered myself one at heart, and now, it is time.

After having 2 incredible natural births, at home, in the water, I knew I had to share this with others. I knew that it was the right of all women to have the opportunity and support to birth thier babies as nature intended and that without people who were willing to continue practicing the art of midwifery, civilization would soon wipe it out and industrialize birth, and over the last 10 years, I have to say, my prediction has been acurate.

I ignored my drive to practice midwifery while in a transition of my own life where my children were maturing from babies into adolecence. I tried to find a carreer that was going to allow me to utilize my passion and make a decent living. I gave up my babycarrier business and tried a hand at real estate, thinking I could help teach people a gentler way of living in their space, "Saving the Wolrd, One Property at a Time" and instead had a taste of economics again. I jumped into my last 2 businesses with no expeirience and no education and both of those businesses have taught me well on how to manage, create, and market a service and both have given me insight and knowledge that will help me tremendously in my next venture.

When I started school in the fall, I thought I was going for a science degree. Then, I started writing papers and they all came back to parenting and birth. When thinking of how I was going to educate people on a better way of stewardship for the Earth, of why we need to make some major changes to our culture to create a livable future for our children, it all came back to birth. I started having dreams where I was pregnant, dreams where I was helping others, dreams of midwives talking to me and inviting me into their circle, like an old friend who hadn't been around for a while. The most powerful dreams I have had in a LONG time that felt like they meant something. Old friends started popping up. People I would meet were bringing up topics about birth and what has been going on in the "industry" here and how many people were having their lives impacted by the lack of choices and the overmanagement of birth. I started seeing things in my own children that I directly relate to the way they were birthed and parented. I realized that in order to have a population of people that are empathetic and aware enough to make the needed changes that will come in the next generations, it had to start at birth. We have to take the industry out of the nature of the whole planet. It has to start with parenting and that starts in pregnancy.

My goal is to empower parents, educate them, tell the old stories, enlighten them to a gentler, more natural and instinctive way of parenting so that this generation can withhold the changes and gain the skills that our past generations have lacked in thinking further than their own needs, respecting the lives of everything around them and trusting in nature to take care of us, instead of managing it and trapping it and brutalizing it at every turn.

I dreamed this afternoon while napping. I am getting a cold and am trying to treat myself gently. My nap dream had many parts. One where I was argueing with someone about building a road through a feild, one where my daigther olyvia was competing in a surfing tournament against adults and winning with waves bigger than I have ever seen in real life. (I am terrified of the ocean and have many reoccuring wave dreams where I wake up breathless and scared BTW). Another part where I was hiding a tomahawk and someone found me and said I was not allowed to keep weapons, I told them it was a gift from an elder and I was keeping it. They then bowed their head to me in honor and asked who I was and I respeonded I was a midwife, they left quietly with understanding. Then another person came in and called me a warrior, that I was assigned this duty and it was my responsibility to do this. They named me but I can't remember it.

As a teenager I had dreams of crows and wolves. I looked up their meaning and decided I had been shown my spirit animals, my guides and they have proven to be the guidance that fits with my lessons and challenges and passions. I had a dream of a feather tattoo that I went out and got the following day, not knowing the meaning until meeting with a Wise Woman in New Port Richey several years later. According to her, it meant that I had found my spirit animals nd was a symbol of initiation. I remember as she told me this, it felt so profound. I had listend to my dreams and they guided me well at that time. Wolves are teachers, matriarchal, loyal and family oriented, and crows are the keepers of universal law, shape shifters.

As I process my dream from this afternoon, the way I see it unfold is I am given a new role, I see my daughter overcoming obstacles that I fear, I see respect and honor in this path and a responsibility to follow it. The way things have unfolded in the last 2 months, it just feels right.

I am so excited as I re-enter this path. I feel as though all the crazieness of the past several years has prepared me for this journey. I can not begin to explain how good it feels to be listening to my spirit.

Thank you to all who have supported and contributed in my growth over the years. You all have taught me something important that will help me continue to grow.