Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Women Deliver

Activist and film maker, Janel Mirendah has many things to say and I agree 100%. Here is a quote from her today in response to this picture. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151459934551748&set=a.39121296747.52191.656566747&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_reply

No where is the sacrifice of women to the alter of medical negligence (and greed and control) more of a problem than in wealthy America, where MORE women and babies die than in any other industrialized nation and even more than some very poor countries. The medical model of birth is FORCED upon US women and babies while right to access to physiological model of birth (of which midwives are the experts) that make birth safer around the world are denied. Midwives are villianized, criminalized, and brutalized in the US where MORE women and babies will die and countless others who survived are profoundly, permanently harmed. This is only because the rights of people to be born safely AND gently are controlled by the medical and legal systems.

The US medical model of birth is NOT safe and it is not kind. The US conquering, wounding male model of medical birth that squelches the feminine, intuitive, natural, physiological model of birth that brought humanity through eons, is NOT the answer to maternal health care around the world - No more than Nestle and Monsanto are the answer to feeding the world. These corporate monsters are a result of, exist because of, the willingness of humans to continue to ignore the truth about women's bodies and what babies/humans truly need. These corporations are the result of disempowered and violence imprinted humans at the most profound moment: birth and connection. These corporations exist, while we HAVE the resources but no the collective will, and not the collective authority over the resources, because of the willingness to continue for generations now to deny women's rights, baby's and father's rights; and, because of the willingness to routinely, profoundly disrupt and abuse women and babies in their most vulnerable moment. In the most powerful country in the world, this is where and how Monsanto and Nestle's control over the world begins.

Women and babies in Africa and in United States need what every human being for eons has needed: To be wanted, loved, and welcomed to this planet and treated kindly and as a being of value. They need good food, clean water and air, access to plant medicine and natural antibiotics (lavender, silver, etc), acupuncture, massage/touch, etc and access to the real "alternative", modern medicine, when needed. Childbearing women need not to work 40-60 hours a week. Babies need nourished, nurtured, loved, supported mothers for the first years of their emotional, mental, and physical development.

To do that on a global level, or on a mama-baby level, we must first see and know, and acknowledge, WHO the human baby is. See how every moment of development from pre-conception (health of sperm and egg) through infancy is a profound, critical continuum of development: emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, financially. Mothering and fathering need to be valued. The human infant and child needs to be treated as the greatest national resource we have.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Zonta Scholarship Essay

I received word yesterday that I was chosen to receive a $2700 scholarship from the Zonta Club of Corvallis. I had to write a one page essay on how I plan on serving women in the community. One page is a hard limit for me as there are so many ways in which I plan to serve the community for so many reasons but I did it and apparently it worked so here is the essay, enjoy!

Zonta Scholarship Essay by Kaire Downin
Taking 12 credits a term, keeping a GPA of over 3.0 as well as navigating a health care system to manage the care of my daughter with Autism has been one of the most challenging aspects of being a mom in college. After experiencing these challenges and deciding to home school my daughter, its becoming even more challenging yet and I don’t see it getting much easier. That being said, my passion and drive to make the world a better place for my daughters and the women and daughters in my community fuels my love for education and addiction to volunteering.
                At OSU, I am working on 2 degrees, one in Human Development and Family Science, the other in Women Studies with a minor in Psychology.  The main goal of my education is to be a midwife. I hope to continue to attend college part time to earn the prerequisite credits to finish in the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland where I will become a naturopathic physician and midwife. I will approach midwifery in a way that is more than catching babies, but transforming women into strong, independent, empowered and educated mothers by supporting the formation of their family with Holistic care. Working with mothers who are survivors of abuse is one of my top priorities. Childbirth is a time of transformation where the opportunity to heal many past emotional and spiritual injuries is present. I plan to provide support to help families grow out of old pains and into a new position of love and care, even if these mothers have not experienced a life of that themselves.
                Having dropped out of high school the day I turned 16 and being a homeless teen, I didn’t have the opportunities or support to become a college graduate early in my life. I worked in night clubs, eventually finding a partner and getting pregnant at 19. Shortly after the birth of our son, we were married and have remained together for 16 years. I went to Massage Therapy school and worked for 4 years until I had my 2nd child. I spent 4 years of my 2 daughters’ early lives working from home as a seamstress after designing a baby carrier and creating an online business that failed due to the lack of financial investment I could contribute. After the loss of that opportunity, I had my hand at real estate, but that coincided with the drop in the market and I was, again, suffering due to lack of financial support and was forced to quit that endeavor and go to college. I never, in a million years, thought I would be a college student, and I certainly never thought I would be considering becoming a doctor.
                The birth of my children was the most transformative and healing process for me. Currently, I am studying textbooks, reading studies, writing papers, attending a study group and conferences, and providing birth support as a doula when I am available. I also provide herbal and placenta medicine to new moms and post partum help with breastfeeding. I never turn down a client for lack of money because ALL moms deserve care. I believe the future of our society depends on peaceful births and support of mothers to raise peaceful children who will care about the people around them and the Earth we live on. I believe that Midwifery is one of the highest forms of working with women and is important for all people. All babies deserve a peaceful birth.
                Acknowledging the lack of midwifery care in our health system has put me in position to be an activist politically. I am the Vice Chair of the Linn County Community Advisory Committee that oversees the efforts of Intercommunity Health Network and Samaritan Health services to perform the contracted duties of providing care to Oregon Health Care clients.  Oregon Health Care is in a big transition and being a part of this committee puts me in a position to influence the way that health care is administered to the underprivileged population that uses OHP for services. The current goals are to reduce spending, provide patient centered, preventative care and create a system that addresses the full needs of the community which is currently lacking in mental health, maternity service, disability care, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. It is an honor and privilege to be in this position which I was nominated for.
So as you can see, I am an active and passionate community member with a focus on women and children. Receiving this scholarship would help my family tremendously. We currently are a month behind on our mortgage and are wondering how we will pay for child care over the summer so we can both attend school full time. My part time care taking job will likely be terminated in another month.  To be the recipient of this scholarship would be a blessing. Thank you for your consideration.