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I’m so excited to share with you an article that was published in The Daily Yonder last week! I wrote it! Closing Maternity Wards: Costly and Risky… click on the picture below to read the article.
The article was also picked up on www.kentucky.com! There has been some discussion on both sites. I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to write this article for this publication. 🙂 I hope you will take a look if you get the time.
I am so excited to announce that a radio documentary that I have been working on these last few months is going to air on this coming week’s edition of Mountain News and World Report on the local public radio station WMMT. The topic is cesarean awareness and how it affects the women of the Kentucky mountains and nationwide. We interviewed a local obstetrician, a certified nurse midwife, and a certified professional midwife on the topic, as well as a local mother whose daughter’s life was saved by cesarean surgery.
The airdate is August 1st (Sunday) at 10:30am EST and again on August 3rd (Tuesday) at 6pm EST. You can listen locally at WMMT 88.7 and also online at www.wmmt.org where you will find a link for listening live. The piece will also be available for download after the airdates if you click on the link for the Community Correspondence Core.
This issue is close to my heart and the piece is airing right after the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued revised guidelines that are more supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean. It also airs on the week that we will celebrate Deladis’s 5th birthday and my 5th year of motherhood. 🙂 I hope you will get to celebrate with us by listening to the piece.
Find more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.
Hi everyone! I wanted to invite you to my “birth” blog today to check out a three part series I have been working on. The first post is on the history of childbirth in eastern Kentucky. I hope you enjoy it.
Later this afternoon, I will be making the long journey into the city. Friday is the first day of the workshop that will begin my formal training to become a certified childbirth educator. As I have mentioned before, the training is through Lamaze and I will eventually receive certification from Lamaze International when I complete the requirements. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.
Knowing my perception of myself ten years ago, I would have been very amused if someone had suggested to me that my life would take this path. I was in my early twenties and while I had just recently witnessed the natural birth of my first nephew and acted as a birth coach for my sister, I had no plans to give birth myself. I thought giving birth to be a miracle and it absolutely made me embrace my womanhood in a way I never had prior to witnessing the glorious capacity of a woman’s body. I was sure though, that while other women were enjoying pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, that there were other plans for my life. Not that I thought those plans more dignified at all, but more that I felt like life had not prepared me to fulfill that role in another’s life. I felt like I was doing the child who I would birth a favor by choosing to remain childless.
I look back on my life at this juncture, and it is obvious to me my preparation through everything from my birth order, life experiences, and educational choices for motherhood and teaching (or should I say sharing my experiences with others and guiding the search for information). I was the first born of my mother’s children and I tortured my baby sister day after day with school play. It was either that or her torture me with trying to copy and become a part of my independent play. 😉 I majored in English with a minor in Creative Writing in college, only to accept a job as a Language Arts teacher in the public school system. I went on to receive a Master’s in Teaching. It was like I had forgotten how I told my family that I wouldn’t be a teacher when they had suggested it to me so many times. I was going to be a writer. Then, I experienced birth through my sister, and almost five years later John and I desired to make a family. It was sudden, and in spite of all the plans to the contrary.
There was the planning for my birth – the dreaming. Then, there was the experience. I didn’t embrace what happened to me and my baby girl in any way for the longest time. It wasn’t suppose to have happened that way. Not to me. I didn’t understand that it was another leg of my journey. Ivy’s birth gave me a little more understanding, and yet I still didn’t accept what my heart was asking me to do. I felt like everything I had experienced and studied about would eventually bring a correction of what happened to me. It wasn’t about that at all. Healing isn’t always a reversal of a problem, and I would argue that most often it is not, but it is a renewal of our perception of that problem. That self that I thought I was, wasn’t me at all. It was an ego denying my whole self peace. I am complete just as I am.
So, now I have this awesome opportunity to put myself to use to a cause greater than I could have ever imagined for myself. A cause that is much greater than I am. It is not something I could ever take on of my own accord or understanding, but it is a movement of a collective body of women and men, working, in the best of times, as one force. To help other women learn about their bodies, enjoy their pregnancies, plan their informed births, and process the experience is a huge undertaking, but it is one that I love. It was done for me, and I am so thankful to those women. Not only will I have the opportunity to be an active part of a birth community, but I will be helping women in my mountains. The birth tradition in these hills is so rich and beautiful as much as it is hard to grasp at times. I think of the courage of those women and the trust that they put into the natural course of life. I want to help women from whatever place they come from in their journey to motherhood and through whatever their plans may be, help them to understand what is happening, to trust their body, and help them to feel comfortable and safe in the choices they make for themselves and their babies.
I’m thankful that I am finally able to listen to my heart. It is much easier than trying to rationalize contrary choices. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’m able to embrace what happened to me as an experience in a longer journey that has a larger purpose than a few events in my life. Not that those experiences were easy ones, but more that they helped me to grow as a person. No, it wasn’t a part of my planning, but it chose me, and I’m so glad.
I think I have already chosen a name for my services and a tag line. It may change, but for now I like it. 🙂 I will be starting a new blog upon my return under that title. I will blog about my experiences in formal training and the topics I am studying or finding interesting in the world of childbirth. I won’t blog about anyone (privacy is my utmost priority), but it will be more informational in tone and a companion to my eventual personal website for my services. Birth is a very personal topic and because of the many varied experiences can seem almost mythical. Learning about the ideas surrounding birth and the issues involved is a great way to make it seem less so, but no less miraculous. 🙂
Ivy has been sick since Thursday night. Fever and coughing. I’m reluctant to call it the flu as no one else in our house has had those symptoms, but Ivy has been real poorly. After sleepless nights keeping a check on the fever, it was amazing to wake up Saturday morning to see the ground covered in snow and huge chunky flakes falling from the sky. Both of the girls stood at our picture window mesmerized for the longest time.
Because Ivy is so sick, and we didn’t receive the best gravel job on the new road from the gas company, we decided it would be best to stay at my mother’s in case we needed to take Ivy to the ER.
The wettness left from the rain we’ve had this last week caused the snow to lay in blankets over everything. It was so beautiful. I haven’t been able to shake my melancholy since my last post, and just seeing it filled me with a white peace for awhile. There isn’t anything much more gorgeous than seeing a crown swooping from a white branch onto a ground covered in snow.
These hills are home in every season. Home because they are real. Life here is real. It is these solitary moments – the in breath – that takes me through my days lately.
I want to thank all of you who left a comment of well wishes on my last post. I appreciate it. If you don’t mind, please pray for or send healing thoughts to my Ivy. She’s so puny. I will rise up… one day, I will.
Such is the way of the world
You can never know
Just where to put all your faith
And how will it grow?
Gonna rise up
Burning black holes in dark memories
Gonna rise up
Turning mistakes into gold
Such is the passage of time
Too fast to fold
Suddenly swallowed by signs
Lo and behold
Gonna rise up
Find my direction magnetically
Gonna rise up
Throw down my ace in the hole
-Eddie Veddar, “Rise” music from the motion picture Into the Wild
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