Friday, December 12, 2008

Midwives in Utah

Yesterday was the Christmas party for all Utah midwives and their assistants. I drove down with Cathy, my favorite midwife, and we visited some of our pregnant moms before joining the other 'baby catchers' in Pleasant Grove.

It was wonderful to be with a loving community of women. We had potluck brunch and told our favorite or most notable birth stories of the past year. I learned some new things and feel such a connection to all those great midwives who have come before me, those who have made my path a little easier. I can sense that these women genuinely care about the mothers we serve, and my respect for them continues to increase.

Utah has a rich heritage of midwifery from the early days of the state, and we have always had legal homebirth thanks to those pioneer midwives. Our current legislation-savvy midwives work very hard to keep it this way so that parents have rights and options for where they give birth and who can attend them. It's important to keep it this way so we all get the best care possible (everyone knows monopolies are bad for quality).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Clients

This past month I was hired by a first-time mom and her husband who live in Utah County.

It's going to be my first trade (partial trade at least) and I'm so excited. I love the thought of a connected community springing from midwifery. If we could work for stuff or future favors instead of money, we'd all save a bunch on taxes and tons of time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Birth Story

Ten years ago, this very day, I witnessed my first birth.

Thomas Edward Grant Blackwelder was born to his mother, my mother, at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in Laguna Hills, California.

My parents and I had planned for months that I would go with them to the hospital to see the baby born, I was really excited. My mother fed us dinner, while her contractions grew stronger. She cleaned up dinner as they grew more consistent. She paged my dad as they grew longer. She sewed a quilt as they became more intense (she doesn't sew). My mother stopped during each contraction to catch her breath and write down the start and stop times. I tentatively ventured into her space and observed.

After some hours, dad came home. He gathered some this-and-that and choked down some dinner, but my mom was already in the car. He said, "Are you coming?" I got in the car too. A fast drive in the rain (dad's specialty).

We marched right in. Nurses came at my laboring mom with a gown, an IV, stirrups, everything. She said, "No."

She sat on that transformer/table/bed, I held her leg, she pushed. Dad cried through photographing at the holiness of the moment, and mom labored on. The doctor tried to communicate with her, there was no getting through. Then, coming up briefly from the deep-inside she said, "I'm working here."

The myriad instruments freaked me out, they were wheeled in on vast tables, arranged on long, shiny trays and on sterile drapes, stacked, gathered, laid-out, and all around us.

Silently, the little prince slid into life without a cry, the peaceful son of a peaceful mom. All in tears we watched that perfect one, overcome with his presence, and the very real knowing that this being came to us from somewhere else.
Doctor clamped and cut, baby gasped, and his eyes were full of fear.

I'll never forget that look. I have learned so much since that day, but I don't know anything more than I did at that moment.

Happy birthday little brother.
I love you.

The sibs:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Things are coming together for me.

After a desperate post on Facebook one night about the plight of my stagnant website, I found a benevolent web guy who's got me all set up with a new site design. He also had some great ideas about a community page with testimonials and links to this very blog. 

I guess sometimes we just have to be humble, let our needs be known, and people will rise up to help us out.

Stay tuned for a new and improved (it will be pretty).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Massive Update

It's been a long time since I've posted, but with good reason. I've been really busy over the past few months. I took my NARM exam, became a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife), and graduated from Midwives College of Utah.

It's all official now.