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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


So epic fail. I change the URL of my blog and never thought that others wouldn't be able to find it...

anyways. if you do find this update your RSS feed :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


wholly stress ball, i am.

she says frantically as she begins thinking about all she has to do before school.

i purged my office cabinet today. my sister set me a task of recycling 27 items. ptew that was a bit too easy, my OCD behaviour had me purging at least 100 documents, organizing folders, receipts, school, craft, writing...where did i leave my vaccination record. i would like to know what i did with that. i had it last when i was tested for TB...sigh. she then set an alarm as I was supposed to only do this for 15 min and i apparently was taking her task too far too quick.

Also accomplished today: dyed hair. umm rosewood. goes with the spontaneous cut from the other day. made beauty care products with my sister...well maybe she did most of it. toner and oil. looking forward to testing those out tomorrow. oh yes and of course her super fantastic deodorant.

all great ways to procrastinate, right? ack. a week and a half left before i go. she taps her fingers nervously.

head down, sis leaves tomorrow. head down. quiet christmas. waiting on two births before i leave, one as a student, the other for placenta encapsulation...realizing that she may birth after I go. epic fail. need to sort that out.


going to sedona tomorrow to get O2. rough life right? i love love love what i am doing. not sure i can really compare it my previous work. ahh yes it was brilliant to get paid to hike in the outdoors and to search and discover. to play indiana jones...but not being able to sleep, being guided firmly by the almighty dollar and to know that you may very well be the last human to walk in that pristine land before its developed, mined, carved out for oil....gotta say not too positive.

but birth. birth is beautiful. even when it isn't as planned and when it isn't perfect. there is something magical that happens. Being part of that intensely private event in a families life is somewhat like being an invited voyeur. I say voyeur because for the most part we watch. i think that is part of being a good midwife. is you watch. ideally the hard work was done during the prenatal period. loving and nurturing, guiding and watching for any signs that things may be going off track so that at the moment of birth the mother, the family may feel safe and secure in the act of birth. to birth themselves.

I have so much to learn about what to do when a midwife is needed at the birth, after the birth and in difficult times or emergency. But that will come. That I think, requires a lot of intuition and a lot of observation about what is normal. Right now i need to watch. I need to observe how a mother sways back and forth beginning to rock more intensely become more focused as she enters transition. How she then is allowed breaks to rest her body as the baby works its way through the pelvis and into the birth canal, when once again the mother actively participates as the uterus comes together in this magnificent interplay to bring her baby into this world.

Mayhaps this isn't the most keen and spiritual observations of birth. I recognize that this aspect of birth i do need to embrace more. That will come as i let come of my inhibitions and allow myself to be and to embrace my own role, my own femininity and come into womanhood. Having not birthed myself is definitely a challenge. But at the same time I am not biased by my own experience. I can't draw from experience which having so little skill and practical exposure at this point is a disadvantage, but with every birth and every pregnancy that I am blessed to be part of I grow and I learn and I see the patterns, the individuality, the process.


Friday, December 17, 2010


I should be sleeping, eating, making my morning coffee, studying, or going to buy paint...anything but writing.

The last few months have reformatted my being. I've hit the restart and am currently reloaded. I think we have all the programs loaded now.

School has been going really well. I did really good in my first semester and have made it through A&P and the intro classes. Now the info gets juicier.

This last break between sessions has been a revolving door of visitors for me. First reuniting with Gav, then my parents and now my sister. I go back to school in just under three weeks.. so will have to focus.

Currently I have been obsessing over Eats on Feets. Shell's project that manifested into something amazingly large. I have been working with another women (and many others) to write the most comprehensive informed choice document on milk the last two weeks I probably spent over 150hrs on this....and not on school.

All this with births and prenatals, belly casts and placenta encapsulation, and putting the finishing touches on the birth centre, that is absolutely gorgeous (hence needing to go purchase paint).

the great thing about working on this document is that it has allowed me to polish up on my research skills. I feel a bit more in touch with my educational being.

Really trying to balance things and not get caught in a trap though. Still have a lot of things finish up for school. Time with Gav was great. We toured all over AZ, did lots of hiking, cycling and exploring. It was really sweet and provided a wee holiday...but I am missing him and trying to find THAT balance now and peace in our distance.. which is a struggle. You'd think i wasn't busy enough.. but no matter how busy i am i can't forget my love.

Life is good and sweet.

p.s. visitors are always welcome in my come. extended periods allowed...all i ask is you provide meals. my sister made a divine stew last night.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Week One

So it's saturday today, the end of my first week of midwifery school. sounds so quaint. feels like band camp. a little more intense than that, and instead composed of 10 very unique women.

has been pretty interesting thus far. has been a confidence booster in that it affirms for me that i HAVE actually learned some things over the past year. ha. sorry i find that funny, cause i really do remember basically showing up on shell's doorstep, so green as to the midwifery ways. i need to appreciate that i have developed to some extent. but how much have i grown as a person? still need to work on that one.

had my first exam in anatomy and physiology. i was anticipating something a lot harder with the potential of failure (passing grade is 80%). I'm not expecting perfection, but i think i can be confident that i made the required grade (am i being overly confident now?).

This week has been stressful on many levels, but everything is coming together and i am looking forward to getting back to phoenix and settling in. i'm excited about school and am keen to study. i have a lot of work to do. both for shell and school so i really need to get organized.

this week was pretty introductory, next week we tackle venepuncture and speculum exams.

surprising looking forward to that :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

They did It!!

12:57pm today I received a heavenly text..our application was accepted, our license was granted!

Babymoon Inn
is now officially the first free standing birth centre to open in Arizona that is owned and operated by independent midwives. There have been and are other birth centres of course, but they were/are attached to hospitals and run by CNM's.

This is the first time that women here in Arizona have the option to birth outside their home, yet away from the hospital. Birth centres have been identified in the literature, time and time again, as being as safe a place to birth as the hospital. More so, given the chances of having a natural birth are dramatically reduced the moment you set foot in a hospital.

Shell Walker, L.M. and Julia Hall have forged a way through the Arizona Health Department, that will enable not only mothers to birth where they choose, but also setting a precedent that will help other midwives set up there own birth centres. This is important in a city 6M large and roughly 80miles across.

I am so honoured to part of this project. WOW! what an experience.

I have the privilege of working with Shell, her former student, now partner Mani Canaday, L.M.!!! (Yay Mani!) and their business partner and pillar of strength and support Julia Hall.

Julia is an absolutely amazing woman, who serves mothers on such a deep level. Julia makes things better, taking everything to the next level, never having to be asked.

If it isn't bringing in muffins, fruit and her special lemon/lime water on clinic days, it is staying up all night with the autoclave, making sure it can pass the test!

She has done so much for this process, has been there through all the good and bad times and triumphed over all adversity. She is an inspiration and this means so much to her. It is a blessing to be in her presence.

Mani. Mani is a special soul. Kind and gentle. Always understanding and impartial. My voice of unjudging reason. Always has an ear for me when i need it, a hug and a kiss. Always a laugh and the ability to communicate with me without the use of words. I can not say enough of about Mani and I so look forward to working with her over the next years.

Where do I even begin with Shell. The universe brought me here, it connected me to her years ago and even though I traveled far, I never lost touch. Shell was constant. "I'll be here if you come". I doubt she thought I ever would, but then a year ago I showed up, having pretty much no knowledge, other than the confidence within me that this is what I am meant to do.

When I first caught wind that she was opening a birth centre I was trapped in Gangtok, Sikkim, India. I was losing my mind, depressed. I went to a cafe and there was a message from Shell, letting me know her plans. She was in Phoenix and was opening a birth centre. What was I waiting for. It's not like I was lost, I knew what I wanted, but I was delaying it. I immediately found a spot on a helicopter that was flying people out of Gangtok (the roads had been shut down due to protesters...i WAS trapped!). I got on a helicopter, took a train 50 hours and switched my plane ticket.

Even from there it took me a year to get here, but I made it.

I am looking forward to the next years with excitement and eagerness.

Congrats Babymoon Inn on your Birthday!


Monday, July 26, 2010

mind bending and evolving

so considering changing the name of this blog.

this is my chosen procrastination right now.

I have begun my program at Birthwise Midwifery School in Maine. I am headed up to Maine, gaining reprieve from the heat, in less than a week and I have a lot more studying and assignments that I need to complete. Suppose I am almost on top of the assignments, aside from a wee paper .. that I have to do, find someone to recount a birth experience pre-1959.

I'm thinking i should change the title of this blog to "The Adventures of a (struggling) Student Midwife"?

I'm not really struggling, but being thrown into this whole school thing again is a rapid jolt to my reality.

Thank you, thank you that I have been blessed with this apprenticeship for the last year and that I actually learned and retained some important information in the process. I feel a bit ahead of the game in that regards, but trying to actually read all that I have to, while maintaining by duties as a student apprentice, especially to a midwife trying to open a birth centre! oh my the balancing I am trying to do.

Not to mention the fact I've had to move and am somewhat displaced, but I finally have almost all my belongings with me at the same time for the first time in 3 years! WOW. Really! and it all fits into this tiny room of mine. Not bad.

You should see the piles of books that surrounds me.

But I love it. I love that I have a client that calls me, that we have clients that befriend on on facebook and that are genuinely happy to see me.

I love being asked if I will be at their birth! Nothing would stop me...well, nothing aside from school now, sigh got to accept that one.

So, yes. That is what I am going to do.

Changing the title..maybe it will be the misadventures....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Second Catch

So this evening I caught my second baby. From S's view point. Mine is one and a half. L really did all the work, guiding her baby from her body.

I caught MK's little G. the situation under pressure. but my ignorance allowed me not to be afraid. S had fear, i didn't know how much until later. but she had fear as she remained calm, prepared for what was coming, and put me in the position to catch. MK is strong and capable of pushing out babies.

we lost hear tones as MK was beginning to push, 10 min earlier it was a healthy 130 bpm. She was a flexible 5cm. the baby began to bulge. S routinely checked HT with the doppler, as MK laboured on her side on the futon in her living room. gentle music played in the background. The two older boys were in the front room with their aunt. playing and running through the house, every once in awhile checking in on the birth.

I think we were there 20 min before baby was born. I arrived before S and sat with MK through a few surges. Checked her BP and pulse. both healthy. S arrived and I checked HTs with the fetascope.

When I arrived the surges were just beginning to overlap, becoming stronger and regular. I visited MK a few hours earlier to see how she was doing. She was entering early labour and was managing beautifully. I suggested she go for a walk and may be bake a birthday cake for her new baby. I thought the walk would get things really going.

It worked! Three and a half hours later we got the call it was time. As a third time mom, her body responded quickly to the powerful surges. Often when a baby is this low in the pelvis heart tones can be difficult to get. S checked MK and saw the scalp was white. Emergency mode instantly kicked in and she told L to call 911. It wasn't a complete shock to me, I was aware that S wasn't finding HTs, she probably was checking for 2-3min before she made the call. I was already in position to catch. S told MK to get into hands and knees position and that we had to get this baby out.

the ambulance arrived a few minutes after the birth. MK pushed like a warrior. The baby began to crown and within two pushes the head was out. S said to me "get that baby out". I slide my index and middle fingers down the babies neck and scooped the the right shoulder so she slide smoothly out.

The source of the panic was the umbilical cord...all 4ft of it! OK maybe i'm exaggerating. but it was amazing the length of that cord, and with that length had wound itself around the babies abdomen, shoulders and neck...but with that much slack it wasn't compressing any vitals until the surges began to intensify. I quickly unwound the cord and laid her on the bed, S suctioned and little G snorted and cleared her pathways and let out a healthy cry. with a bit of rubbing she began to pink up. we could hear the sirens.

The first responders came in and quickly found for themselves all was fine. The ambulance arrived and 7 young men found themselves in a living room, where a new baby had just entered into this world. One kept remarking how alert and smiley she was! over and over. it was endearing. only three of them were any where near the birth. One taken information, the second checking vitals and the third one, who was so amazed. The rest remained in the back ground surveying everything. confident everything was under control.

5 min apgar 9.

It was all so very exciting.

MK was very grateful to me. I don't feel like I did very much, but she was so appreciative. so kind in her words, encouraging me that I had indeed found my calling.

yeah pretty much the best job possible!

Happy Birthday MK and Little G!!!


Monday, January 25, 2010

beautiful life


One of the most beautiful and peaceful births I’ve attended. I don’t know why. She was so beautiful as she sunk into the tub let the warm water relax her. Arms intertwined with her husband. As the surges came her voice rose to an operatic crescendo. I was waiting for her to break out in song. In a way she was.

We arrived at the house at 2am to find her in her bed. The poor soul was sick on top of being in labour. Listening to her hypnobirthing tapes she was in silent meditation. 6/7 cm, fully effaced, 0 station.

She rose from her bed and went to the tub. Within a few hours she was gently pushing her baby out as the little one rotated herself down and through her mothers pelvis. As she descended, K’s vagina slowly began to open, almost as if she were letting in the light to help guide her baby through the door, helping her to emerge into this bright world.

I sat silently in the corner. Watching. Listening. The sounds of her breathe. The moans rising in intensity as her baby was coming closer. She knew what to do. Though frightened briefly she strayed only once from the pain, until she embraced it and pushed her baby out in two surges.

Quietly the little baby came into being on her mother’s belly. Eyes open and alert, silently watching and taking in all that was around her. All those familiar voices were taking on new shapes. She felt safe and unafraid in her new environment. Still hanging on to her watery cocoon a single leg was immersed in the water.

She was placed on her father’s chest and wrapped to keep warm as her mother than birthed the home she had spent the last 40 weeks in. After mother was washed and tucked into bed, she was handed her new baby girl who latched on readily and ate until satiation.

The newborn exam done in the mother’s arms and then weighed and evaluated in front of the expanding family as they nourished themselves.

I am so blessed to be part of these experiences. One of the most intimate and important moments in a persons life, and I am privileged enough to share it with them.

Thank you.