I'm not sure that I've shared much lately about things I've been struggling with. But now that I have a bit of perspective, and a shift seems to be taking place, I think I'm ready to write it out.
On the second-to-last week of spring herbal apprenticeship, I confessed to my peers that I felt like I was floundering... Running in circles, getting no where. A vague idea of a dream lay somewhere in my heart, but it was easy to lose when mixed with fear of failure, fear of what success might mean.
I know I want to do birth-work. HOW exactly that will look, I can't say. It's seemed a far-off hope. I've not been sure where to start.
Over our brown-bag lunches of salads and mangoes and gluten-free sandwiches, I revealed my despair. My discouragement.
It all seemed to pile up-- I can't attend a doula class in June because of a family-gathering in the Mid-west (the rest of the classes would require a plane ticket, where the June class is in Vancouver, BC). I can't attend the Midwifery Assistant Workshop at all in 2012 because the classes have been full since last fall.
And they embraced my negativity and sent back encouragement, hope, and validation.
I went home that night and contacted some local massage schools to inquire about their programs.
It's a step. A first step. I needed a STEP.
And massage therapy seems practical. I will gain a more thorough understanding of the human body, and I'll be able to offer women the healing, soothing power of touch during their pregnancy and labor.
The next day, I made friends with a local doula, who invited me to her birth classes at no charge, provided I help her set-up and tear-down for the class.
Two days later, a friend nearing her due-date asked if I'd be interested in attending her birth.
And just like that, doors started opening.
I made the decision to get a half-sleeve, featuring my mother, ferns, nettles, and other Pacific Northwestern-y flora and fauna.
And two days later, I attended the birth of one Ellie Wren.
I was not asked to attend as a doula, but I ended up performing the duties of a "with-woman." Deep breathing, counter-pressure, constant encouragement. I remember saying, "I've never done this before, but I read about it in a book. Can I put my hands on your hips and press and you can tell me if that helps at all?"
And wouldn't you know? It helped. Mama swayed her hips, moaning and breathing, and I swayed with her, arms aching, breathing low and long with her.
It was simply magical.
|Ellie's first 30 seconds of life|
|Getting the hang of nursing|
I had an interview at the massage school, submitted my application, and made a deposit to hold my place.
On Tuesday of this week, I received an email from the Midwifery Assistant Workshop, stating that they had an opening in the program in July, was I able to come?
YES. Yes, I am.
It appears that reading the midwifery text book that I bought is well worth it. I've ordered another from the required reading, and I'm ordering a watch with a second-hand, a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope, and I've got to find a baby doll the size of a newborn.
And I've got some plane tickets to buy.
I can't explain why, very suddenly, the path seems to be opening up. And I've still got to fight this residual fear that I'm going to screw it all up still-- that each of these steps will be a colossal waste of time and money and effort because WHO AM I KIDDING... The first woman that throws up during labor is going to send me packing, right?
Heaven, help me.