Last night I was lying in bed trying to sleep but just kept thinking -Ina May Gaskin taught me how to measure fundal height! It was like a dream-or actually it was a dream and I made it a reality. I think about all of the lives that have been changed by coming to The Farm for a workshop. Some women have come here thinking they wanted to be a midwife and maybe changed their minds. Other women have come here unsure and left determined. Some midwives have come to brush up on their skills or learn about arts that are dying out like pelvimitry, palpation, and feeling for the baby’s position with ones hands. I walk around in awe-in complete awe. I don’t want to leave.
This is a utopia for midwives-not only do they have this amazing community of women to work with and learn from but they have a bit more freedom than most midwives. They have a little more flexibility when it comes to charging women and in fact hardly charge the Amish women anything because they feel it is an honor and a privilege to be able to attend their births. Pamela told us that at the Advanced Midwifery Workshop you get to go talk to one of the Amish Granny midwives and ask her questions. Imagine!? I think every midwife and apprentice; even every doula should come visit The Farm. I know they all want to. It’s so easy to let life get in the way but this is one of those experiences you really don’t want to miss. I couldn’t help but realize that many of these women are not going to be with us forever-Stacie is the only one who is under 50. Though I am sure The Farm will always exist-it won’t always be the same so now is the time to go. I am already planning my next visit.
Part of The Farm experience is the group dynamic, working and living with a group of women from all over the world. It was so incredible to talk to them, learn about what attending birth is like where they live, what they have experienced and what they plan to do now. Who is going to try and open a birth center, who is going to work more as a doula, who is going to go to midwifery school or start an apprenticeship? I am not only inspired by the midwives but by all of these women as well. In one short week I have learned from them and have developed a connection with them as sisters. They are a part of me and a part of what I will do from here-when I become a midwife it will be partly because they inspired me-they encouraged me-they are with me and I hope I am with them as well.
The last night we all went to Pamela’s house and sat on her back deck. We talked, sang songs, read poems, and laughed. It was incredible and a night I will never forget. The closing circle was quite emotional. There were many times throughout the workshop where I felt so inspired I wanted to cry but of course didn’t want to look like a crazy woman so I held it in. At the closing circle-no one held back. Pamela encouraged all of us to go out and plant seeds, create change, and continue working with women. Joanne went around the circle and blessed all of our hands. I am changed. My work is changed. The Farm is a part of me now and I can hardly wait to go back!
About Simone Snyder