Being a family friendly environment most of the women who are here for the workshop brought their families. My husband is here with my youngest son and he was hanging out at the swimming hole with two other of the attendee’s families. One of the local guys concocted a name for them-he said “oh you must be here with the wannabe midwives-or midies as we like to call them-Hey You guys are the Mighty Midi Men!”
It is funny-I had intended on writing this blog nightly and posting it right away. This is impossible for two reasons 1. We are in the middle of the 1750 acres of Tennessee woods-reception (phone or internet) not so much and 2. The workshop pretty much has us going from 8:30am-9:30pm. Not much time for writing at the end of the day. So I will just do what I can when I can.
Today we learned about what is expected of a midwife assistant. We had a very lively and fun day of classes taught by Stacie Hunt (Pamela’s daughter-in-law). I love to hear stories about births on the farm-I especially love to hear stories about attending the Amish women in birth. Sometimes the midwife wouldn’t arrive on time to catch a baby-when you are working on baby 15, 16, or 17-chances are they may come quick.
Oh and never forget of course “if its wet and its not yours-don’t touch it.”
Did you ever have one of those “A-ha” moments where you realized that every decision you had made in your life up until that point has led you exactly where you were meant to be. I had never felt more certain that I was on the right path.
Ina May spoke to us about the history of women’s medicine and midwifery. She covered many topics that I have long been passionate about or have considered an important part of my studies. She talked about the European witch-hunts as well as the Salem witch trials. I am sure most of us know that many of those persecuted women were the healers and midwives. She brought up a very interesting question-why did the midwife survive in Europe and not in the U.S. when thousands more women were murdered in Europe-what was the difference? There were many factors involved of course, some of which included racism, and the balance of power. The “bullies” took over. The propaganda against the midwife was powerful. She encouraged all of us to uncover the hidden story. She reminded us that we couldn’t go forward into the future of this field if we don’t know the history for ourselves. There is a connection and I know many of you have felt it and its important to honor that tie to women who have come before us and carry their memory with us to guide and support us along the way.
“Women never got the power back and that’s what we are going to do now.” I loved the way she said this-she didn’t say we need to do this or we should try to do this she said that’s what we must do now! This is how we will revive midwifery and the basic act of treating women well. We are going to educate ourselves and practice. We are going to “tell the stories and lay the evidence.”
About Simone Snyder