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The Farm Midwifery Center

Seven months ago a friend and fellow doula sent me an email which read-“we should just do it, let’s go to the farm.”  The farm she was referring to is none other than Ina May Gaskin’s Farm Midwifery Center.  And we are going-in less than two weeks.  I was a tad worried at first because my little one is still nursing and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to pull that off. I should have known that the farm would be more than accepting of bringing little man along-of course my husband will be joining us too as I am sure a 16 month old running around the workshop would not be ideal.

This is something we had talked about probably since I started working with her-she was and remains my doula mentor.  I am sure it is the dream of many doulas, educators, and midwives-something we all talk about but for one reason or another can’t seem to pull it off.  Sometimes it just takes a simple-let’s just do it to set things in motion.  If we think too much about how much it costs, taking time off from work, dragging the family along, leaving the big kid home with is grandparents because he “rather not eat only vegetarian food,” we’d have a hard time fulfilling any of our dreams.  I do however owe a great deal of gratitude to Sharon and my husband Kane-without Sharon’s inspiration and Kane’s support-this adventure would not be happening.

So now after 7 months of built up anticipation we are ready to go.  I have everything I need-read and have packed (well have ready to pack) all required readings; Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, A Book for Midwives, and a Practical Skills Guide.  Purchased my blood pressure cuff and stethoscope (never used either of those before), and finally found my doll (which is supposed to be a baby but is actually a pregnant and/or nursing model I borrowed from the Mothering library). Done.

I was looking over the Midwife Assistant workshop schedule and I can’t decide which part I am the most excited about.  Of course listening to Ina May talk about the history of the farm, her quilt project, and the history of midwifery will be definite highlights but there are so many other thrilling topics that will be covered as well. Some of them include-what is expected of a midwife assistant, anatomy and physiology, breastfeeding, charting, and other practical lessons.  I am really looking forward to the last day-where we learn about cultural differences in childbirth education-I have a feeling that will be one of my favorite sessions.  It’s overwhelming and surreal all at the same time.

I am hoping to be able to write about my experience at the farm so check back regularly (after the 18th) for photos and updates.  Hopefully I can contain my excitement long enough to sit in front of the computer and not only find words but put them together as well!

About Simone Snyder


Comments (1)

Inspiring Simone to "let's just do it" was not difficult. Not At All. It just took sending her the schedule and asking "which one?". "Yes" or "No" was not an option! I think that's what it sometimes takes to fulfill a dream: not 'if' but 'when', because our minds and brains can always conjure up the excuses, rationales, and road blocks to manifesting the dream. So what were mine? Certainly not kids. I'm way beyond the age of small children. My husband Quinn supports me completely in all my endeavors. Maybe age. If I go to the deepest recesses of my mind I can hear the "I'm getting old" tape, culturally influenced, that wants to settle me down and slap me in a rocker. But that is soooo not who I am. Self deserving. Now there's an old one. But of course I deserve to live out this particular dream. It was probably inertia... another example of day to day life getting in the way... will I have a client due around that time, the gardens need my attention, it's snowing (!)- you know, any number of mundane excuses. A week at the farm will be inspiring and challenging. How did morning people get custody of the world? (except to get up first!) Who, in their right mind, would choose to be somewhere at 7:30 AM (group breakfast) and functioning by 8:30AM? (first class). Now those night time sessions from 7:30-9PM are right up my alley. The days will be long, and the learning will be rich. And there IS that 2 hour break each afternoon to hike in the woods or swim in the pond (are there hammocks?) Highlights for me include: getting some updated, clear pros and cons info on ultra sounds and maternal mortality in the U.S., dilation checks, assessing the newborn, and yes-the cultural differences in childbirth education. That will be juicy! And history and, and , and... I am so open to being totally and unexpectedly surprised and caught by something in the curriculum that is under my radar of delight at this moment. And honestly... just hanging out with Ina May, Pam, Joanne, Carol, Stacie and the other farm midwives is enough. Whatever comes through osmosis will be an indescribable gift. I am thrilled to be sharing this journey with my doula sister, Simone. Thanks for taking the leap with me! Oh! And don't forget the watch with sweep hand! (I didn't even own a watch until 2 days ago!!!!) pssst we're going to the farm!!!!!
Mothering › Pregnancy Articles › The Farm Midwifery Center