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