In 1981 I read, Immaculate Deception. I worked for the Special Services Dept. at Manassas Park School Systems in Manassas Park, VA. I was a Administrative Assistant to the School Health Coordinator. She was expecting her second child and she was reading that book. She let me borrow it and I fell in love with the concept of advocacy for women's reproductive rights, birthing, and well woman care. A few years later, I met Juliana Fehr she had just completed midwifery studies at George Town University. She and I agreed that much of birth trauma could be avoided. We became a team and worked together with many clients in the Northern Virginia and Beyond location. I was with her for 4 years. She was the attendant to 3 of my four children at home. When I was expecting my last child Daniel she was also expecting her last child. When she had him, also at home with her family it was a coincidence that I too went in to labor. Incredibly enough, she came to my home nearly 2 hours away, with newborn babe in tow and her entire family for support to deliver my Daniel. I clearly recall, while pushing Daniel, I looked up and saw her milk was coming in. It was an amazing memory. Juliana also started the School of Midwifery at Rappahannock University which I believe is still a thriving program. In attendance at many of our clients births also was Norma Sides a wonderful person and amazing assistant. I believe she later became a midwife as well.
The first midwife in the Manassas area that I recall was Pam Kinchloe, Pam started as a nurse at Prince William Hospital and later became a midwife and she attended the birth of my first son Wes at Faquier Hospital. Later she and I did a home birth or two as well. I relocated to Tennessee. Worked with Direct Entry and became the partner to Bobbie Stedhim who became the Tennessee Midwifery Association President. She and I traveled to the Farm in Summertown, TN and took a class with other midwives. Debra Flowers was one of the instructors as well as Ina Mae Gaskins. It was a dream come true for me. Later, I worked with Terry Harvey, also known as Lilly in Gallitan, TN. I helped her renovate the Gallitan School of Midwifery and Birthing Center and we did a few births together. I completed the course and worked at the center a bit. Taught childbirth classes and advocated for women in the community. I met some wonderful Midwife pioneers. Marilyn Green, was a guest professor at the school.
Unfortunately, I wasn't there long before my husband was transferred to Indiana. Although I did not choose to practice there, I was involved in lobbying for a Bill to legalize midwifery. The first time it did not pass but I have great memories of schlepping up to Indianapolis with other determined women. I recall we organized in the hall, with our nursing infants.
A divorce brought me back to Haymarket, VA where I grew up and I had to reinvent myself in order to make a living here. A few years ago, I attended the Mother Earth Festival in Seven Springs, PA and I had the great pleasure to meet and speak with Midwife and author of Arms Wide Open a Midwife's Journey, Patricia Harman, if you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.
Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to go down memory lane. Becky Logan Fay