Many years ago, before I fled town to heal in the desert, I lived here in the mountains above Silicon Valley. I worked for years surrounded by mama’s-to-be, mama’s-just-born, and babies-fresh-out-of-the-oven. I was an assistant homebirth midwife, doula, prenatal yoga teacher, and massage therapist (mostly for mama’s and babies). When I left, I was doing somewhere in the vicinity of 5-7 births a month, mostly homebirths. I thought I would do this for the rest of my life. In my first birth, it was like I had been doing this work forever – I just instinctively knew what to do and when to do it – and after 150+ it just got even easier.

It’s not so easy in the desert and as a single mom to do this work. The hours can be long and are totally unpredictable. You don’t know when you’ll return when you walk out the door. I never took another client after I left here in 2003 and only attended one birth as an assistant in the summer of 2004.

When I got here last Thursday, I went on call again for the midwife who was my own, and with whom I worked so very closely for so many years. Yesterday, I got called. When I walked in the house and placed my hands on that laboring woman, it was if time had stopped. All the knowledge that I thought I had left behind, was right at my fingertips. When Y got there a few hours later, she and I flowed back into our same groove, like I had been there by her side all along.

Y has told me for years that she wants me to take over her practice when she winds down. We share a very similar philosophy of birth that often is not common, even among “birth folk”. Yesterday, after we left this beautiful birth, she started on me again. She is so happy to have me back here, even if I won’t be her assistant again right now. Because she knows. She knows I can’t stay away. I can’t let the passion go – passion that doesn’t go away when you try to do a thousand other things. I know this is what I’m meant to do. It may take another 5 or 10 years but the restlessness won’t ever go away until I surrender.

Here’s to another beautiful soul entering this life in a calm and peaceful manner. We underestimate the importance…

If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness
replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other
at the beginning of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set.
From these roots grow fear and alienation ~or love and trust.
– Suzanne Arms

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