Welcome to Birthyourway's Blog. This space is intended to serve as an interactive site for Doula related stuff based in Ottawa and around the globe. The archive links on the right hand margin will help you identify topics of interest to you. Your pictures of real pregnant bodies- stretch marks and all- would be most appreciated as contributions. Share your birth stories, concerns and comments by submitting to

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Processing the process

I have officially reached the 1 month mark in my new life as a midwifery student. It has not been comfortable. I've protested and struggled with a clash of philosophy. The night before I started, I felt as though birth was imminent. It lasted about a week. I was excited! And then, very suddenly, I resented the inside baby - the one I had hopped and dreamed for, the one whose perfection aggressively turned to imperfection. Then by the end of week two I cried uncontrollably. I felt I needed to purge. I felt I was loosing myself. My identity. I felt like at 25 I had finally come to know myself and actually like me. Enjoy me. Be comfortable with me. When suddenly, I had to give myself up. I felt there was no other way to get through this program but to surrender to it. And for a while that felt very oppressive and unlike anything I could ever expect Midwifery to feel like. I mourned the way I have in the past during funerals. It was all very bizarre. Finally, finally. I've found a way to be at peace with the imperfections of post legislation midwifery in Ontario.

The funny thing is, I was warned that I would feel this way. But I refused to believe it. I thought: Hell no! I won't feel that way! Are you crazy?! I will be so happy to finally have the priviledge to study, to become. I accepted and embraced the fact that midwifery has become a profession paid for by our health care system. I felt it only made sense that midwifery mainstream into the everyday life of our culture and be standardized via formal education.

I still believe that. But something is missing. Something I expected would be here that just isn't. Academia does not teach the art of midwifery. I don't know why I thought it would. I was naive to think so.

So I've come to terms with the fact that the MEP is 1/3 of my education and the rest is up to me to complement. It took realizing that and being at one with that notion to be okay with things.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Relocating perception of self and B for balance

It's a strange place being where you've wanted to be for so long. I'm not sure what I thought it would feel like, but it has been a whole lot more work than I ever imagineg. I'm not talking academically, I think the course load is reasonable so far. I've just had to take a step back and look at what exactly it is that I am bringning into the midwifery education program and I've been very critical about how that will fit with the program. It has been an rather personal experience and a real existential challenge for me. The introduction to the program so far has left me feeling like I need to dissasemble myself and allow myself to be processed into a midwife. It feels like a giant though small scale midwifery production factory. This aversion might seem dramatic, but I don't see midwifery as a job but rather an identity and it's shit when it feels like you need to discard who you are to fullfill a prescribed role. That said, I remain really positive that there are ways around feeling this way despite knowing that other students are in similar situations. I'm not the only one who feels that this program is well beyong feeling clinical. Since no part of me is even going to consider dropping out, I've taken the time to address this conflict of interest and find a solution. I suppose I've gone from being on strike to serious late night negotiations and have begun to find a a happy medium. Part of that included having a conversation with the director of the program. Part of it was to accept that it will be what I make of it. Right now, I am very happy that I have the opportunity to learn the clinical skills I will need to handle my responsibilities as a midwife. I am also happy to know that all of my transfer credits make the extra room in my schedule for me to continue persuing and cultivating the art of midwifery. And that's how I choose to continue being me through this process.

"i sit by my window with everything i've done,
doors that i've opened and webs that i've spun.
the candle beside me burns to the left
the rain on the clay sends a lizard to its next.
there will be a time when i will hold you again
with my arms spread out on my chest you will rest,
i'll write you a letter with everything i know
about the weight of the world and the way things could go.

so give up my friend, step back again
for some things will be given
for some you'll have to bend
you'll have to bend my friend to hold on to this
for some things will come easy and some will be a test,
you'll have to bend

now the ocean connects me to everything i know
by mellowing my mind so my heart it can call
with these trees as my witness i'll slice up some fruit
and each to their piece for good intentions and truth
there will be a time when i will hold you again
with my arms spread out i will give right in
so now here is your letter with everything i know
about the weight of the world
and the way things could go"
Xavier Rudd