Celebrating 23 years of being a home birth midwife
It's November 2022 & I am writing this letter to my community,
My life as a midwife thus far and the deep community of women and their families surrounding Willowsong has been more giving than taking, has lifted me up when I was down, has cared for me when I couldn’t care for you and as I’ve spoken many times before, has been the wind under my wings. I am so beyond grateful for the love. For me, being a midwife is a calling, not a job, and it is hard work, not only physically (throwing home birth bags into the back of my car and catching babies in every position imaginable) but perhaps even more so, emotionally and spiritually. Advocating for a new paradigm for birth and how women are cared for ~ or more importantly, how we care for ourselves ~ in the face of the very real challenges of our country’s broken healthcare system standing in our way, is a fire that I cannot put out inside me. I am not done with this important work, just a chapter of it. My focus now, is being called to go in a different direction.
Cosette with Luna the clinic dog
Holding presence for a woman who is standing tall and strong, deeply rooted in and listening to, trusting and having the courage to follow her own inner knowing; is probably one of my favorite aspects of this work to witness. It is in the moment she is looking me right in the eye, flushed and teary, not knowing if she can continue on. She is in transition and the only way out is forward into the unimaginable where the complete surrender is no longer a choice. It is in that very moment, I always see a strength that could move the world, a courage that knows when to protect, an intuition that knows how to make everything ok. For women are healers, not only of themselves but their families, their communities and thus our world. It is time now that I listen to my own inner voice that has been calling me since the fall of 2021.
After 23 years of holding space for women to birth at home or in our suites at the center ~ After being on call 24/7 for my families while caring for my home and raising two beautiful home birth kids of my own who are now 15 & 19 years old ~ While never being able to make a promise that I would be there for their birthdays, for my anniversary or date nights with Chaden, for the morning breakfast and taking the kids to school or picking them up or putting them to bed ~ After never knowing if I would be able to finish a movie at a theater or a warm shower in the morning ~ After driving separately for years to events with family in the event I got a STAT call and finally ~ After never being able to simply jump in the car and drive for a spontaneous weekend far away…..the time has come for me to be off call and done managing birth.
This is a very strong knowing inside me, a calling so to speak, to take my gifts for this world and apply them in a different way. And as I step from one part of my career to the next, this light that I am following ~ a burning passion to be be able to hold space, to advocate for and to teach so many more as we strive to achieve autonomy in our healthcare path and a new paradigm of birth, of maternity care & of healing our whole selves ~ is stronger and brighter than ever. And although I am no longer going to be the 'holder of space' at birth, I am going to grab all that knowledge I have learned from all of you over the years and continue on, caring for women from menarche to menopause, during pregnancy and postpartum in a way that connects us more to the gifts our Earth has to offer and furthers us towards a vision for a healthier human, a healthier world that is to come.
Welcome the birth of theWillow’sSong and a new way to hold space…
Some of our favorite photos from our story....
Our history is rich. Our community strong. Our drive for more autonomy in our healthcare path and to preserve birth as it was designed to be ~ universal.
the Fibonacci Spiral meets the waxing crescent moon
Chaden & Cosette by the Rain Chains
women's group in Commons
Breastfeeding cafe with Char
the newborn exam
checking on baby's position
welcome to this world
the Fiibonacci spiral in the Commons
Katie carrying bags for an apartment birth
Midwives Do It...
weighing the newborn
born into gramma's hands
the magical hour after birth
the work of the doula
a doula's hands
a doula holding space
the Row House December mamas
Kari & Cosette, 14 years
the 'baby whisperer'
listening to baby
Stew, placenta, dishes & biscuits, the makings of a
the 'photograph' we all love
sling feet, classic