It is an ironic place I find myself in, some days. A nasty State department that wants to remove my midwifery license for supposedly not living up to the monkey-like duties of the all-important “Licensed Midwife” credential (sarcastic here of course). A joke if you knew me and maybe if you don’t…just because we aren’t talking serious stuff here; more like a bunch of men that can’t comprehend that I’m not scared of them and won’t serve them.
I serve my clients and nothing more.
And that’s the irony; being threatened with not being able to serve women here in Arizona, but at the same time gaining so much empowerment and clarity about what “serving” means and how no one, ever can truly take that away from me. So the “threat” as a subtle reminder every few days, whether it comes from my own mind/fear or actual documents I need to compile for my team of lawyers. Yet, interspersed with the most amazing, beautiful births that I have ever had the honor of witnessing. These women that astound me their power. And I realize, it is all as it should be. It isn’t really “irony”-it’s more the Universe showing me what’s real. The monkey-work that midwives are supposed to do…not real. The thinking that licensing does anything at all beneficial for birth…not real. Women that can birth their own babies and allow me to support them…real. The fact that there IS birth without fear, and that this is my goal…real.
There is no regulation, no rule that can make me into the midwife that THEY want me to be. The women call, and to them I listen.
At these births, the midwife is one with the woman. There is no need to intervene or interfere or do ANYTHING at all for my own selfish reasons, my own benefit, the rules and regulations. Because the woman tells me what she needs and wants; or rather, in our connectedness, she rarely needs to utter a word. Most of the time it is just to hold that space. That sacred, sacred space that is otherworldly and knows not of unwarranted blood pressure readings, or cervical checks or anything at all that is not requested or desired by the woman. There is no space for that in this world, and one of the last births I witnessed brought confirmation of this fact.
Women (in general) have forgotten what birth really is. So, those that control (typically men, but not always) found a way to control one of the few things in this life that is uncontrollable–birth. And while they were at it, developing all these rules and regulations about what birth is and what it must always look like, women forgot they had power and knowledge and accepted this control.
That’s the short story as to how we got where we are now. Women are allowing their births to be controlled, hence the licensing of midwives and the subjectivity of birth and midwives to the Western medical (fear) system. And midwives are no better. This legal/State situation has taught me the Truth. Many midwives, especially here, will laugh and cackle. They think I am in some dream state about birth, but I have been shown the Truth. It’s that women don’t need us. Women do not need me. Not really, and not mostly. Our “titles” as midwives, whatever relationship or status we think we hold in the medical world is false. Because we are not medicine men, we are not doctors; and everything that has been built around the idea that birth is medical is false and needs to crumble. I see women waking up and I pray that we watch it crumble before our daughters are at their birth-times.
A beautiful story illustrates my point. Gorgeous, perfect birth recently. Like many of the women I serve, this is not a “client”, she is a sister in spirit and soul. The most meaningful insightful thing came from her mother, who had witnessed the birth. She told me, that she had never, ever considered that birth could be so unhindered. She was flabbergasted, amazed at her daughter’s raw strength and intuition to birth her baby without any interference. She (having known me for several years now) commented that at first she was nervous..she wanted to be reassured that everything was “OK”. She wanted me to “do” something. Caught off guard by the lack of my physical and spiritual interference in her daughter’s labor, she too had to learn to trust. She too, at her age, learned to trust in birth. She too, had to tune into the laboring woman to look for clues. It brought tears to my eyes when she said, “I did not know birth could happen without someone’s hand up there or near there”.
It was then I realized that slowly, generation by generation, we have lost what birth is.
Being quite the intelligent woman, this grandmother/mother could also see the ripple effect that the birth had had on both her daughter and new grandbaby. In contrast to her daughter’s previous birth, this time she did not witness trauma and interference because of ego (and YES, it was a homebirth!)…she also did not witness any drama. She did not witness any bleeding, tearing or excessive healing time like last time. Putting the pieces together in her head, it was still crazy to her that all the “nothing” this time equalled “something”. She saw her daughter, I think, in a whole new light. As an even more radiant and amazing being who did her work, her personal journey, to enable herself to trust SO much that her body knew nothing but how to birth perfectly and efficiently.
It’s that simple. We do our work as women, we work through our fears and issues because we know THAT is what holds us back from blissful birth. And as midwives, we attend to THAT process, and simply step out of the way when it’s birth-time. There are no rules and numbers that can quantify how simple and how beautiful and perfect birth is nearly every time we leave fear behind. Let’s find ways to bring women back to this; the fear-control system that has risen up stands no chance against a fearless, powerful woman in charge of her birth.