It’s Up to You to Change Birth

May 31, 2013

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We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit. With 12 children and 20 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.


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It’s been a rough couple of months here in birth work (and in life in general for many of us) and I wanted to share with you some major things I have learned. Some of it old, some of it new, some due to karma and circumstance and self-analysis and some due to the support of really amazing women I have the pleasure of knowing; both in real life, and online. Hmm, so where to start…

Well, my one and only focus continues to be the mothers and the babies. The Universe has tested me this month with real-life midwife drama, complete with finding myself slandered on Facebook to being hated from states away by midwives that my focus on mothers and babies is “hurting them”. I won’t lie, it has been a test of holding my head high and truly being TESTED…do I play in their muddy waters? Or does the truth always prevail? I am proud to say that I won’t stoop to that level, and that yes, at some point, the truth will prevail. And in the end, it’s not about midwives anyway.

And very much related, the next lesson. I am not a midwife anymore. Mostly because the more I learn about what the word means to most people in this day and age, I realize that is not what I am doing or seek to do at all, really. Call it a case of mistaken identity. Truly, I see many of my inner and outer conflicts as a direct result to associating myself with something I am not. For better or for worse. You can be a midwife. I used to be. You may hire one too. That’s your choice. I just no longer feel the call to using that word. I won’t say what I think it has become, I will just say that my role is becoming clearer to me. I am really the holder of space; the guide, the one that reflects to the other. I cannot give anything that is not already there. My place is with women as they navigate their birth journey but unlike so many others, I am not doing it for me. There is not a choice that needs to be made that is mine to make, other than if will I accompany this woman or not. I will continue to learn and grow and be the best support and resource that I can be. But, I am withdrawing even further from the world that wants someone else to take charge of someone else’s life. I can’t do that. I can offer you love and support and a knowledgeable ear, and an intuitive heart. I can help ground you and guide you when you might need it most. But “save” you or direct your experience….this I cannot do. As much as I might love you, I will not.

Which brings me to the most profound and most recent lightbulb moment. As much as I love to blabber on about birth politics and licensing, I am choosing to withdraw from that discussion for the moment. Not because I don’t believe in it; I very much do, on some level. But it’s on the practical level, where I (and others) think that if we could just get rid of licensing, if we could just get rid of doctors, if we could just get rid of birth being treated as a medical event, then we would solve it. But most women don’t care about “choices” or their rights because they don’t truly believe in themselves. If we could just save women from obstetricians, from midwives…from themselves. We would fix everyone. All of the sudden, women would then realize their power and take full responsibility and more births would be blissful and life-changing. I’m still hoping that happens.

But in the meantime, here’s how I believe that it can happen. I want each and every one of us who works with mamas, and I want the mamas too…to turn within. What do we believe about birth? What are our fears about birth and life? What emotions in our life still need integrating? We do not need to be saved from anyone; much less ourselves.

It is the peace within ourselves that will create the peace we want to see in the world.

It really is so simple if we can elevate our thinking and understanding. In this place of full, 100% responsibility, for example, I won’t be able to blame licensing any more than someone else is blaming the doctor for their cesarean birth. No one is innocent, and no one is guilty. We have the tools inside ourselves to integrate our own disharmony. Until we all acknowledge this on a large scale, we will continue to see the same problems in birth. That it’s about someone else, or something else and if only we could change that thing…

We teach women and guide them to finding their own voice, their true and full responsibility in birth. Let us too do the same and realize that the change starts from within.

I remain dedicated to women and babies; but also myself. I do want to be the change I want to see in the world, and it begins with me. With you.

I may no longer be a “midwife”, but I go forward in love knowing I have much to share with the women of today. I look forward to walking with those that are also acknowledging this amazing shift in consciousness.

Blessed be.

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  1. Wow! Beautifully written. The title says it all for me.

  2. Maryn Leister says:

    Thank you, Kate:)

  3. JennaSimons says:

    I just had an amazing unassisted birth at home; the birth of my dreams.  I did it with 100% confidence and trust in the birth process and my body.  How?  By reading books and blogs by women just like you…women who confirmed for me that it really was okay to push when I had the urge.  I didn’t need someone to police my cervix for me to prevent damage. And if i dilated 10c.m. and didn’t feel the urge to push right away?  That was okay, too.  I would feel the urge to push at the right time to push…and what do you know?  That’s exactly what happened.  For the first time I gave birth with an intact perineum, because I, alone, was in charge of birthing my baby.  I found I had an almost psychic awareness of what was happening to me and my baby throughout the process.  surely no OB will believe this, but I even *knew* when I hit 10c.m.  So you say there are medical experts claiming that you are “hurting women and babies”?  THEY were the ones to hurt me and my baby.  It took the work of women like you to erase all the false notions I had about the birthing process.  I had to take much of the “science” I read about in my midwifery textbooks and throw it away.   Thank you for all the work you do; it affects more women than you know and  it matters deeply

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We are mamas and midwives who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are radical, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit to help move us all towards a new more beautiful world. With 12 children and over two decades of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.

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