Saturday, June 15, 2013

Reality Check

I have studied the history of midwifery and the history of birth, both in this country and around the world.  I have read many books and talked to many people.  I have been involved in birth since 2005 and began learning about it years before that.

Recently, I was attending a completely wonderful birth.  Actually, the night before, I dreamed that I was the midwife for this family.  So when they called me that morning I was not surprised.  They were welcoming their first child and were surrounded by family; sisters, mothers and even a sweet baby boy who was soon to be a cousin.  It was simply a beautiful, sweet experience.  The soon to be Mama and Daddy were doing wonderfully.  A little while into pushing, she reached inside herself to feel her baby's head for the first time.  I made a comment about the first physical touch and how lovely it is.  One of the soon to be Grandmothers then said, "We never got to do that with our babies since we were strapped down."

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I know the history, I know that it was routine to strap women down during labor.  But this personal moment and revelation was so powerful.  This is why I do what I do, this is why we strive and struggle for the rights of women and their families to birth humanely.  We must always remember the past, so we can prevent it from happening again.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Karen. It was a powerful moment for me, I think especially since it was unexpected. I was happy and calm with this family and surrounded by all the good, warm, squishy birth energy. The contrast was so striking.

  2. Aubre,
    I just want to take a moment to let you know how powerful and inspirational your blog is for me. I am about to enroll in a midwifery program, and you are helping me overcome my concerns about starting a second career. I told my dear supportive husband that this is the first time I've ever felt called to do something, and we are both excited as I start this new chapter. Thank you for your blog and your transparency and sharing both the good and the bad. You've created a real, almost tangible image for me of what it will be like to be a midwife, and I am just so happy to have finally found my calling. Thank you so much! Robin

    1. Robin, I am sitting here at my kitchen table and just read your comment, I am so honored and moved by your words! What a lovely way to start my day. It always means a lot to me when I get feedback and can feel the community out there in the ethers of cyberspace. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and thank you for your observations on my work. I wish you nothing but the best on your journey....remember that it can be a long, hard one, but it will be worth it in the end. All of the things in life that are the most rewarding are often also the most challenging. And charge ahead full steam.....the women need you!

  3. Much gratitude to you and your endeavors to provide a safe and respectful birth for the women you care for. We need and appreciate the people like you who are fighting for these desired births women strive for and sometimes never receive.
    Sandra Maurer helps to bring light to a dark aspect of birthing (especially in hospitals). Get informed about the controversial term "birth rape" here