Friday, April 22, 2011

1st birth class and Ina May Gaskin

Last night was our first birth class and we loved it. Adam and I drove to our teacher's home in a beautiful, rural part of Redmond to meet our teacher, Liz Chalmers of Birth Zone, and 10 other expecting couples.

Liz is a Midwifery student, mother of 4, and she loves Ina May Gaskin,*** I can tell it is going to be a great class and that I will already recommend it to all expecting couples. We are the only ones of the 11 planning a home birth, but about 6 others are planning birth center births, and about 4 or 5 are planning hospital births.

The first class was mostly introduction and general overview, of course, but we learned a lot and watched one of my favorite birth videos - Birth Day - about a Mexican midwife having her 3rd baby at home with her husband and two kids. I love this video and was hoping to find it online so I could watch it with Adam. It shows how beautiful and normal having a baby can be. It makes it look appealing, inspiring, empowering, and positive but does not lead you to think it will be easy or painless.

I am lucky to be a midwife's sister. My main childbirth educator has been Briana as I have learned from her on her journey to become a home birth midwife. It's like I have been taking childbirth education classes for 7 years! I have seen dozens of home birth videos, had access to her library of books, helped build home birth kits, and even attended a home birth all because my sister is a midwife. The exposure and education is a blessing and a gift she has given me over the years without necessarily intending to. Few women in modern society witness births or even hear much about them and I am glad I've had the opportunity to prepare long before I met Adam and we decided to have kids.
Art by Nikki McClure as shown on

***Speaking of Ina May, I just found out she will be in Seattle from May 4-8th. May 5th she is leading a walk in Alki, West Seattle on International Day of Midwives to raise awareness for safe birth choices and on May 8th she will be speaking in Town Hall about her new book Birth Works and visiting with people at the Birth Fair following her lecture. Check this website for the details. Unfortunately, Adam and I will be out of town in Chicago visiting family and celebrating our second Anniversary!! I recommend anyone in the Seattle area to go see her and support birth. You can even order a wonderful shirt with Nikki McClure's art (shown above) as a donation.
Ina May Gaskin wrote "Spiritual Midwifery," among other books, and is considered the mother of modern midwifery as she was the leader of the home birth movement in the 70's after inadvertently becoming a midwife to dozens of couples in her hippie love train as they moved from San Francisco to Tennessee to start a commune in the 1960's.

1 comment:

m said...

just wanted to say that I'm praying for your sister and the whole family. m.