The Other Side of the World: growing up midwives

Friday, October 20, 2006

growing up midwives

Sometimes its very easy to get your head stuck in a book. Which isn't always a bad thing (says she of the childhood spent 99% thusly). Only, it is truly important to raise your head and let the rest of the whole wide world pour in as well. Which is what I spent this week doing at the New Zealand College of Midwives conference down in the South Island (yes, more unfortunate plane trips. I have outcapacitied myself this year, I'm afraid). Despite the fact that I am unashamedly not the schmoozing-at-large-events type, it was the perfect peek into the world that I, as a midwifery student, as a young & future midwife, am inheriting. (my spine trickles up and down my back as I write that) My professors & preceptor midwife greeted me joyously and supportively as we passed in the convention centre halls - welcoming me to their sacred professional space. And if there was any doubt that this profession is uniquely fixated around some incredible sense of awe with life, it has all been displaced in a wave of deeply moved tears expressed by some 600 midwives, students, and the people that uphold us. From ecstatic hormones (that actually make so much more sense when you see them playing out on a woman's face in 3rd stage* than when you're trying to memorize their bizarrely spelled epithets from a textbook) to stories of relationships with birthing families that spanned decades, the progressive, woman-centered, open-minded and hands-off messages being brought forward made me fall in love with New Zealand midwifery culture all over again. And apparently I'm not the only one that think this way - the woman I went to suck the brains of at the MSF table said "oh MSF always wants the kiwi midwives; they are always the best". But I think the most important words spoken: When midwives are strong, women are strong and the loving, yet firm reminder that one day I must be their defender too. guardian of birth. What humility under which I become woman. and simultaneously with woman. *3rd stage is the delivery of the placenta/afterbirth


Blogger Mai said...

Hi Mianh :)

I wanted to let you know that you write poetically and beautifully. As a blogspot voyeur I happen to drop in from time to time - hope that's ok!

2:54 AM  
Blogger M said...

it's more than ok - it's very cool! Nice to 'see' you! and thanks :)

4:17 AM  

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