Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Midwives are Cassanova's......


Yes you read right.  Lothario’s, Don Juan’s, Prince Charming’s, Romeo’s, Lady Killers, Libertines, Paramours, Heartbreakers………….

And I can say this from compelling experience.  As I sit here, on some level, grieving the passing of my most recent affair with a midwife, planning an outing to catch a glimpse of her, I’d really like to acknowledge the sexual nature, that from my experience anyway, is at the root of all of our interactions with each other.   Whether they be ‘sexual’ in the real sense of the word, or sexual in the attraction towards each other, or sexual in the understanding we feel about each other, or sexual in the confidence we exude………our sexuality is at the foundation of our sense of self.  It has to be.  We’re mammals, created and designed by millions of years of honing and adapting to procreate.  Sex is essential to that.  And everything else.  Sex is part of birth, sex is part of death, sex is part of great illness, sex is part of our most treasured friendships, sex is part of looking after our children, sex is part of our wider communities, sex is underlying our family relationships………. Whether we like to talk about it or not, sex is at the bottom of everything.  Our big Corporations and Religions use sex to drive us, sell to us, motivate us, inspire us, suppress us, and often we’re in denial of our own version of it.  And most of this sex is happening subconsciously, innocently, guiltily, blissfully, honourably, subversively, and seductively…….all at the same time as being totally platonic as we’re happily monogamous.  But sex is there all the same.  A powerful essence of our natures.  All of us.  Whether we like to express it, talk about it, show it, feel it, or not.

Now.

That being said.

Midwives combine quite a few different levels of sex.  They are there for us on a fundamental level, no matter who is around or how many times we’ve done birthing before. They are there to listen to all the intimate details of our sex, and bleeding, and previous sex, and talking about our vaginas, and any diseases we might have picked up, and how well our vaginas can and will open,  and all those other subjects that are reserved for our own heads or our lovers usually.  They ask us questions about things that our best friends and lovers don’t even think of.  They’re deeply aware of pregnant women’s insecurities and sensitivities and woo us with gentle understanding when others may dismiss us as being hormonal.  They’re considerate suitors during pregnancy, till the consummation of our birthing experiences, and then there’s the gentle letdown during the postnatal period, where they help you prepare for the fact that they’re going to move on. They’re there for the gently sexual pregnancy, the intensely intimate birth experience with all the oxytocin’s pumping round the whole event, and they’re there for the incredibly sensitive, and sometimes sexually painful after period as well.  All rather ‘take charge’ kind of roles, done with a woman’s compassion.   

And so many of us feel so strongly about our midwives, and love them so fiercely, and stand by their sides, and do whatever we can for them………………..because we’ve had an experience with them that was the same intensity as a mad, intense and sweet little affair while we were having our babies, and then we watched our loves move onto the next lover, the next woman with child, and the next bearer of such in tune and devoted attention.  So we go to her coffee mornings, or her meetings or picnics, or to any place where we know she is likely to be, and we look at her from afar, or we recapture a moment from years ago during birth and the affair with each other, or if we’re lucky enough we get to stay friends. 

But many women can have just the one experience with a midwife, just the one mad affair, and then have nothing more to do with the ‘scene’ , but be left with a gentle memory of a brief liason.  And some women don’t experience any kind of love at all with their midwives, and can feel quite ripped off by the experience, as a virgin offered Romeo, and instead given Quasimodo.  And in the worst case scenarios, women can have truly horrific experiences with midwives, where they more take on the role of Bluebeards. 

I’ve felt jealous over my midwives.  In a few different ways too.  Jealous of their attention definitely.  Jealous about them having amazing births with other women.  Jealous of intimate stories I hear other people have.  Even jealous of other women going through ordeals after their births, because I know ‘my’ midwife is totally being there for them.  Jealous enough to feel a skip in my heart when I know I’m pregnant, and will be spending time in the sun lushing up on another…….. or the same midwifes care, attention, focus, understanding, love, loyalty, appreciation, empowerment, support, positive and inspiring thoughts, skills, experience, and knowledge………..until I’m fully cooked, and both me and the babe are moving forward into the journey, and she moves onto the next affair.

And it’s not an illicit affair either.  Not a secret I have to keep.    Currawong usually falls just as deeply in love as I do.  So do the kids.  Other friends can almost get jealous themselves, as between us and our kids it’s ‘our midwife say’s this’ and ‘our midwife did that’.  It’s a publicly approved of affair.  That everyone who’s loved a midwife can relate to.  That other mothers get, even though they may not equate it with an affair.  But I say, that in all my years around birth and experiences thereof, not to mention the stories I’ve read and the people I’ve witnessed, that it’s a relationship with the same intensity and loving, and this analogy may start at least to make some sense of some of the very intense and passionate emotions surrounding birth within it’s different factions at the moment.  I’ve read many articles with disconcerted obstetricians, media reporters, and legal people talking in uneasy terms about the cult like following of midwives, the women and children surrounding them in a colourful throng.  The devotion these crazy midwives attract.  And they really don’t seem to get it.  The huge amount of love and sexuality flowing around these birthing creatures, interacting with the women and families around them who see themselves reflected.  I remember reading one article about an obstetrician, talking about how he wanted more adulation for what he did, and had studied years to do, rather than watch midwives get all the action.  But they don’t seem to get that birthing in a hospital just isn’t sexy.  Being treated as another number on the treadmill of birth doesn’t get a woman hot.  That whole white or blue coats with gloves thing isn’t a turn on.  (For most people anyway).  Women really respond to their chosen carers treating them with compassion, respect, gentleness, understanding that birth isn’t an everyday experience for birthing mothers.   Women really respond well to being treated like a goddess.  Both when the baby goes in and when the baby comes out.  That’s the area in which most midwives I’ve met really excel.  And the attitude that makes them so incredibly attractive. 

And let’s face it.  A lot of midwives are just goddamn sexy.  In their attitudes.  Their unique sense of personal fashion.  Their knowledge and support around birth.  Their general attitudes towards women.  Their conversation skills.  Their depth and capacity to ‘be there’ in all matters birth, death, sex, or illness related.  Their quirky personalities.  Their cars full of stuff.  Their fierce loyalty.  And I’m talking all midwives here.  The hombirthers, the hospitalbirthers, the hospitalbirthers who really wish they were homebirthers and vice versa.  The students, the ex midwifes, the part timers.  And also the ones who midwife both birth and death.

The first midwife I ever met was a friend of my best mates mum, and even though we’d never met before, she was gentle with me as she told me that the drugs I’d taken in my early pregnancy with my first daughter wouldn’t affect the baby, as the placenta hadn’t attached yet.  The second midwife was a squinty eyed hospital old timer, who drew in a whole group of us first time parents for a pre natal group, and told us with great humour and risqué innuendo about all the different ways we could birth, and some of the things to expect.  And the only midwife I remember from my virginal first birth hospital affair, was a beautiful and tall woman, who told me I reminded her of her daughter.  This created a connection between us, and made me feel set apart from her ‘others’.  I wanted to go back in afterwards to thank her, but felt too shy………what if it didn’t mean as much to her as it did to me?  What if she’d already forgotten me? 

My second hospital birth was such a joyous and party like experience, and I was so caught up in my partner, mother, surrogate mother and friend that I hardly noticed the midwives.  The one who was on duty when he was born was friendly, and happy, till we went and had him far too early according to her calculations, and she freaked out a bit cause I was still in the spa bath.  Pulled the plug on me cause she hadn’t done a water birth before.  Just like the withdrawal method!!  Totally unsatisfactory, and interrupting the sexual dance that was bringing him down!  But I got the water turned back on, and stuck my bum and  hand over the plug hole, and was determined to have my way.  Which I did.  Born in water.  And by the time he got there, she’d called all the other midwives in the hospital, and they were all standing round as he was born in the sack.  Crying, and clapping, and welcoming him to the world.

The first homebirthing midwife I met for our third baby, busily pressed her suit to not just me, but to my partner, small family and mother all at the same time.  We needed her to be the legal midwife, as the student midwife who was courting us as well needed a registered midwife to be there.  She had all the flashy birthing aids – bouncy balls, books, articles, photo’s, messages from other women about their love for her. She also came with another midwife who took amazing black and white photos, still some of the best birthing photos I have.  She was the first to tell me that when we had a homebirth midwife, we had a ‘midwife for life’.  Which she didn’t end up being.  She was there for the birth, kept the water too hot so I fainted on getting out, panicked a bit at that, was happy again when I came to, stuck around to weigh the baby and get a copy of the letter of complaint that she’d encouraged me to write on her behalf to hospital staff who had spoken badly of her, and that was it.  That was the end of our affair.  Blunt and unsatisfied.  When I rang her to tell her I was having a hard time, she told me about how terrible her husband was, told me I’d be allright, and that was the end of that.   I wasn’t happy.  It hadn’t left me with blue birds singing round my head and all the woosy feelings of love and emotion that I saw in my other friends who’d had homebirthing midwives.  She didn’t come round and clean my house and bake me goodies like a friend of mine’s midwife did.  She didn’t do any placenta prints.  She was a very vague and unsatisfactory suitor.  And like a woman spurned, I went on a bit of a bitter thread about midwives after her.  Got together with other women who didn’t like midwives, and said ‘yeah!’  Read lots of books from the Christian right about unassisted childbirth, and how intrusive midwives were, and how they got in the way between a woman and a man and their baby.  I agreed.  Got all sniffy about midwifes in general.  What was all the fuss about?  They were just doing a job…..

Till I got pregnant again with our fourth baby.  And had a chance meeting with another midwife.  Who very gently swept me off my feet again.  Sat with me a whole day while I purged, and complained, and cried, and whinged.  Sat quietly, and respectfully and understandingly.  And then offered me whatever combination of her care I needed or desired, no obligation, and no expectations, and totally un-judgementally.  I started to fall in love again, and was so very glad when she made it all of the 250 kms to be there in the classical sense of the word.  To be with me.  With her knowledge.  And her happiness to take a back seat.  And she gave me the gift of letting me catch my own baby.  Lift her out of the birthing pool.  Work out myself what gender she was, when and how I wanted to.  And then gave us a guided tour of the placenta, which I’d never met before. 

And she really is a midwife for life.  Has kept in contact no matter what all these years, has been available for all sorts of honesty from me, has remembered birthdays and the babies she helped into the world.  A faithful love.  But a Cassanova nonetheless J.  Loved to distraction by a whole harem of women, who will tell you their stories about her with tears in their eyes.  She also introduced me to another midwife for life, who was even more of a superstar, and they were both there for me with the birth of my fifth child.  Which was a facing of every fear I had about birthing – to be out of the water, to have to transfer whilst in labour, and to have a caesarean – which I did with the gentle ministrations, understanding, path easing, and love, of two amazing midwives.  And the best bit was they were so completely there for me afterwards, my first love in particular, helping me to heal, getting me to rest, doing every little thing she could think of to ease my shaky days afterwards. 

Then there was the world famous birth of our sixth and seventh twins born two days apart and in water as a VBAC, with my superstar midwife who was totally amazing in her friendship, advice, support, compassion and tender charming ways.  We were all so in love with her that I actually felt shy and would sometimes lose my breath and stutter when I had her undivided attention.  I looked forward to her visits with the excitement of preparing for a lovers tryst  I’d have to constantly chase the kids out of the room and give Currawong stern looks when no-one else was looking, just to have a little time with her on my own, as everyone else had a crush on her as well.  And the love, understanding, and compassion she poured on me as I went through such an extraordinary birth, only served to put her higher in our esteem and love.  She was so close to us all through the 3 day process and afterwards, that I felt quite privileged to have so much of her time.

And that’s not to mention all the other midwives I’ve come across in my time in South Australia, who I got to meet and make friends with, they impressed by my lengthy birth history, and I impressed with their general midwife grooviness..... Many an hour was spent at the local farmers market with luscious midwives sitting round us swapping stories.  The places we could go in our conversations of and about birth and related topics was deep, and gold, and uterine. 

All these midwife women I’ve met through my time have been amazing and colourful characters, willing to explore any taboo subject with total honesty, on friendly terms with all bodily functions, and able to see the beautiful in everyone and everything.  And the best bit of advice I ever got was in the dawn of welcoming a new baby to our nest, when I was advised to not ‘forget that Currawong’s your baby too, and needs to feel loved, so drown him in breastmilk and fuck him lots’……. Advice that he was very appreciative of, let me tell you. 

At the point of writing, and this piece has been trying to be born for a few weeks now, I’m not really sure if there’s any point to what I’m trying to say, except to acknowledge a part of my relationships with my midwives that I really treasure.  An intimacy and closeness that I wish I could experience with a lot of other people.  And maybe an aspect of why there are so many bruised personal feelings and insecurities in the debate around homebirthing at the moment.  If nothing else, maybe the start of a debate.....
Midwives are cassanova’s…….and they know it!



And now for a bit of book.....Balthazar and Nimue that is.  If you haven't read it yet, or want to recapture what was going on, chapters 1 and 2 are here, http://spunoutpost.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/love-story.html, chapters 3 and 4 are here, http://spunoutpost.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/chapters-three-and-four.html, chapter 5 to 8 are here http://spunoutpost.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/last-installment.html, and chapters 9 and 10 are here http://spunoutpost.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/law-of-repulsion-and-more-book.html ........now you can read on.











Chapter 11 - The next time.....



She walked into the pub off the street, the busy cold street, leaving the cool nips behind as she edged by the fire warmth.  She saw him before her and fell straight in his eyes.  She asked how he’d been.
“Oh, not too bad considering how much you’ve messed with my head.  I can’t seem to get you out of here...” he tapped on his skull.
She smiled, she big gap tooth grinned.
“Glad to see I’ve got company then.”
He looked at her closely with questions in mind.
“Had any wild dreams lately?”
The silence that followed ensured their connection.  They looked around them to think for a bit.  Speculated on the glass mirrors behind the bar, bleary eyed barflys, soft cushioned foot rests, clean sparkling glasses, the faint waft of beer spills and music cranked full.
“Wanna go somewhere quiet?”
She smiled her agreement, too shocked yet to speak.
.........
They curled into blankets and pillows and sheets.  No talking as they sated lust.  Replayed the great rite they’d engaged in before.  Sweat and wetness sprinkled merrily, sparkling in the soft ebb of the candle’s glow.
“I’ve seen everything differently.  You’ve reminded me of who I am.”
He couldn’t contain his wonderment.
“I see in you all the women I’ve known, all the hurt I’ve caused, all the anger I’ve birthed, all the love I’ve felt, all the states I’ve aspired to, all the reason for life.  I’ve been your oppressor so many times, and yet you love me.  I’ve borne your lash cleaving me bloody, yet I trust you still.  I’ve stolen your art and your beautiful soul, but it lives on.  You’ve pushed me so far to the edge of extinction, yet I’m by your side.”
She smiled half sad and spoke softly.......
“You’re all that you say and yet more.  I thought I could never let your kind inside again, I closed the doors tight and drew the blinds.  I was happy once in my world on the fringe, till I started to wake and wanted to feel all.  You are the outside world, entering my inner sanctum.  You terrify me with your deadly dark, yet I see the same mirrored in me.  Only with you do I feel like I’m all my playacts, all my reasons, all my arts, all my darkness, and only with you are they seen all together.  I’ve run from you so long, yet it’s you who holds the key.  Just as I hold yours....”

They clung again and blocked out all but sensation.  Cut adrift in the mid morning hours to ride the swells.  Cloaked their rapture in thousands of guises and masks and perceptions.  Reeled through time to find new scenes.
.........
“What do you love of me?”  She lazily brushed fingertips over his chest.  He barely faltered.  “Your strength and nobility, your wisdom and grace.  Your smile and lips, your soft belly warmth.  Your innocence and carnality, your sex and pure.  Your muses and wanders, your theories and plans.”
She looked at him sweetly.
“You realise that all you see in me is strong in you.  That all you love in me, you love in yourself.  And all that irritates, is your own critic nagging in your ear.  We are mirrors to each other.  You love me for what I draw out in you.  What is it you love of yourself when you’re with me?”
He pondered.  He wondered.  He looked round the room at his clothes strewn around him.  He cast his mind back through his many long years.  “I love how I tremble, see the mysteries before me.  Feel in my godself, and nurture my core.  I love how I’m a better man, and feel you within me, see all your aspects from maiden to crone.  I love how I know that I’m just on the edge of the precipice taking me out to my future.”
.........
They travelled the train to the hills together.
And the ancestors travelled with them.






 



Chapter 12 - New lives.....


They lived in a mansion set in a quarry, with cliff walls entangling craggy arms round the house.  Life was sweet and sensual, her daughter and mother happy with the addition to their lives.  They bathed in salt water and themselves and rising awareness.  Sexuality, the rising serpent sliding through their lives, was starting to stretch in awakening.

One night she’d gone out with friends to glittering pubs in the city not far from the hills.  Whole souls and half souls, mostly the latter, drifted in and out of her vision, no spark, no connection.  She was heading for home, leaving drunken friends behind grinningly, when Balthazar came into view and beamed in her path.

They floated through pubscapes and dreamed through a night of intense love and wholeness.  Exotic clubs and colourful people dizzied themselves through the night.  Later, she’d taken him back to the hills in the moonlight, and led him up a disused path to an abandoned, ivy strung house.  Inside the door lay broken floorboards, dusty spider webs, tattered curtains flaying in the breeze.  Burn out rooms, an abandoned piano, and yellowed paint cracking walls.  To the left of the entrance lay a mattress draped in satin, surrounded by candles she leant to light.  Filmy white tatters floated the windows, and soon wafts of incense hung the air with musk.  She slowly unwrapped her layers and peeled off her skins, spread out before him in soulish wholeness and sweet white softness.  They stroked and kissed and supped and fucked and entered each others skin.

Dawn snuck in through the tattered curtains and lifted hair on a breeze through the cracked wall.  They put skins back on softly, and went outside to the car.  Drove through the dawnswept hills, misty from it’s sleeping, sunbursts pushing through to caress their lips.  Music spiralled and dew breath floated, and everything they needed in the world was there.  Every touch of fabric and skin was a sensual delight.  They drove in almost silly happiness, grinning and beaming and soaking it in.
.........
By day she spent time on herself and her studies, her daughter and mother, and sweet time with him.  He found work at a studio making drawings and concepts, and began to build his clan.  They started making mutual friends and creating the couple webnest.  Life was swimming outside the broadnet of harshborn patterns and cultural lore.  They dreamed dreams of acres with gardens and horses, earth caves and children, parents and kin.  A soft land of healing, writing and teaching, making and playing, and growing within.

They deepened their connection and found stronger bindings, and dreamed of the past lives they’d lived and their cause.  And their web spun beyond them, and traced shadows round them, bringing light to the grey and warmth to the chill.  The echo they made shuddered out through the life waves, to ebb on the beach of divinity’s shore.

They both felt that finally, after a lifetime of giving and taking, and ending up feeling alone and drained, that they’d found a partner who fuelled their fires, and helped them grow stronger without giving in.  Together they glowed brighter, and people around them felt touched by the fire.
.........
The ancestors watched still, spread all around them, taking small breaks for light refreshments.



18 comments:

  1. Oh my, my friend the midwife thing, you have had so many lovers... I thought I too could make the level of midwife, I did uni, I have so many books, I have a professional birth pool, but all I really needed was to realise that I wanted to be everyones lover, to be loved like I loved my midi and still do. thankful for free birth liberation in my 2nd case... you write so so big. I feel a strange way, like you are the big girl at school so full and so raw. and that I am staring sneaky from one eye across the hall.

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    1. I love this comment, and that you can relate, and I love the bit about the schoolgirl! Can I be the naughty girl at the back of the bus smoking? :)

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  2. So flippin' hot, Hellena. Been following the story, but so worked on my own end. Thank you for continuing to put yourself out to us all. Bowing deep, sister.

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    1. Ah, yer a beautiful woman :) Thanks for digging it....

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  3. Hellena, im so in love with your story and your family..How lucky am i you all came into my life :) AWESUM story/book!! <3 xoxo

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    1. Feeling's totally mutual sweet thang :)

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  4. Ahhhhhhhh, what a journey! I totally know what you mean about the midwives.... I felt such jealousy when I knew that I shared my first with others before, and after, and at the same time, as me! And now our friendship is solid, but distant, but so heartfelt and true. And if it wasn't for her, I would not have found you, perhaps... And your superstar midwife even put in a performance for me too, although she was more of a distraction for me from my Cassanovawife, she whispered behind corners with my love. And my second midwife was a totally different relationship, no less deep or essential. However, I think I had more exclusivity to that relationship due to the timing in midwifery history in SA, and yet I didnt go quite so deep with her as the first because I had another professional involved who shifted the romance of the pregnancy onto himself somewhat... so that the true midwife love was born in that birthing room (bathroom) with those intense moments of birth. And my two midwives from this birth hold such a place in my heart.
    Thanks for sharing your deep insights. Love.

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    1. So glad you could relate to this, and thank you so much for your beautiful long comment!! Midwives are gorgeous :)

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  5. The reflection on midwives totally resonates with me. I had an ordinary hospital birth in Ireland first and had no feelings at all toward the midwives who were quite bossy in and old-fashioned kind of way. BUT - I had something of the same thing with my yoga class teacher who I stumbled upon via a collegue of mine who had had a homebirth one year before. She was a mother of five or six, home-birthing in a home-built pool and she brought her baby Aubrey to yoga class with her - a beautiful preparation for an as unintrusive birth as was possible to have. I owe everything to her, I realise now almost 20 years after. I had given little or no thought to pregnancy and birthing before I became pregnant (we rushed into the whole thing, heady with love, after a summer romance;-) but all her gentle thoughts on rebirthing, natural birth as well as the physical process of birth were really reassuring and made total sense to me.

    When I moved back to Sweden I was lucky to live near the only true natural birth clinic in the country so I had my next to babies there. And fell completely in love with the midwives who attended me at birth. I didn't expect those strong feelings of attachment and jealousy - and mortification when I came back a couple months later on another issue and she didn't particurlarly recognise me... Very interesting, I thought, and I made just about the same analysis as you do in such beautiful words.

    Thanks again, from a land far, far away:-)

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    1. Love your story, and the expression of it, and I just reckon there's so much gold in us telling each other stories like these....to start shaping our ideas for ourselves, and informing ourselves about different options and things that might happen. Thank you for telling your story, and glad it resonated with you :)

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  6. Maybe it would interest you to know, if you don't know it already, that midwives in Sweden are in charge of the whole process, from the early days of pregnancy to the actual birth and post-natal care (6 weeks after). Obstetricians are only brought in in case of medical emergency and/or counselling. During my two pregnancies and births and post-natal care in Sweden I think I've had a routine conversation with a doctor once. And that's not even because I chose the natural birth clinic.

    Licensed midwives here are trained nurses with an additional two years midwife education and practising.

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    1. That's a very different model to what's happening in the rest of the world, and after quoting about homebirthing in my ancestral home of the Nederlands, I was sad to hear that birth in Holland is moving out of the home and midwives are on the decrease there as well. I don't really know about the state of birthing in lands apart from australia, america, and hungary, so thanks for telling me about sweden...

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  7. I've had 5 UCs, and although it may not have been your intent, you've really gotten at why I've never wanted a midwife. I went to prenatals with one for my first pregnancy and I found the whole situation very intrusive, I didn't like this woman trying to insinuate herself into my private life and personal space. I wasn't willing to allow her at my birth unless she did exactly what I wanted - sit in my living room and read a book and not bother me unless I called her - and as she wasn't willing to agree to my terms, I fired her. Ever since then, I've never been able to understand how or why women allow this intrusion into their lives. I mean, I understand that some women do want this, but I've never been able to relate to the feeling.

    Even in my pregnancies where I've had issues (#2 I had a severe vomiting problem, #4 was my previa baby) the only thing I wanted from the medpros (OB or midwife) was information, or specifically, with #2 I wanted a prescription for something to make me stop puking, with #4 I wanted to know things like "Where is all this blood coming from? How close is my placenta to my cervix? How much blood do I have to lose before it's a problem? How much time in between the onset of hemorrhage and my and/or the baby's death?" And I found it difficult that in seeking out the information, I also got a bunch of extra stuff that I really didn't want. I like to make my own decisions and I don't like anyone injecting their personality into my private decisions and moments.

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    1. Island Hedgewitch you're awesome :) I love your pragmatic and sovereign autonomy, and your clear boundaries between what you're prepared to let in and out of your circle. And a very interesting point indeed you make about getting the information plus a whole bunch of other things you didn't want. That's something that happens in every pregnancy I've experienced - the stories, or potential hazzards, or just plain icky information that you didn't want being passed onto you by all and sundry. Like being pregnant makes you public property.

      And something that isn't often talked about, but again in my experience is very true....is that midwives are also oxytocin junkies. They get a hit from the birthing hormone highs that exude all over a birthing event, which is the drug that keeps them coming back, and also the drug that makes those of us who choose to have them there fall in love with them more often.

      If we'd met up after the birth of my 3rd child, we would have had a lot in common with our attitudes towards midwives. I got a bit full on about how often in stories about births women were talking about their midwives more than their partners. I thought all that love and bonding should be saved for the mamma and pappa and siblings more.....

      All that being said, I did really like having gorgeous women in close and personal and holding my hand through the whole process. And as I had more children, it was more lovely to have a midwife who thought it was all special.

      So now I got a foot in both camps, but I got to say maximum respect for your confidence, ability to go it alone, and ability to keep hanging out till you got what you needed and wanted. Maybe if I'd gone down the unassisted road after no. 3's birth, I'd be a lot more like you :)

      Thank you so much for putting in your oar!! Love your perspective :))

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    2. Sometimes I wonder how things would have played out if that midwife had been a bit more flexible. I probably would have been willing to compromise some if she had been. What ended up happening is that she talked with her 'collective' and they presented me with a list of interventions I would have to concede to if she was going to attend my birth. The whole 'collective' thing reminded me of the Borg, and I decided I didn't want them at my birth.

      Although I have found that I really prefer to do the birthing part alone, now that I have a number of children I really wish there was someone who could come and take care of me after the birth. Not to check the state of my uterus or my blood pressure or anything, but to take care of me, bring me nice food, do my laundry, take care of the littles so my hubby can spend time with me and our new baby.

      1.5 days after #5 was born our eldest came into our room at about 4 a.m. and said "Mom, I barfed in my bed," which I'm sure you know what that means. Within 2 days we had 4 barfing kids and my man was run ragged trying to take care of barfing kids and me. It was tough, and it would have been nice to have someone to help. The thing is that help on my terms is hard to find, there's always some kind of extra stuff that comes with it. I think if I could get the help without the stuff, I'd probably be more than happy to accept the help.

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    3. And in mentioning the borg you win even more of my admiration! Another salient point, beautifully put. Hope lots of midwives read this :)

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