There are so many ways that we define birth—by what it looks like and how we navigate labor and delivery. As birthworkers and mothers, some of these are choices that we deeply desire, plan, and advocate for, and some are not.
A midwife, a cattle-herder, a cross-country pioneer, a slave set free, a landowner in Los Angeles, a founder of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, and a wealthy woman and socially prominent philanthropist: Bridget “Biddy” Mason was all of these and much more.
I am autistic. In previous articles I have written about how masking my autism made it difficult for my midwives to give me the care I needed and about the adjustments my local midwife team made for me when we finally realised how significant my being autistic was to my access to health care. In this article I talk about my experiences after birth.
Wisdom of the Midwives: Shoulder Dystocia – Issue 137
Tricks of the Trade – Issue 137
Photo Album — Issue 137
Looking out of the door of my hut in Acholiland, northern Uganda, I could see a tree spreading its branches out underneath a cloudy sky. The red earth was wet, everything was green and growing, and cheeping chicks were trailing around after mother hens as roosters crowed. It was the rainy season.
In past articles I wrote in this series, I mentioned that while visiting Thailand years ago, I found that they have a charming expression that translates in English to “same same but different” (vendors in the market will say this to you repeatedly as they show you different products in the same basic grouping).
First, I believe that a midwife who serves a pregnant woman needs to educate herself, to prevent any excessive bleeding. However, in my experience, many women called late in pregnancy and communication was not always good. Fortunately, I discovered Quinton Hypertonic through an amateur midwife from the UK, who had just settled in southern France to set up a clinic and asked me to be her elder midwife.
Tout d’abord c’est la sagefemme qui suis les couples enceintes, enseignant la propre nourriture et exercice pour prévenir une hémorragie. Mais de fois ça arrive qu’ont ce rencontre les dernières semaines avant l’accouchement. Comme je ne refuse jamais une femme qui veut vraiment accoucher dans l’eau et personne d’autre veut l’assister, j’ai quelque fois vue des hémorragies.
When I was 12 years old, I lived in Naples, Italy. My dad was in the Navy, and we were stationed there for a few years. I grew up with my mother telling stories about birth as a terrible thing to go through. One day the oldest kid of a family living down the hall knocked at our apartment door. I followed him down the hall, at his request.