Day 5: 248 Hours Remaining

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen… tear. I have rolled at least a million rolls of toilet paper by now. I have filled boxes and boxes. Pilar says she doesn’t give the job to anyone else because I’m just so good at it. Lucky me.

“Keep at it the way you’re going. They just might give ju a paying job when jor done with jor community service hours.” I keep my thoughts to myself on how that makes me feel. Professional toilet paper roller. I guess that’s the kind of job you get with a felony on your record. I need to make a living somehow while on probation for the next three years. Maybe when I’m done some other state with more support for midwives will allow me to catch babies again. Or maybe I can go to the mission field. But for now, we’re paying homage to Charmin and praying the last pay check that came in right after sentencing doesn’t run out before these hours do.

“What ju do to get a felony?” Pilar asks during break.

I tell her the whole story, start to finish, book report style. She gets more shocked as I do.

“Seriously? They don’t got better things to do than come after a midwife? Sheet. They can come down here and scoop up a dealer any day.” She laughs.

Jeremy pokes his head in the door. “Hey, McCall, you gots a visitor at the gate.”

Jimmy had texted right before my shift. A friend of a friend, we’d never actually met in person. He lives out of state. But he happened to be in town and had been following my situation, so he asked if he could bring me lunch.

Jeremy let him in with a distrusting glance. We sat right inside where he could see us. People don’t trust felons. That’s just how it is. And this felon had a guy on a motorcycle visiting her after the gate was closed.

Jimmy was a breath of fresh air. He brought me a sandwich, some water, some juice, and best of all… some much needed encouragement. I wasn’t very hungry. My system was all upside down from staying awake all night, sleeping in my car in the early morning, working at my old midwifery office doing desk work and then watching my kids before going back to skid row for more. The only things I physically felt were exhaustion and nausea.

After Jimmy left, a woman out on the street started screaming. And she never stopped. It was a wild animal kind of scream, broken only by the typical sirens that blared every hour or so.

In the morning, one of the resident vets made a point of complimenting me for my cleaning of the men’s bathroom: “Dis here’s the cleanest place in da neighbahood. Makes da otha places look like sheyit. Dis here place is clean like a hospital.”

A hospital for hearts and souls. Yeah, that’s kind of what it is. The folks down here weren’t born this way. They got sick somehow, somewhere and came to this street to die. Some of them reach out at the last minute when they’ve had enough.


About supportmidwifekatiemccall

Katie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie's father's family was filled with teachers, her mother's family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California. Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010. Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring. On August 17th, 2011 Katharine “Katie” McCall, a licensed midwife, was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. The charge arose from a home birth where Katie's supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed. She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused. They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing mid View all posts by supportmidwifekatiemccall

One response to “Day 5: 248 Hours Remaining

  • flamidwyfe

    Wow… my heart is with you, Katie, as only the heart of someone who has been there and done that. Emailing with your mom this week has been healing… much love to you and her! xoxo

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