Day 14: 187 Hours Remaining

Be careful what you wish for. I was blessed to have BOTH Wendy and Eric to walk the street to the shelter this morning at 5:30. I think I’m going to go a little earlier and wait in my car for one of them to walk with in the future. I felt far less anxious with them by my side. Wendy’s love is amazing. She lights up like sunshine and stares fear in the face. She politely smiled and wished a good morning to people we walked past. So different from my stiff avoidance. My fear intensifies when someone looks at me.

“Well, this is my home. These are my people.” She told me later. “I have a purpose here and it’s not jes ta work.”

“I see that. I watch you.” I acknowledged that her position on the front lines of this battlefield is clearly ordered by a higher calling. Her faithfulness to her post convicts me to the core.

The entire staff shows this grit. They are like warriors with years of experience, standing watch and reaching out to those who truly want what they have. But they have the wisdom to know who is manipulating them, too. There are no pearls being thrown for trampling.

Tucked next to Wendy throughout the day are her weapons: a well worn Bible, a Big Book with a crumpled dust jacket and a Daily Bread. She slips me a little baggie of instant coffee and gives me a cup of hot water. I praise Jesus for my own weapon of choice.

So much of my midwifery training comes in handy here. Coffee has empowered many a midwife to push through the long nights of sweaty hurrying up and waiting.

While taking the laundry across the courtyard today, a gruff, chubby man hollared at me, “You a hard workin woman! You got a hard workin man?”

“No.” And then, with a quick second thought, I added, “Do they make those?”

He laughed.

On my way back, he prodded more deeply, “You lookin for a hard workin man?”

I held back my knee jerk reaction to say that, yes, I am, but that he was clearly not that man. Instead I laughed and told him, “No sir. I’m looking OUT for my children right now.”

He nodded approvingly. “Thas a good woman right there. Well you let me know if you ever back on tha market.”

I will give this culture one thing. It is a direct one. You know what you’re dealing with. It’s on the surface and in your face. Sometimes more than you know what to do with.

I prefer this to the backbiting, secret, whispering slander that my case was spawned in. I’ll gladly spend a day on Skid Row with it’s abrupt, angry, misfits of society. I’ll happily embrace it’s in your face people standing alongside the staff heroes that shine like brilliant, strong giants of experience. I’ll spend a lifetime here over a day being slandered by my sisters in birth ANY day.

A man with an accent that tickles my ear with a hint of Bangalore is singing Milli Vanilli while a man with turretts belts out his ticks and a transvestite brushes his hair. The absurd nature is overshadowed by the pain of a movement of healers who stab each other to get ahead. The insanity is far less dangerous here.

 

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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 14: 187 Hours Remaining

  • Maureen

    Re: “the pain of a movement of healers who stab each other to get ahead.”

    …amen

    love reading your blog…you are an amazing writer; keep the faith as you have been given multiple talents…

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