Day 15: 179.5 Hours Remaining

A rat ran AT me as I got out of my car. I said “goodmorning sunshine” to him. Thankfully, he is the only thing that has tried to attack me so far. The street is becoming less threatening and the people are becoming less foreign.  But I still have biases, which surprises someone like me who prides herself in thinking outside the box and being open to the varied experiences of culture in the city of lost angels.

One small bias was put to shame as I walked with Eric to the shelter. Turns out he is a marine. I hang my head in shame for thinking any differently. Of course, I now assume that if I prodded enough I would find that playfulness I expect of the proud few. I just have to dig beneath his coat of street armor. Hoorah.

I was asked out on a date today. Twice. I’m telling you, forget the online dating sites, if a girl wants a date a shelter is the place to be! As long as you are attracted to men twice your age who are currently unemployed, you’ll be in heaven. Of course, I hear 20% of folks in this city are unemployed, so you probably get that on dating sites too.

The first gentleman wore a fedora hat so he was my favorite. Granted, I think he was very near my grandfather’s age– which was a little creepy– but a felon can’t be picky, right? He offered to take me out to a steakhouse. I can’t even remember the last time I had a juicy steak. He asked me in the polite manner you would expect from the greatest generation. Sadly, I declined, since it wouldn’t be polite to bring my two children with me on a first date. Although, I had a feeling that if I said as much, he might have actually invited them to join us. He was very sweet and very, well, childlike himself.

The second fellah was the one who asked me if I was looking for a hard working man the day I wore pigtails. He was apparently not a big spender because he asked me if I would like to come home with him and cook him a nice meal. I avoided pointing out the obvious– that he had no home– and focused more on the principle of the issue. I reminded him kindly that I had already told him I was not taking any applications. He smiled politely and winked and reminded me to keep him informed whenever I was.

There was a third guy. But he didn’t ask me out on a date. He asked me, demandingly, “give me a boy. I have two daughters. If you carry a boy for me I’ll pay you ten thousand dollars.” I placed this in the “offer of work” category instead of the “date offer” category because he offered to pay me. And I DO need ten thousand dollars to pay off my restitution. But I declined because a pregnant belly would get in the way of my mop and broom down here. I think he was disappointed because he told his budies who kept trying to ask me for him. I know sons are important, but I’m just too busy right now. Classy.

When I asked for a good man, I think I forgot to specify in my prayers that I was looking for a good man who is not currently homeless. Although, that also isn’t saying much since I’m technically homeless and unemployed myself. And a single mother. God has a sense of humor. I’m going to redact that prayer and ask the God just give me Himself in loving measure instead.

If another person compares me to Lindsey Lohan, I just might scream as loud as someone out of her mind on Skid Row. Because I would be.

Perhaps it’s because I’m white and doing community service at a shelter. But that is right where the comparisons end. And Dr. Konrad Murray is not a midwife. He doesn’t even catch babies. We have nothing at all in common.

At the end of the day Charlie and I talked about what it was like for him to be there for Katrina. Babies ripped from mothers’ arms and never seen again, why people didn’t leave beforehand, why there was no aid for over a month. Heavy stuff. Apocalyptic sounding from one who experienced it firsthand. Glad he survived.

I’m almost halfway done and I’m starting to regret the end. I will miss these people when the time comes to leave here. I awake in the morning excited to see them, dirty bathrooms and all. Some punishment.

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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

3 responses to “Day 15: 179.5 Hours Remaining

  • Jen

    Hi Katie,

    I am so sorry for all you have been going through. I’m in Florida and heard about you through Facebook. I’ve just finished reading through your blog and had several thoughts. First, as I sit here 36 weeks pregnant with my 6th child, I can’t help but compare your community service to that of a mom near the end of pregnancy – we know we have a job to do yet we can hardly wait for the ending. It’s a test of endurance. And when you get to the end you will have learned more about yourself and have the pride of accomplishment.

    The other thought I had as I was reading was about a sign that my lay midwife has had in her office for years – it says simply, “whatever it is, this too shall pass.” That simple saying has seen me through some very tough times. 179.5 hours may seem like a thousand hours at times – but they too shall pass. $10,000 may seem at times like it might as well me a million dollars – but the money will come and that too shall pass. And three years of probation may seem like forever, but as a mom you know only too well that when looking back, three years is just a blink. It will feel like forever as you go through it, but then it will be over and you will be stronger.

    We don’t always get to know why we are tried the way we are in this life. But keep the faith that there is a plan for your future. Maybe a book. 😉 You are a great writer and already have a start with your blog here. Maybe you will inspire better laws and more midwives. I don’t know what your future holds, but I’m certain it is something great and will bless many moms and their babies.

    Blessings!
    Jen

    Whatever it is, this too shall pass!

  • Your Annoying Brat of a Sister

    Katie! “Hooah” is army; “OOHRAH” is Marines. 😛

    And I think the rat wanted to ask you out on a date…

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