Day 17: 164.5 Hours Remaining

I’m feeling a bit down in the mouth today.

The sky was spitting as I walked skid row this morning. Little smudges of humanity skidded muddily all up and down the sidewalk and into the gutters. Their faces were like muddied watercolors on a grey piece of parchment.

Rain actually means less work to do at the shelter. The gate was locked to all but those who secured beds. The shelter discourages sitting in the rain. I can’t imagine the clients want to sit in the rain anyway.

When the rain subsided I tried to make up things to do since I had been left idle most of the morning. I scooped up fallen leaves and swept water into rain gutters. Perhaps this is what led to my sadness… the insufferable idleness. I have never been able to just sit.

I am reduced to two dimensions at the shelter by most folks. I’m either praised for my beauty, sexually preyed upon, asked out on a date… OR… I’m viewed as too good to include. References to Lindsey Lohan, my “parking tickets” (how everyone seems to assume I got here), my home in West L.A. (don’t I wish!), and today: my BMW, abound.

There are so few people who understand where I’m coming from. The word “felony” pre-supposes something. Wait a minute. It IS something. Innocent until proven guilty. I was proven at this point. There is no more demand for absolution. It doesn’t exist. I am a felon. Period.

And that thought propels me into trying to find other felons. Someplace I “belong.”

Rejected by the people of California. Paying my dues to the nameless, faceless victims who were saved from my midwifery practice. Being told I need to prove that I have been reformed. Reformed from what? From thinking for myself? From honoring someone’s rights? From protecting someone in danger? From trying to do my best?

The only person at the shelter I seem to see my reflection in appears too frightened to open up to me since he has a son my age. There are some life experiences that remove the barriers of age, race, gender, personality. There are certain depths that bond people together to the point that you recognize your own pain in them without saying a word.

My old roommate once said he could recognize someone who had been institutionalized by just seeing them from a distance. I didn’t believe him. Now I do.

I can see the ones whose best was not enough.

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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

4 responses to “Day 17: 164.5 Hours Remaining

  • Stacy

    I have a hard time imagining how difficult these trials are for you. When I read this post my mind went to the countless women who have gone before us fighting for the rights of other women.
    I can’t even recall the number of times that Margaret Sanger was arrested for trying to get reliable birth control into the hands of women, but she never let them beat her spirit.
    My mind wanders to Susan Wicklund who is an abortion provider who went to extreme lengths to serve her clinics that provided for more than one state. Not to mention the things she had to do to keep her family safe from people who think women should not be allowed to do what they want with their own bodies. She is still an outspoken activist.
    We are part of a new wave of feminism, it’s being called the third wave. Women having the right to birth where they want and with whom they want is just the next frontier that we have to fight for.
    Their may be institutions that are trying to beat you down, but there are countless people; women, children, and men, who are supporting you every step of this fight.
    You may not be allowed to catch babies at this moment in time, but the fight is not over yet. Who knows, maybe your calling is to be an activist and help other women find their calling to serve mothers? When you’re community service is finished, and people have caught on to your wisdom through this blog, you may be surprised.
    So please, keep your head up. The rest of us women out here need you to.

  • supportmidwifekatiemccall

    Thank you, dear one, for the encouragement.

    I view birth freedom as more of a “reclaiming” than a new frontier. As a postmodern feminist, I believe that modern feminists lost ground for us in many ways. While we gained the right to vote and the right to own property and to divorce abusive husbands, we lost who we are as women.

    It was too big of a price. We need to gain the one while regaining the other.

    Our power does not come from being LIKE men. Our power comes from BEING WOMEN. I hope that the new recapturing of birth as a privilege is a symptom of women becoming proud of being women again.

    Society has suffered too much from being motherless.

  • Stacy

    Well said. I hope this day has brought a better morning to you.

  • Marci

    Feminism hurt women in so many ways. This “third wave” will, hopefully, remind women that the way God made them wasn’t wrong. And the way He made men wasn’t wrong, either. Women were meant to love men and have babies with them. And to give birth and raise their children without interference from the State or other women who are not happy being women, telling them that motherhood and being married to men is “unfulfilling.” Such claptrap.

    Katie, you keep trucking and gaining in wisdom by staying in the Word and the Spirit.

    Love,
    Marci

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