Day 19: 148.5 Hours Remaining

A client approached me today and said, “This must be quite a culture shock for you.”

I explain that I have now been here enough hours that the culture shock occurs on the drive HOME. I find the formality of white Orange County stifling and strange. And the wealth and detail obsession of West LA is off-putting. I question the motives of everyone white because their speech is so cloaked in hidden motive. I’ve grown used to the loud outward expressiveness of the shelter. I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I no longer know how to communicate with anyone in person.

The day began with a woman cussing someone out on her cell phone while waiting in line to check her bag in for 24 hours. Somehow a man in uniform that was holding an American flag standing behind her got dragged into it and before we knew it there was a fight brewing. I hid just out of sight and took in the movement of the staff with interest. They circled, unsure if it would pass the tipping point of expulsion. A couple times one of them would hollar, “knock it out or you both’ll be outta here.” Eventually the argument simmered, like a pot discovered just before it boils over.

I’ve taken notice to the expanding number of deaf clients. Wendy thinks some state public assistance program must’ve been cut. They travel in groups and try to communicate with us. Nobody here knows sign language. If they keep me here long term, I’d like to learn.

After lunch, a woman came in the gate that wore nothing but a mini skirt, flip flops and a bra. One of her nipples half showed over the top edge of her “shirt.” I laughed while watching every male head turn. The clients didn’t even pretend to not stare. And the more they stared, the louder and more energetic she showed herself. Eventually she sat and ate the lunch brought by The Dream Center.

“Thas a man ova there.” One of the clients thought he was helping me out as he pointed to the scantily clad breasts.

“I know it is.” I informed him.

“Oh! You got a good sense then!”

“I used to work with women. That is not a woman under that skirt.”

I’m actually shocked with how few women there are, actually. The ones who are in the shelter are typically there for only a short while and very attached to a male addict.

“You coming to the Halloween party?” asked Eric.

“When is it?”

“On Halloween.” He couldn’t help but crack a sarcastic grin.

Yes. Yes, I think I will. Even though it’s not during my court ordered hours. There will be a talent show and I wouldn’t want to miss any of the fun.

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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

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