12.Oct.2016 A Perfusion of Midwives

In physiology, perfusion is the process of a body delivering blood to a capillary bed in its biological tissue. The word is derived from the French verb “perfuser” meaning to “pour over or through.”  Wikipedia

I just love my clients, but sometimes I need something more. I need to be with women who understand what I do because they do what I do.  Sometimes I need a perfusion of midwives.

I got some of that life affirming midwifery delivered to my tired, sleep-deprived capillary beds this past month. Two dear friends from out-of-state and two wonderful in-state midwives stopped by in one five day period.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HopEwcgIszk/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAT0/eGSCiJuawq8/s120-c/photo.jpgThe first person through was my dear friend Jana. Jana is a Certified Professional Midwife from Minnesota. She has been a La Leche League Leader, a homebirth midwife, a birth center midwife, a board member of the Midwives Alliance of North America, and is now the Faculty Director and Professional Development Director of the Midwives College of Utah. And she’s a hoot. Jana is the kind of person you exhale around. Her competence makes you relax. She says what she knows and she knows a lot. She stood in my kitchen and refused any meals while eating what I had made for her with her fingers. We laughed and sighed and generally felt good together. Too quickly, she had to get back on the road.  Here’s a link to one of her articles, http://www.mothering.com/articles/the-last-days-of-pregnancy-a-place-of-in-between

Hours later I got a call from my friend Sherri Daigle.

http://birthcenterbr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/003-Sherri-LOW-RES.jpg

Sherri and I met at a conference in Canada and have hung out together at conferences ever since.  She too is a Certified Professional Midwife. She was a Bradley instructor, became a midwife, helped pass the 1984 Louisiana Midwifery Bill, got her MSW in 2007, started a midwifery school as part of the Louisiana University system, and is now a staff midwife at the Birth Center of Baton Rouge.  She and her son were on a Western adventure. They had spent two days in Yellowstone and were going to drive up to the Flathead for a swim. On their way they stopped for dinner with me here in Bozeman. She currently attends around 18 births each month (which makes me tired to just think about).  We had a “Montana” meal at the Garage where she confessed that she had never been around so many white people in her entire life.  We laughed, shared war stories, and off she went at 8pm to drive to Flathead Lake.  They had to be in Billings the next afternoon to fly home. [I think that like many people, they did not understand how very huge this state is.] I hope they will be back soon.

A couple of days later I was at a conference “Promoting First Relationships in Pediatric Primary Care” and realized that five (5!!!!) midwives were at the conference. I got to sneak away for lunch with Kathleen Press and Joyce Vogel.

When I was a baby midwife and occasionally off call, I would drive around the state taking other midwives out for lunch just to get to know these wonderful women. Kathleen lived in Billings at that time. She was a midwife, a wife, a mother, a foster-mother. She bred dogs, was active in her church, and generally was busier than anyone I had ever known.  Kathleen currently lives on a berry farm in Wyoming. She regaled us with stories of seasonal workers, berry infections, and her service work in other countries with her church. She, for reasons that I cannot fathom, does not have images of herself available on google.

http://www.familymidwives.com/images/YourbirthYourWay_600px.jpgJoyce Vogel is a midwife up in the complete other direction, Libby, MT.  Libby is known for having a supportive medical community. Joyce benefited from that open-minded community during her training and now as she practices.  She has a large, loving family and has mission work with her church that includes visitations at the jail.  Most of Joyce’s children are now grown and she is open to what the world offers her next. I remember when I was a new midwife and Joyce was training to be a midwife, she called to tell me about an event in that corner of the state. I was so envious of the community she had.  It was a real treat to meet her in person.

In one short week, my capillaries were perfused with the love and laughter of midwives. What a great week!

 

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