Sunday, June 24, 2012

Goat Midwife

I'm often asked why I became a midwife.  My first exposure to birth was when I was twenty and I let a rescued pregnant cat birth in my closet.  I was hooked on the miracle of life; taken with every aspect of pregnancy and childbirth.  The love the mother had for her kittens made my heart joyful.  It was right around that time I decided to become a labor doula.  I volunteered at a birthing center in San Diego, where I witnessed women and their partners give birth in the most unrestricted, beautiful way.

In graduate school, I worked as a labor and delivery nurse on a high-risk unit.  While some of the births resembled the idyllic births I witnessed in San Diego, many of the deliveries were traumatic and brutal.  I started to understand why some see birth as a medical procedure.   The final straw was the birth of my own baby in 2006.  I became very sick and had to have him delivered by c-section, seven weeks early.  I was over birth.  So I was a midwife, who happily took care of women, but I did not catch babies.

When we moved to the sheep dairy in early 2007, I was exposed to birth yet again.  Oliver and I would sit in the fields and watch the sheep labor and birth their lambs.  I had a healing birth experience with Pearl in 2009 and I was able to let go of so much sadness.  When the first kid was born on our farm last year, I felt the same wonder and joy as I felt about birth so many years ago in my small apartment.  The birth of our kids this year made me feel like a true midwife again.  So now I am a midwife, who happily takes care of women, and I catch goat babies.  For now, I am completely satisfied.

Please enjoy my spring birth and baby photos!

Pearl is providing labor support to Leche.  Pearl and I had a great morning hanging out, waiting for Leche to deliver.

Oliver arrived home right after Leche delivered her second baby.

Leche's newborn kids enjoyed their first day out in the sunshine.

Oliver was bonding in the birthing stall with Ace, Serio's baby.

RIP Leroy, Serio's baby, who we fought hard to save.  

This is Leche's handsome boy.

Pearl was pleased to see she is not the only toddler who enjoys a good nurse.

So many spring evenings are spent in the pasture kid-watching.

Oliver and his buddy Ace.

Pearl is one lucky toddler!