On March 17, 2011, at a book signing for J.D. Kleinke's "Catching Babies," a happenstance group of birthy women gathered and, as the evening unfolded, it seemed the reason for our being there was not really the book reading and signing, but to touch each other in ways we haven't been able to do through our online interactions. While we've all seen each other off and on at events (how lucky I am to be in San Diego where a slew of birth activists live!), this evening was different, almost transforming. Was transforming for me.
Moving around the backyard and inside the rooms, floating, really... it was if I held my empty, then filling, cup outstretched and with each step, I grew strength to stand up, taller than the step before.
I've vowed to speak up about ways to improve the safety of homebirth and my belief in the need to increase the education process for homebirth midwives, speaking in earnest starting on my 50th birthday (which is a week from today). It wouldn't take but a day in the Natural Birth World to know I'm going to take serious hell for my thoughts and beliefs, so having allies, even if they don't 100% agree with my message, definitely helps me to withstand the upcoming onslaught of sticks, stones and pelting words I see gathering over there in the corner. I cannot let them break me.
I. Cannot. Let. Them. Break. Me.
Each of the women above was supportive of my speaking up, even if they didn't totally agree. It was their love and support, their respect, that filled my cup that evening. I know our mutual blog readings have laid a foundation of that trust and respect.
In that space on that mid-March night, I felt a sisterhood of midwifery and natural birth I have not felt in a very, very long time. And it felt amazing.
I will hold tight to that memory. And keep moving forward.