It has been so long since my words flowed onto these pages, I think the change to this blog was a bit premature. My El Paso Adventure in becoming a midwife was not over, is not over, it just is no longer in El Paso. I have found myself quiet because my struggles are so very internal right now. I felt the urge to bounce some of them out there in cyberspace today to your listening eyes and hearts.
I have taken all of my exams, finished all of my paperwork, a just waiting for the medical board to declare that everything is in order and give me a license #.
HA! For whom does that make me a midwife? In the legal sense I suppose.
My adventure into "becoming" a midwife is beginning, and like life in its constant state of flux. Some will say that you are a midwife always in process and that a piece of paper is just that: a piece of paper.
Crossing thresholds in life becomes solidified when there is a ritual to make it real for the person. When I left MLL, a group of us got together to have a lovely symbolic tattoo done on our ankles. A waxing moon symbolizing fertility and a full moon for those who had become mothers. In the future, we will add a waning moon to the onset of menopause, and become "crones". This was profound for me, most of the midwives at MLL have these very same tattoos. A few have all three moons. In a strange way I now look forward to the day that I have my waning moon.
I now find myself on the brink of having a piece of paper in my hands that says I have completed all of my legal requirements to become a midwife. I wish it were a tattoo, a more ancient symbol of threshold crossing. Something not floating nebulously in my hand but something etched into my skin.
I do feel like a midwife though. I don't feel like I need a tattoo, I just need a ritual to cross the threshold, for it to feel solid.
It is the human body that needs to feel its way through experiences, it is our minds that need the paper. Well not quite but your get the gist. I tend to feel my way through things with my senses, my most basic instincts.
For example, when I touch a belly to feel for the position of a baby, I do not generally visualize in my mind what I am feeling as Left or Right but sculpt an image with my hands that transmits a position to my brain but it takes awhile for it to form into words. I laugh at myself often because it takes me awhile to get whether the back is "right" or "left" or "anterior" or "posterior". I know the position, I have felt it, my hands know it but my darn brain takes awhile to convert it to a term that is appropriate for a chart or someone who wants to know what it is that I am feeling.
We are taught to chart all of this LOP, LOA, ROA, ROT, transverse, breech but the body feels so much more.
I feel my way things very well in birth and prenatally. I have the muscle memory for skills. I have handled complications well, have handled many a normal birth well. My brain is wrapped around emergency procedures any my hands work well in those times.
So I feel it in my body, the settling in of this title of "midwife". And it is more definitive that a piece of paper from the medical board.