Let’s back up for an introduction.
I hate trying to find meaningful things to say about myself. I’m really bad at it. This is one of my complaints about being a self-employed home birth midwife. I don’t know anyone who enjoys job interviews, so imagine having them weekly. It’s nerve-racking. I am good at answering direct questions: “What is your training? How many babies have you delivered? Why did you become a midwife?” But then there was frequently the open-ended “So, tell me about yourself.” That’s not an interview question, it’s an existential essay topic.
So, you know I’m a midwife. I’m also a mother. I have a husband. I don’t believe people can be defined by what they do or who they are related to, but those are the things that occupy most of my time. My friends mean the world to me. I don’t make them very easily, so I hold tight to the ones I have. Our border collies are family. We accidentally have fish. (Helpful note: if you let your child throw balls at bowls of goldfish at the county fair, you may have to take a fish home. Also, keeping goldfish in a bowl is inhumane. Google it.)
I am not only a midwife, but a “medwife”. Dr. Amy Tuteur (whom I will not engage on this blog) defines medwife as “a term of derision typically applied by lay midwives (CPMs, LMs, DEMs) to real midwives, certified nurse midwives (CNMs), to signify disgust with using actual medical knowledge in the care of pregnant women.” I must admit, that makes me giggle a little. Aside from her use of the terms “lay” and “real” midwives, she’s pretty spot on in how the word is used. I would define it as being a midwife who provides evidence-based care. I’ve found it’s sometimes a concept midwives love to march behind like a banner they didn’t notice was misspelled before going on parade.
The title of this blog is The Hippie Medwife, but my granola is actually pretty soggy. I like peace, love, and tie-tye. I love the idea of living off the land, but not enough to move out of the city. I like to buy local food, but am not impressed by the label “organic”. I make up my own eco-friendly weed killer, but for big jobs I’ll pull out the Round-Up. I’m not scared of GMOs. I don’t use illegal drugs, but I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that people who haven’t hurt anyone are in prison for growing a plant. Herbs are naturally occurring pharmaceuticals that can elicit a real effect on our bodies (for good or bad), but homeopathic remedies are just sugar pills.
I like good music. Good music. My husband hypothesized that once you hit 30 no one will release good music any more, but he’s wrong as long as Eddie Vedder is still pumping out new stuff.
I like wine. I like to watch bad movies while I drink a lot of wine and tweet about it. I will be doing this more often now that I am not on call most of my life.
I’m a sci-fi/fantasy nerd. I sew, often cosplay costumes for my daughter. I can cook, but I usually don’t. I’m a genealogist. I like dog sports (one of my border collies was on her way to be a competitive agility dog until I had a baby). I often spend Saturday mornings with my daughter surfing YouTube for baby animal videos. Lately I’m hooked on weekly trivia night.
At the risk of rambling on too long, there are some things you should know if you’re going to follow this blog.
I am very blunt. The truth is, I have OCD, and it manifests in a compulsion for everything I encounter to be organized, complete, and accurate. I’m not being flippant, it’s an actual disorder that affects my ability to function like a normal person and to work with other people. It sounds quirky, but it’s really pretty sucky. It can cause a lot of anxiety and obsessive thoughts and pretty much just muck up my brain. As far as it’s relevance here, I can’t let inconsistencies and inaccurate or incomplete information just hang out there. If you have an idea, I will tell you why it might not work. If you say something that’s inaccurate, I will correct you. If you link to an outrageous story from The Daily Mail or The Mirror, I’m going to tell you those are tabloids and you should work on your critical thinking skills so you can learn to evaluate your source material. I play devil’s advocate and may belabor points I don’t even believe, because even though I may disagree with something, I think it’s important to understand that issues are always multifaceted. See, that sentence I just wrote drives me crazy. I said “always”, and I’m sure that’s not true, as nothing ever happens always or never. I just did it again.
By definition, I’m a skeptic: a person who questions the validity of something purporting to be factual. I am compelled to know something is indeed factual rather than accepting it blindly because someone else told me so or because it just seems right. I’ve lost a lot of faith in apprentice training after realizing I believe some things about birth because it was knowledge passed down to me, but when I finally looked deeper it turned out to be wrong. This is not related to spiritual faith, which is very personal to me and I don’t talk about it publicly very often. Beliefs and issues are rarely clear cut, but my OCD tends to make things seem pretty clear in my mind. Church and state are separate things. Religious institutions and corporations are separate things. Women’s health care and fetal rights are separate things. You don’t have the right to tell me who I can love, and I don’t have the right to tell you. Words have only as much power as we give them. Evolution is an undeniable fact. “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt in your philosophy.” I was given the eyes to see and the mind to understand scientific and biological truths, which is not at odds with faith.
Now that I’ve spent a solid day trying to figure out how to wrap this up, I’ll share one of my favorite videos from one of my favorite people:
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