March 23, 2010

Pics from Midwife Assistant Workshop

Well, I tried about 10 times to post pics IN the blog but apparently Blogger is being a P.I.T.A. about ftp'ing stuff as they make this change. Gee, they gave us until May 1st so you think they would keep things working until then. Ugh!

ANYWAY, I created a photo page and you can access it in the sidebar to the right. Scroll down to find the photo albums. :-)

March 18, 2010

Stepping Stones

The midwife assistant workshop, the midwives of The Farm, and the wonderful women I met in the workshop have all increased my desire to move forward on this path. I've been inspired and feel so motivated. I've been reading up on becoming a certified birth doula through DONA . I feel this is the next step for me. The first stepping stone is to take a birth doula training workshop. There will be one in Nashville, but not until December. I really don't want to wait that long if I don't have to. Corey and I talked about it and decided that I should look in Alabama & Kentucky to see when a workshop is offered there. Kentucky doesn't have anything until November but Alabama has a workshop this summer. I also decided to check Florida, specifically Tampa, and there are several workshops offered there...April, June, July & September. I figured either I can go and maybe stay with friends OR we could all go, Corey could work in the Tampa office for a couple days and we could all visit friends too. I've emailed the trainers of the various workshops to get more information so we can work on a decision. I am about to start reading Heart & Hands by Elizabeth Davis. It is on the suggested reading list for the midwife workshop. I can't wait to dive into it. I'm off to search AbeBooks for more books from the suggested reading list.

March 15, 2010

Midwife Assistant Workshop experience

Last Sunday, I headed down to Summertown, TN to The Farm and The Farm Midwifery Center for a Midwife Assistant Workshop . I stayed in the dorm next to the clinic with 7 other women. There was 15 of us taking the workshop, the other 7 ladies were staying with Farm residents. Our schedule was a very busy one. Morning class 8:30-12:00, lunch 12:00-1:00, afternoon class 1:00-4:00, free time 4:00-6:00, dinner 6:00-7:30, and evening class 7:30-9:00. It was such a wonderful experience! I met 14 wonderful women (fellow students): Natali, Sonya, Heather E., Heather, Amber, Cindy, Tatiana, Hannah, Becca, Wilma, Michelle, Erica, Sierra, and Sarah. Natali wins the "distance" award...coming all the way from Germany to attend the workshop! There were 3 of us from TN: Becca, Cindy, and myself. Our instructors were some of the midwives from The Farm Midwifery Center: Ina May Gaskin, Pamela Hunt, Joanne Santana, Stacie Hunt, and Carol Nelson. They are all amazing women and great role models & inspirations. We had a fabulous cook who made dinner for us every night, Louise. She has written several vegetarian & vegan cookbooks and cooked delicious vegan meals for us each night we were there.

During each class the midwives shared with us as much information as they could. We received handouts and had discussions and as much hands on experiences as they could provide. They had all kinds of models for us to practice on with lots of role playing. Some of the best was meeting 3 delightful pregnant women that came in and let us practice figuring out what position their babies were in and find the heartbeats with fetoscopes (very difficult!). The midwives also shared their experiences with us and told many beautiful birth stories with us. They also shared the "problems"...because THOSE are the deliveries that all your medical knowledge, practice, and learning are about. To turn those into GOOD outcomes.

We got to celebrate Ina May's birthday during our workshop. That was really neat. She has done so much and is such a cool, down-to-earth lady. What an AMAZING storyteller! We could listen to her all day I think. She just has such a way of teaching while weaving this great story and passing along all this knowledge. Ina May has a special project that she's been working on (besides her books, conferences,etc) and she shared it with us, as she does all her workshops. It is The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project . One class was devoted to maternal mortality and the quilt project. We were so touched and inspired that most of us felt the need to help. We met at Ina May's house and received the name of a woman who died in a pregancy-related death. We will be making a memorial panel to honor that mother and sending it to Ina May to have it included in the quilt. Please check out the website. The U.S. is VERY lax in accounting for these women. Our health care system and the current state of hospitalized & medicallized deliveries is making it all worse.

I do have to share that during 1 class, Pam taught us a couple songs and had us singing. At the end of that class, Tatiana wanted to sing a song for us. She sang "Burning Times" by Charlie Murphy. She has a beautiful, sexy, husky voice...that folksy/bluesy voice and it was beautiful and haunting. I got chills. Here is a version of the song she sang for us Burning Times . She had her guitar in the dorm and sang several songs to us before we went to sleep a couple nights.

During the workshop, 2 women that are working on filming a documentary about midwifery & Ina May Gaskin, were there filming. They filmed quite a bit of our workshop. They will be keeping in touch with us to let us know how the film is going & when it will be released. They said it would take about a year. It was great fun to be included.

There is more, so much more, but I am still processing everything. Suffice it to say for was an amazing experience and I feel so inspired! :-) I plan on posting pictures....just need to resize them for the web.

March 3, 2010


Alex is our little science guy. He just LOVES science. When we were coming to an end of our R.E.A.L. Science Earth & Space curriculum we decided to bump Morgan up to a middle school science curriculum. We found an online program for her. We then needed to find an elementary curriculum for Alex but with some challenge. While we loved R.E.A.L. Science it was just too easy for the kids and they don't have an upper level curriculum ready yet. So, we started researching curricula that I've heard about from other homeschoolers and we came across one we really thought would be a good fit for Alex (and me as the teacher). This is Noeo Homeschool Science . We picked Physics II. So far Alex is loving it and so am I. I really think we will do well with this.

In addition to this, we had signed up for PhysicsQuest 2009 . This is our second year. We had so much fun with it last year with our friends, Lori Sloan & her kids, Maddy & Quent. We got together with them today and started working on the quest. We did the first two experiments and will do the remaining experiments the week after I return from my workshop. Today we were figuring out the wavelength of our laser and the thickness of our hair. I tell ya, physics can be very complicated and it scared the daylights out of me in high school so much that I wouldn't take the class. I stuck to biology, chemistry, biology II and anatomy & physiology. It still is complicated for me but I love exposing the kids to it so early and at an appropriate, yet challenging, level. It takes the scariness out of it.

March 2, 2010

Money Tree

Apparently, our van thinks we have a money tree in the backyard...or access to one. We were having some minor problems, or so we thought. We took the van to the mechanic and told him our complaints. He fixed those issues and it didn't break the bank. We were happy. Two days later after doing several errands I let Corey know that it seems something isn't right and I think it is connected to something that was supposed to be fixed. So we drop the van back off at the mechanic. Unfortunately, the problem we tell him about isn't linked to what was already fixed but is connected to a few other issues...that we hadn't thought were important & were just due to age & hadn't told him about. Turns out...blown head gasket....and hopefully not cracked heads. Ugh!! Thankfully, the heads weren't cracked and the mechanic was able to get everything all fixed up. Unfortunately, this is a labor intensive problem and that equals dollar signs. So within a week or less we put over $2000 into our van. We *had* to get it fixed. If we could afford a monthly payment we would replace it. We don't like putting this much money into it. We waiver on the whole "worth it" issue. This was about our limit to what we can & will put into it. Soooo.....we need to make room in the budget for a car payment in the future because that is coming whether we like it or not. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, we can get some more time out of this vehicle so we can get to that point more comfortably.