Tag Archives: ina may gaskin

Birth Story, Friends and Popcorn.

Birth Story

Birth Story. Ina May Gaskin & The Farm Midwives.

One of my favorite parts of the movie is when referring to unnecessary inductions she says, “A farmer would never do that to a valuable animal.”.

Yesterday’s screening of Birth Story couldn’t have come at a better time. My peaks and valleys surrounding birth come on fast. My peaks are births, doula gatherings, blessingways, hardcore birth talk, seeing past clients with their babes, The Tribecast and encapsulations. My valleys are the too-long stretches between births, the Groundhog Days of life, the looking around my living room at the popcorn smushed into the rug and the couch cushions strown along the entire first floor. It has been one of those seasons. The change from the heat and long days of summer to the chilly floors and dark afternoons has been hard on me. That high in my chest when I’m carrying my doula bag out of the hospital after a beautiful, hard, powerful birth with a smile on my face like I have a secret. Walking into my house in the middle of the night, while my children and husband are sound asleep upstairs, dropping my bag, opening a beer and eating leftovers of whatever my husband had for dinner all by myself, reflecting. I wish I could bottle that up and open it right about the time I change my 4th shitty diaper of the day.

I loved, loved, loved watching the vintage footage of the caravan and getting to know the other important midwives of The Farm. I loved that breech birth and that shoulder dystocia footage. My heart melted a little watching Ina May care for Stephen. The message and energy of the film pretty much sums up why we do what we do. Why we care, why we know in our hearts how important it is to birth our babies with dignity and respect and safety.

But more than even the movie, I loved seeing old friends. Midwives, doulas, birth advocates, veterans, newbies, pregnant mamas, past clients and current clients. I needed the laughs, the hugs, the encouragement and the kind words.

All in all, a pretty perfect afternoon.


Meeting Ina May Gaskin, The Backstage Pass


Meeting Ina May Gaskin, the sign and run!

“It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” ~ Wendell Berry

So last weekend, I met Ina May Gaskin. I’ve met celebrities in my past. Musicians, athletes, television personalities, authors, you get the picture. I even partied with Vince Neil and Don Dokken in the same weekend. Anyone who knew me in the 80’s knows that is a BIG deal! I’m generally uninterested and not really so impressed.

 As I stood there in line, clenching my newly purchased copy of Birth Matters, tightly to my chest, in the company of other giddy Ina May groupies, my heart raced. I never thought I would meet her. This is Ina Fucking May people. My time grew closer and closer. And my palms sweatier and sweatier. What would I say!? Would I thank her for all of her work in the advancement of midwifery or for helping so many mamas and babies? Would I share a quick glimpse into how touching that very first Ina May book changed my life, as it has the lives of so many other women?

Nope. Nope, I sure wouldn’t. Loose lips, loose bottom surely had no place in this encounter. Shoulders high, jaw tensed and bottom clenched, I said, “hi” and shoved my book at her, looked at my friends waiting with 3 cameras and multiple iPhones snapping away desperate to get a perfect shot, snatched my book back and I vanished. I am not even sure I said thank you for the autograph!

Not my shining moment in birthwork that’s for sure.

With my dream of someday visiting the Farm, and my delusions of grandeur that my family will want to vacation there over Disney, I am certain our paths will cross again. Here’s to hoping I can speak more than one word, maybe even eye contact and maybe, just maybe some expression of my genuine heartfelt gratitude for her work and dedication.