School Days…..

So I’ve been doing this school thing now for a month…I am currently buried under a PILE of books, just in case any of you have been looking for me.

The course is clipping along with the steady pace of an East African runner, following the well traveled trails of conception to the birth of newborn babes, these trails take us through fields filled with a variety of flowers, and there are many, these are the flowers of ‘normal’ pregnancy and birth, (normal meaning not complicated or high risk, I’m fairly certain we shall visit the thistle infested quagmires of abnormal soon…).

We have a weekly movie night, complete with popcorn and m&m’s. These are all about birth and midwives and cultural trends of the past and present. Hot topics, related to how women have babies and how different societies and organizations all over the world think women should or should not have babies. The World Health Organization has much to say about birthing babies, what is safe and what is not safe, and which countries have the least and greatest numbers of maternal or infant deaths.

You may find it interesting that out of all the industrialized world, the U.S. has consistently ranked very low, meaning the U.S. loses more mothers and infants than many other western nations despite that the U.S. is the most medically advanced nation on the planet. So, maybe pregnancy and birth isn’t so much a ‘medical issue’ as it is a health issue, unless it is abnormal, pregnancy, labor, and birth have little to do with medicine and disease.

Last week we had a guest speaker, Vicki Penwell, she is the founder of our school and has been teaching midwifery for over 20yrs. She has quite the legacy and heritage to offer her students. I have always appreciated Vicki’s no nonsense approach to birth and her ernest desire to care for those who are in need. I enjoyed the little bit of time I got to speak with her one on one and I am very grateful to be a student in her school. She is back in the Philippines now taking care of women and children at risk at her birth center there.


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