Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Visit With a Midwife by Trevor

No, my wife is not pregnant. I’m not even married, nor do I have an expectant partner. I am a tenth grader from the San Francisco Waldorf High School, in an Embryology and Heredity course. Over that past two weeks, we have been studying the early development of the human being, and all of the stages of growth from conception to birth. Now, in many schools, most likely you would be sitting in a classroom, watching slides on the stages of birth, or watching a video of a birth. This we did, but that was just the beginning. The teacher had brought in Maria - a midwife, the one who writes this blog - and one of her patients. Yes. There was a real live, and hopefully very willing pregnant woman sitting on the couch at the back of the lab. I had one of those “Only in Waldorf” moments, as Maria began to ask Katherine how she was feeling, and if she had felt anything in the last few minutes. She began to feel Katherine’s stomach, as she felt around for the baby. After what seemed like no time at all, she said that the baby was most likely, head down, with its back on the mother’s right side. Until that day, I had absolutely no idea that you could even feel the baby from the outside. I mean, it seems so obvious now, but I never really thought about that, I guess. Next came the highlight of my day. Maria brought out a sort of mutated stethoscope, a fetoscope I think she called it, and began listening around for the baby’s heart beat. She then handed me the earpieces of this device, and I listened with wonder as the noise cleared, and I head a quiet Thump, Thump,Thump of the baby’s heart. I have never felt more in awe as I was actually hearing the life flow through an unborn, but yet, very much alive, human. I felt this was a very unique experience, and hope that everyone is fortunate enough to come into a situation where it might be possible for them to hear and see the things I heard and saw today.


Amy Romano said...

I love it! And I'm so, so excited for Katherine (my sister!!). She's such a good teacher and I know she relished the experience as much as the students did.

Thank you for taking time out of what I'm sure is a plenty busy schedule to teach kids who (hopefully) aren't even thinking of baby-making yet. I think if all doulas, midwives, etc. did this something might begin to shift. Starting when a woman shows up for her first prenatal visit is too late!

Katherine Taylor said...

Thanks for sharing Trevor! I was the very willing pregnant woman and had a great time too. I was aware that this was probably a unique learning experience for the students. I'd never even heard of modern midwives until my sister became one!

I've learned so much in the process of being pregnant but I also learned a lot that day - seeing and feeling the placentas, being asked questions like if the kicking hurts (no! it feels really neat but can be surprising), and seeing how 10th graders can be so honest, outgoing, and enthusiastic to learn.

Maria asked them to try to remember their births, to connect with that transformative time, and I believe that I do remember my own birth which is why I'm choosing to birth my baby in the most comfortable and empowering way possible. Thanks Maria!

Dou-la-la said...

This is wonderful. It makes me determined to do such educational outreach when I become a midwife myself in the future. Thank you for sharing this!

And what a testimony for Waldorf education, too! Right on.

Joyce said...

This made me cry. You rule.