Tuesday, June 28, 2011
So, many have asked: Is that 1000 homebirths? What does 1000 births really mean? Really, what it means is that I have witnessed 1000 babies join us on the planet. 1000 babies I call “my own.” Not all of them have been homebirths, because, as we know, not all planned homebirths happen at home. And, not all of them have been natural or vaginal births. Again, even with the best of plans, not all births happen the way we intend. But, I can say with all confidence, that all of them have been amazing, incredible experiences. Perhaps more appropriate would be to say that I have accompanied 1000 women along their birth journeys. I have witnessed incredible strength, courage, compassion, challenge, testing, and will power. Birth is hard. It challenges us to the very core. Yet, embraced with integrity and sensitivity, it is an empowering, transformative journey. Birth has the power to teach us what it is like to be a woman, to become mothers, to experience life to its fullest capacity. When birth does not give us what we want, we have to work through disappointment, pain, frustration. We need to dig deeper to the core of ourselves to understand the lessons of birth, in whatever form they come. We grow and learn. We are humbled. Birth is empowering. Birth is hard. Our babies are amazing.
Here are some more numbers that you might be interested in:
I have caught:
7 triptychs (three babies for one family)
3 sets of twins at home
21 VBACs (attended) with 13 HBACs (Homebirths after CSEC)
3 Face presentations
I don't know how many were boys and how many were girls, anyone want to volunteer to count?
Maternal mortality rate in the US per 100,000 births : 13
Maternal mortality rate in Haiti per 100,000 births: 632
As many of you know, I traveled to Haiti last year with a program called Midwives For Haiti. I even have a YouTube channel. Go to You Tube and search sfmidwife. You will find the micro-documentaries that Dina made about Haiti. Dina and I and another CNM, Susan Leibel, will be traveling to Haiti again this year. We will be there the first two weeks of August. Dina and I are hoping to make this a yearly trip so that we can build continuity, rapport and camaraderie with the student midwives and graduates. In order to make this a sustainable mission for us, we are dedicated to fundraising to cover expenses. I have already raised $5700 of the $11,000 that this year's trip will cost for the three of us. I know that many of you have asked me how you can help with this project. So.... here's how. You can donate by sending your checks to me at: 206 27th St., San Francisco, 94131.
You can make your check out to me, or, if you would like your donation to be tax-deductible, you can write the check out to Midwives for Haiti, putting Maria Iorillo in the memo line. Still send the check to me and I will send them all together to Midwives for Haiti. It is quite eye-opening to see how much good can be done with just a few thousand dollars. Your donations will fund two midwives and 1 videographer to travel to Haiti for 2 weeks. Last year Ami and I both brought 50 pounds worth of medicines, supplies and baby clothes which were used immediately and much appreciated.
I am also collecting the white, mesh panties that are given to women to wear after birth. If you have any new, extra ones from your birth experience and was wondering what to do with them, now is the moment. These simple panties help to convey a sense of dignity to the Haitian mothers who often times only have a few torn clothes to use after the birth. You can also donate cotton onesies, baby hats or sox. Most other baby items are too bulky to travel with. Together we can make a difference for Haitian mothers and their babies. Thank you for being a part of this project with me.
Of course, donating your baby supplies means we get to see each other! Just call me for a time that we can get together.