so i have been in transition in my life in a lot of ways.  and am emerging.  which means that more traditional blogging has been put to the side so that i can work out/process/dive into what has been going on here in cairo.  i do tumble though and sometimes i even write about midwifery on the tumblog.  so here is a little something i wrote a few days ago:

wow i was just sitting here realizing in my bones how the professionalization, licensing, certifying of midwives really is a fucking insult to the granny midwives.  what does it mean that we are saying that these women are not/were not good enough to witness births?

i mean yeah its awesome that i know a bunch of scientific names for specific parts of the body and stuff.  im a biology geek, i dig random arcane knowledge.

but as for midwifing a birth, the most helpful shit i know is stuff like: follow the mama, take deep breaths, listen closely, everything in the universe has a rhythm, be grateful, be honest, hold the space and let it all go.

i really want to write about mindfulness and midwifery.  but i still cant find a way to approach it.  i just know that watching my mind and the universe has taught me a lot more about birth (and death) than all the books, lectures, workshops put together.  im not exagerating.

midwifery as a practice and an art like meditation.

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student midwifery resources online

anyways, here are a quick list of resources for being to look at witnessing births

a book for midwives

mamma primativa

sister zeus

unhindered birth

conscious woman

empowered childbirth

the online childbirth class

spinning babies

gloria lemay online classes

there are lots more online.  will need to update this list…

(pic is of a the cover the outlaw midwives zine.  mama holding a baby, water, grass, children, greens, yellows, blues)

outlaw midwives vol 2!

so here is the draft of outlaw midwives vol 2.  uploaded onto scribd. 64 pages.

click here for the zine.

the upload to scribd was imperfect.  there are about two-three pages that for some reason didnt upload.  pretty random. actually the primary upload bump now is that one page is doubled… (i think it is because in general the internet has been running slower since the protests began in cairo.  the egyptian govt fucked with twitter as it is, since that and fb is where a lot of the organizing is happening for the protests)  so i am going to upload it again, but until then, enjoy this.

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I love volume 2 of outlaw midwives.  I love it because it is full of personal stories from the frontlines of birth work and mothering.  As I printed out the articles and sat on the floor with glue stick and scissors, stapler and paper, I could hear the air crackle around me as the electric heater burnt slowly.  These pages are pointing to a path of liberation and magic.  To a place where justice = love.

These stories run the gamut, from supporting women’s access to abortion to discovering that breastfeeding can be painful and exhausting.  From questioning who homebirth is really for, to mamas discussing marginal identities in the natural birth community.  There are visions for what midwifery could be, should be, and what it should never have become.  Stories about death.  And yes, stories about birth.  Most of all, these are stories, our stories, that we need.

So please enjoy, pass along, and support outlaw midwives by any means necessary.

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cover art –soraya jean louis

bird blues baby—soraya jean louis

love, sister—soraya jean louis

outlaw midiwives and outlaws—ash johnsdottir

black women birthing resistance—cara page and tamika middleton

evidence-based medicine—gloria lemay

my secondary post-partum hemorrhage experience—rebecca j. haines-saah phd

love and lost, for julie—brooke benoit

homebirth and no home—da midwife

on birth and choice—pamela hines powell

abortion in florida—randi james

i wonder what would happen if midwives…—carla hartley

what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding—aaminah al-naksibendi

stepping out—mai’a, aaminah al-naksibendi, amy gow, Patrice nichole byers, china

body pirate: how my body was taken hostage by a nursing toddler—laurel ripple carpenter

the c-section—alexis gumbs

a hard rains a-gonna fall—ash johnsdottir

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also in this zine you will find call for submissions for the bridge called my baby anthology and for outlaw midwives vol 3.

with love,

mai’a

post on gmm.  here are some excerpts

1.  so this kinda weird thing happened.  i wrote this lil post about my experiences with a birthy magazine.  and really i just wrote it for me, so i could get over my creative block and get on with what i thought was really important.  and really i didnt think that anyone would really care about it.  cause im little. they are big.  that is just the way things are.

anyways a couple of birthy folks i know contacted me about it.  and one of them asked if she could post it to this doula forum.  and then there was a whole discussion about it.  but, i didnt write the post b/c i was trying to call the birthy mag out, i wrote it because one, it was the truth and two, i needed to blog it to move on…..

2. oh and to random birthy blog ladies who have their panties all in a tizzy because i told you, you dont save childbearing folk, they save themselves…

if you have time to write extensive critiques of me, then you have time to check your facts first, do some research, use the motherfucking google.  because it seems to me it would be a better use of your time to understand what and who you are talking about rather than straight up attacking me on spurious self-righteous charges.

srsly though.  this blog is written by a woman who a few months ago told me that i was such a great resource on anti-racism and imperialism when i made a comment on fb…so yeah…just to make a clear…

im not a fucking resource.

***inspired by something bfp said a few days ago…

dear god,

i make a comment on some random midwifery blog saying basically, yeah, midwives arent saviours.

now they’ve got all their panties in a tizzy.

i think at this point they have accused me of everything but eating human babies…

im not linking to it, cause well you dear readers do not want that kind of toxicity in yr brain i bet…

but i will say: in the end, the only person who can save you, is yourself.

oh and here is a link to something actually worth reading: john ross’s outlaw/revolutionary life (he wasnt a midwife, but he was definitely an inspiration for how to live in this world.)

a new post up at guerrilla mama medicine about outlaw midwives zine, racism, and creative blocks.

space between the buzz words

an excerpt:

i spent so much time this summer giving free anti racism/anti oppression consultation to this publication.  and while i am sure i was not the only one who did this type of consultation, i do wonder what does it mean that a magazine publishes an article on anti-racism birth work, but doesnt acknowledge how racist it was toward a black woman who has been doing anti racism and birth/media work for years?   what does it mean that the editors makes the criteria of who they are willing to work with based on whether or not the you are ‘positive and expansive’ toward squat’s organizing?

 

we arent on the same team.  we may use some similar tactics.  but dont get it twisted.  just because both teams throw balls into baskets dont mean everyone on the court is on the same team.  feel me?

but see that analogy doesnt work because this isnt a game. this is life and death.

ive dealt with so much racism in the past few weeks from the staff of squat: a birth journal

from being told i was angry and aggressive.  that they were going to teach me a lesson about ‘expansion and positivity’ and a bunch of other crap that white people typically say as an overeactive response to finding out that not everybody thinks they are the center of the universe.

but here is something that i know that they obviously dont.  its not a very obscure lesson.  it is simply this — if you are supporting communities on the margins — if you are doing this in a good way, in a sustained way, in a way that is effective toward holding the space so that those communities can create their own liberation — then you will not be popular.  people will call you things like, angry and aggressive.

because in order for you to support communities and individuals, you have to work to stop the abuse that is holding them under water.  and stopping the abuse means stopping the abuser.  and the abuser is popular.  so you wont be.

folks are marginalized because other people have taken too much.  and when you start to have a real impact on folks lives, when they start to be re-centered, then that means other folks will have to be de-centered.  and those other folks will tell you, you are being angry and aggressive.

so here is where i figure you stand.  you are either

1. incredibly naive and arrogant.  have never done real solidarity work before.  and really do think that the reason that all those marginalized folks are marginalized is just because they arent positive and embracing enough.   and that you will show them how to do it right.

2. have no intentions of working in solidarity.  really just want to enhance your image.  and since you know being an all white magazine looks really really bad.  you are going to fix that with some charity and a couple of ‘political’ articles and a bunch of other cooked up schemes to give the illusion that you give a damn.

im really not sure which one you are.

i do know that i am not very interested in working with either.

so great there is another mainstream midwifery magazine.  like midwifery today, but the hipster version (!)

yeah like i said.  we are not on the same team.

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