Welcome to My Musings
Here I will post the rantings and the ravings of a wild woman. This is my first attempt at public vulnerability, so please bare with me as I work through various technical and personal hurdles. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading. Comments and questions are always welcome, just post below the article or message me here.
On July 28, 2019, I was assaulted as I held in my arms an image of my dead child. No matter how many times they cut out my tongue, Kali’s voice will be heard. The community deserves to be fully informed about the recklessness and negligence of out-of-hospital providers.
Midwife Eileen Stewart has finally been recognized for her involvement in the deaths of multiple full-term babies. After a painstakingly slow investigation process, Stewart was charged with MULTIPLE counts of negligence, contributing to MULTIPLE catastrophic injuries and deaths of otherwise healthy, full-term babies.
Our babies deserved better than the lies their mothers were sold… In the name of informed consent, we will continue to expose the sordid underbelly of American midwifery so that mothers are able to protect their families and make fully informed decisions about their care.
Birthed In Betrayal is a truth telling initiative, exposing the rancid underbelly of the “natural” child birth movement and the “pseudo sisterhood” that has bemused and abused so many its wake.
Birth Monopoly is a sordid cluster fuck of internalized misogyny, pseudo sisterhood and capitalism at its most grotesque.
Tahlequah showed us what her grief process looked like. Her family demonstrated what it looks like to honor the bereaved and hold space. As a community we have forgotten how to do this for one another. Let us embrace the wisdom keepers and welcome the return of this knowledge.
The following discusses the death of a baby. My beloved sun Kali Ra Iman. When you re-read the title of this piece, your knee jerk reaction may be one of disbelief and contempt for the statement "I will be not grieve for you." How could a mother not grieve the death of her firstborn son?! Deep breath, friends. Here we go...
My heart is broken open for every mother denied the opportunity to move through her grief with intuition as her compass. After enduring the death of a child the very last thing a family needs is for the sacred time of caring for their dead to be stripped from them as well… [O]ur society has forgotten how to hold space for a mother's grief. Instead we have become proficient at dictating the parameters of her experience.
Most traditionally trained doulas accept the confines of the old paradigm "scope" that spares no expense in driving home the importance of “non-advocacy.” Yet, Rigidity in birthwork is as useful as coffin nails, and often with the very same effect. The pelvic girdle knows this truth well-- Seemingly concrete in composition, it is by nature designed to give and make way for burgeoning mystery.
Tragedy is life’s proposal to honor our union with her “for better or worse.” Our broken heart is an invitation to say "YES" to life on her terms, independent of our desire for how she ought to be. By honoring her darkness and depth we choose to dance with life, no matter how risqué the cut of her gown.
My vision for this project is firmly rooted in the knowledge that truth telling is the fiercest and most potent medicine-- A medicine that the sacred Mother urges us to release to the world at this time. I aspire to gather our sacred stories of trauma and transformation and assemble them as a collection, with intent to eventually offer the medicine within as a paperback bolus injection of fierce truth, administered to a world crying out for the nourishment of authenticity.
We must become fluent in the long lost language of solidarity. We must be willing to toil in solitude until the memory of camaraderie returns to our collective. We are in dire need of a refresher course on the import of disobedience and the necessity of disruption. Brick by brick or by devastating blow, we must devour every structure and system of bondage before us and within, paying special attention to the ones we cosigned and helped to erect.
It is in silent contemplation that our soul speaks loudest. We breach our own impenetrable defenses when we begin to doubt our resilience and the unbreakable nature of Spirit. However, when we remain steadfast in honoring our true essence, our power is impervious. Vampires relish at our forgetfulness, and feed on the fear that seeps from the cracks it creates.
Patriarchy is a shapeshifter, able to manifest in many of the conventional ways-- Through silencing, coercion, spoliation of medical records and outright obstetric violence. However, the patriarchy is insidious and can be extremely cunning. Unbeknownst to us, it silently creeps into the concealed crevices of our splintered sisterhood. To my dismay and sheer terror, I found one of the most secreted and sinister forms of patriarchy indwelling within our beloved natural birth movement.
Letting my darkness light the way, I endeavor to continue on this priestess path with pure intention. I strive to open more and more to the gifts of nature and every emotion that erupts as a result. No matter how "unacceptable" or "insufferable," it is my intention to unlatch my toolbox to allow every experience that appears for reintegration.
Despite losing Kali Ra Iman in the flesh, we continue to hold this faith and know that Kali Ra manifested in our lives to carve and burn out illusion and to illuminate the truth through flames of fierce love. We honor and thank you for these teachings and for the path you have illumined in the wake of your ashes.
Instead of changing diapers, I find myself changing between highlighters and keyboard strokes in an effort to grasp the full extent of malfeasance that transpired before and after the death of my Sun.
I was born for this work and I can feel the spirit of my beloved Kali Ra coursing through my finger tips as I write these words and endeavor to raise awareness so that other families do not have to suffer unnecessarily as mine has.
The conditions that allow for social injustice have always emerged as a result of society’s failure to recognize the rights of individuals or groups. When denial of such rights is tolerated or indeed encouraged, it is bound to fortify the bases for further repression and injustice...Our institutions of learning are the platform from which an entire society is grounded. We must protect the sanctity and safety of these spaces. We must not allow them to become militarized zones where autonomy is muzzled and dissent is stifled.
...I was convinced I had assembled the obstetric dream team. Yet, when complications arose, my bubble didn’t just burst, it was obliterated. I learned the hard way that many Western New York families are at great risk because of some uncomfortable truths and shortfalls in competent care. When providers deny transparency and children are injured because of it, parents are often left with a grim choice—To move on with empty arms and a heart burdened by unanswered questions, or forge forward to get answers and share them with the world.
I invite you to a space that promises never to curb or control the wisdom that speaks through you-- a space that rejoices in uniqueness and encourages us to offer our stories as medicine to the world. Let us open our arms to the mystery and hold one another, despite our differences. Whether illumined by love or torn by tragedy, we are all blessings to the world. These blessings are delivered when we share our medicine and hold another as they do the same.
Every winter I close my shutters and block out so much of the world. If I was a computer, I would be in "sleep mode." I used to pathologize this experience and brand it as "depression," adding to a cacophony of other judgments targeted at all my perceived shortfalls. Yet, I now understand this social hiatus as a necessary hibernation for the soul.
I will never accept or take on as my own the judgments cast by so many in the natural birth community upon those of us who don't fit the natural birth mold. To the contrary of those propagating oversimplified mistruths, this mold is NOT one size fits all. I shudder to think how many families have been crushed when care providers attempt to force mothers and their unborn blessings into spaces and scenarios not meant for them. How many times does that magical mold become a claustrophobic coffin?
Whether it’s a ghost with a blade or the promise of certain physical disintegration, these scare tactics cannot touch our true essence. Illusions of impending catastrophe will try to convince us to abandon the sowing of seeds. They will urge us to remove our hands from fertile soil and trample precious new life as we run to erect unnecessary defenses. We have the capacity to dismiss the illusion of urgency. We can reject the fear and...
There is nothing wrong with imagining different scenarios and working to manifest our preferences for the big day, but birth is inherently untamable. It will always articulate its wildness, whether in the moment we offer ourselves up to the unknown, or decades later in seemingly random bouts of rage and wounded fury. The wildness will always prevail.
Without room made for questions or conversation, I was told by the attending obstetrician, in no uncertain terms, that "there is only one way to birth a baby and that is to push." Despite the various complications which made solid ground for intervention and my repeated pleadings over twelve hours in hospital, life-saving measures were refused... That is until my baby's heart stopped beating inside of me. Only then was I finally granted the surgery I knew could have saved my son's life. I endured the emergency cesarean without anesthesia...
I trust my body is trying to tell me something and I intend to listen. The learning curve is a pronounced and painful one, but I will persevere.
This struggle is a beautiful one, and so much of the reason why we manifest in the flesh. I feel a collective awakening, wherein we’re turning our attention to the less honored aspects of self. When we can both honor and allow ourselves to embody the less attractive aspects of this process, we begin to sow seeds of alignment.
Ego was working overtime that night... Refusing the severity of my condition, I raged against and in spite of an injury which threatened to divert the unbridled path of self destruction I walked. Instead of heading to the emergency room, I clung with desperation to that path of rebellion and ruination, managing to track down ways to dull my physical pain AND "keep the party going." I succeeded tremendously. I am both ingenious and relentless when it comes to my own undoing.
There certainly is a bias toward light, even within the communities set up to assist with healing and transformation. Thankfully, the balance is returning and exposing all artifice in its wake.
A daughter’s tears absorb into the parched earth, as she bear witness to the imbalance and separation. Our work now is to hold space in acknowledgement of these traumas and assaults on the sacred. We must allow the festering wounds to emerge from the depths, right up to the surface for all to see. This purge is a necessary step and cannot be avoided.
Only through the opening, emptying and cleansing of our wounds can these spaces revive and re-cover.