So, here I set, somewhere around 7 months pregnant with my fourth child, and as she flips and turns in my belly, I wonder… what would it take to turn around privatized, for profit health care? More specifically, care for birth and death. These are two situations of the human that have been handled traditionally by Shamans, Wise Women and other experienced members of the community. Situations that the human must, at this point in our evolution, transverse; two of the most Spiritual, Holy and inevitable events to take place on this plane, in other for profit words, guaranteed income. Holy though they may be, the modern human finds themselves up to their neck in debt when a new member is on it’s way, or and old member on it’s way out. Why have we, for the most part, lost the Shamanic value? How did we get so far away from the human spirit that we stress ourselves out, stretch ourselves thin, with worry, debt and liability? Isn’t the journey between the worlds more holy than a few pieces of paper that are losing their value more and more everyday? Isnt there a place where humans are just there for one another without Liability or Compensation? And if there is, wouldn’t it be the two most holy events a human can experience? It all comes down the the financial survival game I guess. “I need to make a living too.” And I get that, it’s the human condition we are in. I just don’t think it has as big of a presence in these two holy events as the modern, american human has made it out to be.
Now, take into consideration that the average college tuition for a midwife in Florida, is around $35,000, takes up to three years ( not counting the pre req of being a doula for two years prior, that’s another $4-500 certification.) Not to mention all the time away from their own families and other endeavors. Of course, at this point they will want to be compensated, and I totally get that. But again, here we have women for women, women loving women, but with a price tag and liability all rolled up, mixed up,muddied up in the holiness of it all. Families are ok with “paying for safety” , or in other words, paying to hang the responsibility of birthing a baby on someone else’s shoulders. Well, hang on here. Asking a person of wisdom and experience to be present is natural, but asking that person to take on the responsibility of the event, to take on the liability of the safety and outcome of the event, just because they have some education…is that fair? Some would say “yes, that’s what I get paid to do.” But what has Liability done to the sanctity of birth and death? How has it skewed our care? We have midwives booking three, four, five births a month. Some of them refusing to go to homes, because they can get more in if they stack them in a center, where three or more mothers can be laboring at the same time and within arms reach. Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! We have mothers being stressed out at some of the most precious and sensitive times of their being by testing, poking, prodding and fear mongering because they haven’t delivered “in time”, convinced by the “professional” that her womb is a ticking time bomb. Newborns stuck, scrubbed, injected and smeared. New fathers completely removed from the process. Oh, and yes, let’s talk about the process. One of the most Divine Sexual Expressions of the human coupling, sterilized, profitized, privatized…. this is where the “for profit birthing and death walking” has placed us.
I can set back and look at it with the eyes of my ancestors and know. It has to change. It may not change for everyone, and it may not be such a huge change that the mainstream woman even knows about it. But there is an army of men and women who are waking up. We can see how the for profit has muddied the sanctity of creating life and ushering death. We can see how and where the changes must be implemented. But before this can happen, humans have to get ok with death. They have to get ok with the idea that not every baby is going to make it out alive. They have to get away from the idea of blaming or laying responsibility at some one else’s feet for “saving”. In short, the fear has to be conquered and death accepted. Responsibility taken. Then, you add in the sacred elements. Remind ourselves that a birthing woman is walking a veil between life and death, expelling, exuding, expressing sex, sexuality, life, creation, birth and death, God, all in one event. We have to get out of her way, as we would get out of the way of any major elemental event. One does not stand in front of a hurricane and say “WAIT! STOP PUSHING! IT ISN’T TIME YET!” No, we batten down the hatches, prepare ourselves for the gale force winds and torrential downpours. We do what we must to survive the onslaught of energy, standing by in awe of nature and her power, ready to clean up the aftermath. Only then, only when, we accept there are some events in our lives we can not control, and should not profit on, will we be able to turn this ship around. Until then, I will cacoon up, attend as many births as I can and continue to educate myself and those with ears to hear and eyes to see.