MENU

Dear midwives who supported me

You are amazing.Recently I wrote a piece to open a dialog about the power dynamics between some midwives and women and parents. It is fiery, it is passionate, it is a call for an end to patriarchal and paternalistic maternity care that leave far too many women, parents, and whanau family traumatised.I was asked if the midwife who supported me in my last birth had upset me. I can emphatically say, you did not upset me. You supported me. You respected my rights. You cared for me. You were gentle and kind and considerate and respectful. You collaborated with me. You walked beside me. You protected my power.My last birth was not what I expected. It took me to the very depths of my soul and opened me wide. So very wide. I felt powerful and vulnerable. Torn asunder and made whole. I was reduced to the very fabric of my being. Through it all, three midwives journeyed with me. You three held space for me through the maelstrom. You listened when I asked. Guided me when I felt lost. Held my body when it became too much. You gave me time when I felt eternity.And when I gave up, […]
Read More ›

I have postnatal depression

I couldn’t smile back at my baby when she smiled at me today. And now I am locked in the bathroom, in tears, writing this. I’m not entirely sure why I need or want to write this – maybe it’s to get the hurt out; maybe it’s in solidarity with others suffering through PND (postnatal depression); or maybe it’s to bring awareness to just what it feels like to be in this deep, dark hole. Probably it’s all of those things.I just yelled at my toddler for bashing at the bathroom door.  I yell a lot because I’m just so damn angry. All. The. Time. And then I’m angry at myself for being angry all the time. For yelling at my kids when they’re just being kids. And a new wave of tears flows both for my children and for myself. Because I don’t want to feel angry. I don’t want to rage.And I cry harder re-reading what I’ve written so far. Because the image of holding my baby in front of me, with her gorgeous smile lighting up her whole face. It’s honestly one of the most magical things in the world. But it did nothing. I felt no […]
Read More ›

A first timer’s impression of moxibustion

I am always tired at the best of times. I have an autoimmune disorder that leaves me in a chronic state of exhaustion. Big downer to the start of a post, I know. Pregnancy has hit me unexpectedly hard. I usually expect a bit less energy in the first trimester, followed by feeling almost like a normal person in the second and third. I was not, however, expecting just this level of bone-weary, soul-crushing, devastating, can-barely-get-up level of unending tiredness.I talked with my midwife about possibilities. My antenatal bloods came back fine so no enlightenment there. She suggested trying acupuncture or moxibustion. Full disclosure here – I have never had acupuncture. I have a fear of needles and the thought has never thrilled me. My only experience with acupressure is what I have done on myself. To mixed results. Which I would guess is owing to the fact that I am not remotely a professional and have only a vague knowledge of Qi and meridians. Nor have I ever had moxibustion. I know about it for helping to turn breech babies and that’s it. I didn’t even know it could be used for anything else. (Woops!)So here I was, lying […]
Read More ›

Being ‘With Woman’

I was invited to do a presentation as part of a midwifery workshop on physiologic birth. I was there as a consumer rep and had a whole big spiel ready about being ‘with woman’ and how midwives can support women and parent’s choices.Given the previous speaker covered what I was going to talk on and given I felt a little less formality was in order, I ended up scrapping most of it on the fly. Instead we had some really good korero/discussion around physiologic birth, trust, confidence, our cultures fear of death and preventing at any cost, VBAC, pain-free birth, the power of positive birth images and stories, a lot about homebirth, the monumental importance of oxytocin and yes about how midwives can be ‘with woman’ and support women and parents’ choices.Without further ado, here’s my original presentation for your reading pleasure. It was (and is) a difficult topic and given the huge amount of debate I’ve seen around it, it’s definitely something that needs more discussion and some grassroots solutions.Being ‘With Woman’: Supporting choicesTrust, communication, respect, wisdom….. these are just some of the values that run through the feedback I received when I asked the question, “How can midwives […]
Read More ›

A Sometimes Needed Reminder

From The Star Thrower By Loren Eiseley Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I […]
Read More ›

Holding space

Oxytocin Space is a very new website. As such, the content is slim at the moment. Please check out the social media pages to stay up to date on articles as they are posted.
Read More ›