Community

Today I attended the Az Birth Network’s conference – and had a great time! Just the day before yesterday I attended the annual midwifery conference that Sue DiSilvestro puts on every year…and it, too, was amazing.

What was so incredible to me wasn’t what was taught – I can read so if there’s something I want to know there’s a good chance I can look it up. What was so incredible were the people…the energy, the love, the gathering of people with the same passion as I have.

The midwifery conference always reminds me of a family reunion….or, sadly, a funeral. Either one. You know how it is- an event causes everyone to gather in one place and you reconnect in a way that leaves you wondering, “WHY don’t we do this more often! And without an “event” bigger than LUNCH??” I sat in the back and looked over all of the midwives and midwifery students seated before me and felt proud that I AM A MIDWIFE!! I am like them…these women sitting here. Each one of these women have sacrificed, dedicated their lives to giving love and care to growing families. Each one of these women answered a calling that would have been easier on them to just ignore. Each one of these women are mother to these mothers….guiding, loving, nurturing, protecting.

And like family events, the event ends and you realize how much you’ve missed your them, praying that this could be the beginning of renewed relationships. Yet the family scatters, returns to their busy life and you to yours…..until another wedding, another death…another event.

I left my midwifery sisters on Thursday grateful for being able to see them, but also sad that I know they will return to their lives and I to mine and I might see them in another year. It’s how life goes and I understand and accept it, but it still makes me sad that it must be that way.

Then today there was the AzBN conference – another event. I ran into close friends, met some new ones, and got to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in a long while. Some of my clients were there – both old (and I got to snuggle with their babies) and new (with such a beautiful full term belly!) – and my partner Jen Bass was even there to do a “baby slings fashion show”!

I met two new doulas standing by the doors that I liked instantly…except that they said to me, “I read your blog and love it!” Interesting how I pour my heart out onto this blog and wonder if anyone actually reads it, but then if someone lets me know that they read it I get embarrassed and feel overly exposed. Suddenly we aren’t equals, they know WAY more about me than I know about them. They have the upper hand. Good thing they were awesome women…(Hi if you’re reading this!)

The most humbling part of the day was being presented with an award: Arizona Birth Network presented me with an award for Family-Centered Caregiver Recognition. Wow, what do you say to that?? After a full day with the other Az midwives just two days before, and surrounded by doulas and childbirth educators, midwives and lactation consultants – to be called up and presented with an award was simply an honor beyond words.

And now I’m home, relatively quiet (as quiet at my home ever gets with 5 children running around) with no events in the near future and already missing my “family”. They are going back to their lives and I to mine…and I hope that they know how much I love them and treasure being a part of this community. I do pray that I am able to see some of them without an “event”. Well, maybe a really awesome lunch.

6 Comments

  1. Erika Obert wrote:

    What a fabulous experience! I’ve missed two conferences for the only good reason imaginable – too many due dates to leave town. Glad you enjoyed yourself. 🙂

    Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  2. Kewal wrote:

    I feel the same way. The classes were fun but what really touched me was being with women who love and honor birth, being with community.

    Congratulations on the award and recognition, Stephanie! You give so much to so many people. It is beautiful.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Lindy wrote:

    CONGRATS!!!! Wish I could have been there:( Did make it to Blossom’s opeen house (spur of the moment thing). I loved that I knew like half the ppl there lol! The birth community here is something I have been longing for for yrs now (and something I sadly didn’t find in churches, in the military, in school, in anything really…). Amazing how wonderful it is and how great it was to find right as I entered motherhood. Most of the credit for my introduction to the birth comm. goes to NHBS for hosting birth circle:) THX!!!

    Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 2:09 am | Permalink
  4. Rachel wrote:

    Congratulations on your award! I know that you richly deserve it. (I’m one of those doulas who read your blog, but we might never meet, since I’m in KS, and you’re in AZ. Still, you really enrich my life.)

    Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  5. Amy Lynn Drorbaugh wrote:

    Yay! I voted for you for that! You very much deserve it Stephanie. Thank you for the amazing work you do!

    Monday, October 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  6. Trena wrote:

    Congratulations on your award! You are an angel!

    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

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