Labor Repose

Labor Repose
LaborPayne during her 6th homebirth (9th baby) at age 44

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The She Wolf Lodge

Photos: me giving counsel, a morning fire circle session, a mother and child, young maidens in a hammock, Sr. Morningstar being smudged during opening ceremonies

Sacred images from the Holy Land (Morningstar Community) where I went this weekend for the Summer Solstice Celebration of the She Wolf Council. I live for these: the drum circles, the smudging, the storytelling around the fire circle, the sessions led by Sr. Morningstar, the fabulous vegetarian and vegan feasts (no meat is allowed on the Holy Land). A pure weekend of women who have left their lives to come together for sharing growth, enlightenment, and transcendance. I'm excited to be moving into my crohn years (defined as one year without bleeding), when I can take my place among the other queen mothers and elders and begin to participate in leadership. In the meantime, I look forward to how much I learn about myself each time I attend. The lesson this time was observing my comfort in my own skin and being still in my own knowing. These are blessed discoveries that prepare me for the work ahead. I'll go back again for the Fall Solstice and continue my work on becoming me.

At one point, Sr. Morningstar asked us to describe our perfect day. Here is mine:

I wake up early, as usual, around 5am. I sit in my garden and have my morning cup of tea and quiet time. After my morning routine, I leave my house and walk around the corner to the clinic. I like to be the first one there to open it up. There is an early morning meeting and I bring fresh flowers from my garden to brighten up the meeting room. As the morning progresses, the clinic staff starts to arrive, the meeting begins and ends, and clients begin to arrive. I oversee the workings of the clinic and the staff, and leave midmorning for more meetings. On this my perfect day, all things go my way. Every idea, every initiative is met with a 'yes!' After a successful round of meetings, I meet my beloved for lunch. We meet at one of my favorite restaurants tucked away on a high hill overlooking downtown on the West Side. After a lovely meal and time to connect with my spouse, I head back to the clinic and oversee its finish for the day. There are patients to see, reports to file, emails and calls to return. My administrative assistant has been dispatched to the airport to pick up a group of international students and researchers. They will be staying in the guest house and working in our clinic for a few weeks. When the last patient has been seen, I rush back around the corner to the house to make sure everything is ready for the arrival of the guests. Dinner has been prepared and the house is full of home-cooked smells. I sit down to dinner with my family and enjoy a good meal. Afterwards, I sit and think and reflect on what a wonderful day it has been. I remember, that it is my perfect day.

Now your turn. What would your perfect day look like?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Checklist

In the two weeks since I have returned from Haiti, I have been involved in several activites, most of which I will attempt to summerize here:

  • I queried my story about Dr. Delson to a journal but they turned it down, however they did give me ideas of what type of journal might be interested in the story.

  • I started teaching my summer classes, one for LPNs and one for RNs and will be teaching through July.

  • As a part of my committe work, I will be working on the two following projects- 1) collecting and cataloging the stories of African-American women who have lost babies due to preterm delivery or low birth weight,and 2) interviewing the three urban KC hospitals that do deliveries in order to celebrate what they do right and encourage improvements.

  • My two proposals were accepted by the MANA conference, so now to get started fleshing out the following: Lessons from Haiti: maternal infant care during a disaster from the midwifery model, and Brick by Brick: dismantaling racism in maternal infant care.

  • I continue planning for the CIMS Forum 2012- currently identifying potential speakers.

  • My business is expanding to a third state, and I am writing the training manual for new trainers.

  • I am lobbying for a mayoral appointment to the county hospital board from our newly elected mayor.

  • I am researching and writing an educational module on preconception care. If all goes well, I'll be traveling around the country presenting it to home visiting nurses and community workers, along with other content.

  • I am doing my preliminary planning for my profit prenatal clinic and my nonprofit maternity care think tank.

  • fielding offers to work in my (so far imaginary) clinic

  • preparing for a Board of Nursing visit at my college where I teach

  • planning for trip to Canada in November and Mexico in January, and trying to find a way to go to Tazania in December

  • looking forward to a trip to The Holy Land (Morningstar Community) at the end of the month for rest and rejuvination

  • kids leave home but keep coming back, now what?

  • Still waiting and mentally preparing to hear if I am accepted into the midwifery program

  • gardening daily now and loving it!