Under the Shade of an Olive Tree, Midwives Gather in Spain

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Writings

Under the Shade of an Olive Tree, Midwives Gather in Spain

Firstly, it’s bloody hot here at Da-a-Luz. That I have to say. Dry, sweltering heat that leaves you sweating at the slightest movement once the sun is up.

Yummy food sourced mainly from the local gardens and surrounding farms, goat’s milk, cheeses, honey, pears, aubergines, watermelons, zucchini, olives and olive oil. So good.

I sit, writing this by candlelight in the caravan I am staying in…the sun has finally set and with it a bit of cool and the sounds of the crickets descend. I have just returned from collecting water from the spring with midwife Fiona and student midwives Hannah and Jennifer…we also cooled our feet after a long day of neonatal resuscitation training.

For the past week, midwives and student midwives have gathered on cushions under the shade of an olive tree, sharing their stories, fears, hopes, dreams and hopes of births for the women they serve.

And themselves.

One thing is clear: midwives are frustrated at the state of how births are run in this world. They are shocked and angry at the soaring caesarean and intervention rates.

When was it that institutions became the places to manage and control this mostly straightforward and holy life event?

What I have learned is this: – get a bunch of midwives together and they will find endless birth related things to talk about, debate and discuss, from the complicated to the ecstatic, from the outrageous to the most undemanding. Sharing techniques, pearls of wisdom and skills.

And midwives do not seem to grow weary of this subject either.

But midwives and midwifery students feel tired and defeated too. Innately, they believe in women’s ability to give birth to their babies, but many midwives are tired of fighting against the systems that constantly claim this right.

But there is something truly magical and inspiring that happens when midwives are given the time to get together and share and support one another in this time old profession they hold so dear. It is as though the little spark of hope that sometimes feels that it may be dying is fanned by the love and strength of other birth keepers.

If there is anything I can recommend, it is for midwives to regularly gather to share in a non-judgemental setting.

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing.

Safe, empowering, beautiful births for the mothers and babies we serve.