Monday, July 16, 2012

Journal Entry - Ina May's Visit to Fort Worth, July 2012

"Ask Me About Sphincter Law"

The weekend is over and I'm still on a high.  Indulge me in this blog post -- it might read more like a journal entry.  I heard one of our girls describe the weekend as magical, and while it sounds a bit corny, it really was -- magical.  Not just because Ina May was here, but because the entire natural birth community came together.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again:  I am so blessed to live in Ft. Worth with so many midwives and birth centers in operation -- where the birth community is strong, united, and well represented. I am proud to be associated with the Tarrant County Birth Network, where I believe we've had an influence in bringing the birth community together.  We are also grateful to have a wonderful group of CNMs in Fort Worth, the UNT Midwives.  The hospital donated $2000 to TCBN to help cover our facility fee at the Norris Center. Every city in America should have a group of midwives like this in their hospital!

UNT Midwives & Ina May Gaskin

Our Ina May T-shirts were a huge hit.  There is demand for another order, so if you would like to get in on it, go here.  Join our newsletter email and we'll be sending that form out very soon. 

You can still order one!

How it all went down:

Shannon (this was all her idea!) and I picked Miss Ina May up from the airport early afternoon on Friday, and I must admit that it was very stressful driving her from the airport to the B&B in downtown Ft. Worth.  I was seriously concerned about getting into a car accident and going down in history as the person that killed Ina May.  It reminded me of when I had my first baby and was scared some crazy driver would hit me and my precious baby. 

We put her up in the most lovely, elegant bed and breakfast called Etta's Place.  Remarkably, all of our events were within the same city block.  Friday night for dinner, our VIP sponsors  met for dinner with Ina May at Reata. Our name tags rocked!  They were made into lanyards with twine.  We could not have hosted Ina May to Fort Worth (and treated her so well) without our sponsors. It was a fun night with delicious food and wonderful people!

*Funny story*   I made a big deal to Reata about Ina May being vegan and they said they would make her a special plate.  In the end, she ordered the salmon with the crab meat cream sauce!  One of the CNM's at her table almost got into it with her that she had ordered the wrong thing!

Saturday morning we had a book signing and photo opportunity for Birth Network members.  About 125 people attended, representing several cities including DFW area, Houston, Waco, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa.  Ina May was so courteous and chatty, everyone really enjoyed it.

Sarah Brock, acupuncturist, gets her book signed.

We broke for lunch and vendor time for 3 hours, and then nearly 500 people gathered to hear Ina May speak at 3:30.  She talked about a number of topics, including a slide show of a breech birth.  She discussed how she became interested in midwifery and current projects she is working on.  Between events (we kept her busy!) she was working on a blog post for the Huffington Post.

The quilt representing the maternal mortality crisis

She also brought the famous quilt, each square representing a woman who died in childbirth, whose story might not otherwise be told.  She shared some of those stories. 

 She spoke specifically to dads -- we had a few in the audience -- about how they can protect the sacred birthing space of their partner.

Another highlight was Ina May showing us how to do a proper squat.  Don't worry -- the fabulous Ceci-Jane is making a video of the weekend and it will be included!  Stay tuned!

Here's where things get fun:  The TCBN Chapter Leaders -- past, present, and future -- took Ina May to an all-vegan restaurant, Spiral Diner, and had a lovely meal.  We had gotten to know each other a bit over the weekend and things were more casual.  We all had a good time.  Ina May is very funny, says it like it is, rolls with the punches, and really is a delightful person.

TCBN Chapter Leaders - past and present

After dinner, we were driving her back to her B&B, and we came back to Tim McGraw.  (He had been brought up earlier when I told her she needed to work the "stage" like Tim, back and forth.)  She admitted to knowing his name, but couldn't tell me anything he sings.  I asked if she wanted to hear some Tim. Of course she said YES -- who wouldn't? -- and all I had to do was turn up the volume.  So, yes, I rocked out to some Tim McGraw with Ina May in my Sequoia this weekend!  She said she could totally appreciate my groupiness, as long as I respected his family space (like a doula!).  I assured her that I do.  And she said that anytime she hears of Tim McGraw from here on out, she'll think of me.  Nice.

This morning we took her back to the airport and had another casual, candid conversation.  Frankly, we have a policy that "what  happens in the Sequoia stays in the Sequoia."  I'll leave you with the last picture I took with Ina May before we put her on the plane back to TN.  Thanks for rejuvenating our birth community Ina May!  It was an absolute pleasure!

Donna Ryan & Ina May Gaskin, 2012


Leesh said...

So very cool!!!

Kelly Lanfranca said...

Wow. *green with envy* What I wouldn't give to dine with Ina May x

Kara said...

You didn't mention the awesome gift basket that you gave her!

Jessi said...

Wonderful photos, and thanks for the write-up. It was wonderful to see the birth community coming together and Ina May really is delightful to listen to. Thank you TCBN, Sponsors, and Ina May!

Robyn said...

Oh, so fun! I want to know more about what she told the dads. Would you mind posting some of the things she said about that?

JuliPickle said...

Thanks for sharing! What an awesome experience!

Rachael Heiner said...

What an awesome, amazing experience!

Jules said...

Jealous!! What an incredible experience!!

Aliza Bancoff CD(DONA) 2013 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aliza Bancoff CD(DONA) 2013 said...

So cool! I am so jealous. Thanks so much for sharing your fun weekend with us!! I just read her Huffington post article and that's actually how I fell upon your blog.