who's the ECL?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm not BAD evil, more like devil's food cake evil.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Leave Of Absence

I announced last month to my doula group that I wanted a leave of absence for the remainder of the year. I am obligated to attend one birth in early September, and that will be my last of 2007. I don't know about 2008.

I haven't had much fun being a doula these days. I did as many births in the first half of this year as I have in the 3 years before I joined my doula group. It was great, but I stopped enjoying them. I started wondering when some of these moms were going to get their epidurals so I could go home and sleep. I started not caring if I wasn't able to make it to their births. I began to have a hard time wanting to connect with some of my clients. I felt more and more emotionally distant from this work.

Part of it is that this job is hard. Being on call sucks ass. Working for 12-24 hours straight, without sleeping or taking more than 30 minutes off can be hard.

But for me, the hardest thing of all was not being able to help these women do it naturally.

You see, I have a lot of personal investment in birth. I believe all women, well most women, could have a natural childbirth. The majority of them don't, because of modern medicine, modern society, modern lifestyles, lack of good support, lack of belief in oneself and the process, lack of determination, too many choices, blah blah blah. In short, I think most women opt out of doing it.

Don't you see the problem with that line of thinking? I am judging all women who don't have the kind of birth I think they should have. I am placing my values on these women and expecting them to live up to my beliefs.

So birth has become a disappointment for me. I've been to too many medically managed births. And it is sapping my love for this job.

A part of my brain can see how whiny I am being about all this, but I have to honor the fact that I have a problem with my job, because I have a problem with me. I need to feel helpful. I need to feel important. I need to feel necessary. I chose the healing professions because my jobs could give me those feelings. Which are all the wrong reasons to be in this field, anyway. These jobs I have shouldn't be about stroking or validating my own ego.

So being a doula was about me being helpful to these women who have a very real need. I wanted to save them from themselves, I wanted to save these women from the managed, medicalized birth. I wanted these women to emerge victorious after facing their deepest fears and doubts, and I wanted to help them do it.

That's the problem, kids. I wanted to save them from themselves.

In a way, it is every doula's dilemma, for all doulas believe quite passionately in natural childbirth, yet every doula finds more work supporting couples who have hospital births. This means that most of the time, a home birth/natural birth believer and supporter will be working for women who do not share that belief.

So I know I am not the first to be feeling this way about this job. I am not the first to become disillusioned by the reality of birth in America today. But I am quite the dreamer, and more fragile than you think, and it hurts me to the core to see all these families start life in what I believe to be such a disjointed way.

I don't know how to reconcile my beliefs about birth with the reality of birth. I could do only homebirths from now on, I could apprentice with a home birth midwife to provide more opportunities for women to choose a gentler, more feminine kind of birth. I could shelter myself so. I would still see hospital transfers and the like, but a much smaller percentage.

But to do so, I have to deal with this burning desire to save women from themselves. Because to turn to homebirth only would me make feel like I was turning my back on the women and families that needed me most.

I have a lot of work to do around this issue. It goes right down to the core of who I am. I've always needed to be needed in order to feel safe, solid, human. Otherwise, I'm just a whisper of a fragment of a memory, nothing real, nothing present, nothing important.

See, lots of work to do.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The End


(Nice widget over there-->)

Well, I got my Harry Potter book Saturday morning at 12:20 am, and I finished Saturday evening around 8:20.

I swear, this book gave me high blood pressure and anxiety. If my health was any more delicate, I might have had a heart attack or a stroke.

Would somebody PLEASE finish the book so we can talk? Geez.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I saw HPATOOTP last night (Order of the Phoenix) and for the most part I was really impressed. I think this is the best HP book to movie adaptation so far.

I did miss the Valentine's Day scene at Madam Puddifoot's, where Cho turns into the Human Hosepipe. Harry and the Potters did a nice song about it.



I know I haven't been blogging much, but I will be blogging even less come Friday night. The only thing I have to do this weekend that will take me away from Book 7 will be a massage Sunday morning, and I need it. And who knows, I could be done with the book then and crying all over the place.

So everyone likes to predict who will die, but has anyone any theories on how Harry will defeat Voldemort? Is Harry really going to become a killer?

I doubt it, but then how will it all go down? And how many of his friends are going to die in the process? And if Harry doesn't die, what the hell will he do with his life?

All these questions, and more, will be answered FRIDAY NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT!

See you on the other side...

Monday, July 09, 2007

the worst part about a bedroom with a screenless window at ground level

things to do

1. clean up room.

1. kill spiders in room.

2. clean up room.

2. take shower to wash off any potential spider left lurking in hair

3. clean room.

4. strip bed; look for spiders.

5. wash bedsheets and clothes to kill off any potential spiders hiding in the sheets waiting to lay eggs in your ear while you sleep, or bite and poison you when you put on your favorite t-shirt

6. vacuum floors and rug and all the corners and walls and behind pictures and under the bed and everywhere

7. consider vacuuming the yard to get rid of all the spiders you trapped and threw out there in your moments of weakness

8. consider bombing the outside because there are tons of spiders out there, waiting to sneak in the window and get you while you sleep

9. another shower to cleanse self

10. consider psych meds for present mental state

11. eat a couple of milk chocolate digestives instead

12. sleep with the lights on, upstairs on the couch

Saturday, July 07, 2007

"your crazy ass"

aahhh--the assortment, originally uploaded by jensteele.

saint cupcake has pretty tasty cupcakes. i mean, look at them, their frosting to cupcake ratio is pretty serious.

they also have a little blog attached to their website and because i like their cupcakes i put their blog in my site feed.

and today, i found this posting which made me laugh and now i would like to eat one of their cupcakes every day as a thank you.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

child of thunder

when i was in hudson visiting the stinky last week, i watched some footage of the boys performing on stage.

i didn't get to see them play live, unfortunately. half the band was out of town; they won't play a show until july 2.

watching the footage of stinky and the band up on stage was really eye opening for me. he is an amazing man. i watched him, up there, playing his heart out, and i've never seen him look so alive. he was electric, he was fire, he brought the thunder and the lightning down through him. i've never seen anyone play like that before. i've never seen anyone channel so much energy like that before. he's magical, that stinky.

it reminded me of the first time we met--we are an online couple, and so we arranged to meet one sunday afternoon at my clinic. when he opened the door and walked in, he brought all this light and energy into the room with him. it was crazy. and really cool. just like him.

we kissed later that night, in the center of a labyrinth. he was going to get to the center first--i asked him to wait for me and he paused for a moment, got all serious, and said he would wait for me. he watched me from the center where he waited, and when i approached the center where he stood, he smiled at me, held out his hands, and i walked right into his arms. i began to give him my heart right there.

a year later when he told me he was moving to NY, i was crushed. i was devastated. i could only think about what it must mean about us. if i wasn't coming with him, then we must be breaking up. if he didn't ask me to come, he must not care about me that much. i was confused and heartbroken, angry and bewildered. nothing made sense to me. i couldn't reconcile our past with our present, i couldn't reconcile what i felt in my heart with the mental constraints i lived by. nothing was right.

but seeing that footage, seeing him onstage doing what he loves and is called to do, it made everything make sense. i get it now. and someday, when two gun man come to your town, i hope you do, too.

i love him so much. i love him so much that it almost seems to overwhelm me, like i'm not big enough to contain all the love i feel for this child of thunder. our road together may become harder yet as two gun man shop for a label and begin to promote and tour like crazy. there could be very dark times ahead for us. but i know that there is no one else in the world whom i love as i do this man, and that my life is much richer and vivid and magical with him in it. i could live without him, sure, and find a deep love with some other guy somewhere, but i choose him. i choose to stay put, and to let this overwhelming love pour through me and make my heart bigger, more open, more tender. i choose to face this terrifying uncertainty and let it teach me about faith, trust, love, and strength. i choose these things because every cell in body sings to do so, i choose to do it because he deserves no less.

i do it because he is the stinky, the bringer of the thunder and lightning, and i am in love.


the fuck is going on with my site feed for eat my cake?

i hate it when good technology goes bad.