Friday, March 30, 2012

Two daze down

The sun has set on my second day here in St. Lucia.  

My journey here was without excitement, entirely uneventful and smooth as can be.  I like it that way.  Though to be honest, my final flight from San Juan to Castries catapulted me back into a time I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered in my waking life.  I somehow felt as if I had been thrown into the movie, Romancing the Stone.  It was reminiscent of their trip to Cartagena. Antiquated...comes to mind.  Regardless, I arrived safely and in one piece.

I have been warmly welcomed to this island by all I have crossed paths with.  (Some more warmly than others....) I am deeply grateful for the kindness of strangers here. I hope that the warmth and generosity of these people and this island will be with me for the duration of my stay.

I spent some time in Castries yesterday, wandering about, taking it all in and sweating every ounce of H20 out of my body.  It’s a city that reminds me of San Jose, Costa Rica, though much smaller and with some greater measure of disrepair.  In days past, banana plantations were a large part of the industry that supported the people of St. Lucia.  As it turns out, bananas have picked up a “sickness” in recent years and the people here are now supported by tourism brought in by cruise ships & planes alike.  Yesterday happened to be a “cruise ship day” (During the season, 5 days a week one might find at least 2-3 in port) and I witnessed, first hand, the dizzying number of sun-kissed tourists scurrying around to fetch this or that before their ship departs.

I was given some warning from a local woman that the number of young women here having babies is frightening.  I was still taken aback by the number of teen mothers wandering about wearing their stunning young infants and newborns.  I am still trying to get an accurate pulse on the birth rate for St. Lucia & feel that my observation was but a small sampling.  I’m looking forward to what the days ahead have in store.  Again, I ask that whatever comes be gently offered.

I begin ‘work’ on Sunday and have a covey of butterflies to keep me company.   I have no idea what to anticipate other than showing up at 8 am, in white scrubs, with my pregnancy wheel, measuring tape & stethoscope in hand. 

(I was also reminded today that the closer you are to the equator, the less time you can spend in the sun without at least several layers of sunscreen.)

More to come.  Thanks for tagging along! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Sitting here pondering how hard it has always been for me to ask people for “stuff,” for “things,” for money, among other things.  It’s a familiar place for me to reside...that place where it so much easier for me to give than to receive.  You know, that uncomfortable place that feels needy, or imposing?  It’s probably why I have only just recently reached out, as I have known about this trip for some weeks now

Setting pride aside recently, I stepped out on a limb to ask for support, for some assistance in making this journey to St. Lucia one that feels contributive and meaningful. I have been pleasantly surprised by the delight I have encountered since asking.  

I have been reminded of a few things:

1.     It takes a village.  Some folks have offered what they perceive to be “small” donations.  Well folks, each penny adds up!  Each offering amasses into something larger & builds momentum when added to the mix of bits and pieces.  I cannot do this thing called life alone.  I am deeply grateful for each and every offering of support-emotional, physical and/or financial.  Thank you!
2.     I cannot get what I do not ask for.  Hard as it may be, I encourage you all to reach out to ask for what it is that you need & desire.  You never know what or who awaits the other side of your courageous request.
3.     The art of surrender is vividly poignant in my life right now.  I have counseled so many women to do just this throughout their childbearing process.  Surrender plans, expectations, judgments, pride, and that sense that we have any “control” about how things will unfold.  I’m working on surrendering.

May this journey be full of occasions for me to find growth (gently please), to be offered reminders of why midwifery is what I choose (or is it the other way around?), to find a deeper sense of center AND to find more joy among the moments that make up my days.  

I’m looking forward to help usher earthside babies in another locale, with some new perspective on pregnancy & birth.  I am so delighted to be able to embrace this opportunity and am grateful to all those who have encouraged me to do so. 

Excited to share with you all the first installation of donations and supplies made possible by donations already received.  Not so sure if the picture is worth a thousand words... It does, however, illuminate what I have already gathered in the way of supplies to donate to Victoria Hospital.  Thank you!

In no particular order, included in the above photo: 24 receiving blankets, 1 fetoscope, 6 tape measures, 4 amniocots, 5 pregnancy wheels, 2 suture sets, 1 infant stethoscope, 1 adult stethoscope, 6 pieces vicryl suture, 3 pieces silk suture, 150 sterile gloves, sterile lubricant, tourniquets, 3 cord clamps, 15 maternity pads, three digital thermometers, 25 chux pads, 14 newborn diapers, 10 infant combs, 20 bottles baby shampoo, 2 peri bottles, 4 newborn hats, 4 surgical blades, ball point pens and one latex-free bag & mask resuscitator.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I'm here to share the bits and pieces of an adventure that I will be soon be embarking upon. An adventure that I anticipate with great delight and gentle timidity. Thanks for joining me! It is my intention to share with you all what it is that I encounter along this journey with a depth of spirit, integrity, humility and maybe some humor along the way, tho I've never been the comedian in the crowd.
I haven't been overseas in....well let's just say WAY too long. My passport is much to shiny for my liking and I find that I am all to ready to settle into a sense of comfort and routine. So, I guess there is no better way to switch it up a bit than to head to where the sun shines hot all day, the ocean warmly welcoming and the Caribbean babies abound.
I have an amazing opportunity to spend 5 weeks with the midwives and their "patients" at Victoria hospital in the capital city of Castries, St. Lucia, West Indies. My adventure begins with fervor on the 27th of March and will carry me through to May 2nd at which point I return to the states to let the rest of my midwifery education and experience unfold in ways I cannot yet conceive of.
I am hopeful that my time away will be fruitful in mind, body & spirit. That I return with a renewed sense of self, a deep commitment to integrity moving forward and an unshakable belief in the competence of my skills as the emerging midwife I am unfolding into.
Deep, deep gratitude for those that have held space for me along this journey, for those that continue to encourage me through dark moments, those who revel in my joy and those who believe in me.

P.S. If you are called to do so, please check out my widget, to the left there, and share as you are willing and able. Money raised will assist in supporting the financial needs to make this journey happen on a variety of levels. I will update you all on funds raised and the donations made possible by such generosity.