Thursday, February 26, 2009

the birth house

A friend of mine gave me a book called "The Birth House" to read. The birth community has been buzzing about it for a while now, I was a bit slow to catch on, until now. It's a brilliant read, good right from the first sentence. It's about a midwife and her apprentice during the first World War in Nova Scotia. This was a time where the medical community was beginning to take over births and move them from home to hospital, undermining a midwifes knowledge and skills and promoting safer births in the care of physicians. There is so much to this book and what it sparks in me.

My great grandmother, Ameilia immegrated here from Belguim at the turn of the last centry. They first settled in the Crows Nest Pass and then moved to Ladner BC where they built a home next to the slough. This home was no ordinary home, my great grandmother was a midwife and her home was a birth house. This was a place where women would come and give birth to their babies with Amelia's skilled help.

Once I began reading this book, something ignited in me, a forceful connection to my ancestors and my own personal work in the birth community. My great grandmothers house is now a health food store, it has been that way for the past 35 years. Between reading this amazing book and looking deeper into our family history, I am going to make this a blog series. Next weekend I am going to Vancouver to attend a breastfeeding conference, but before I do, I am going back to our family's birth house. It feels as though there is so much to unearth.....


Anonymous said...

i loved that book too!

Anonymous said...

How cool to have a career and history you came to by birth!