I write to you on behalf of one of the greatest women I have come to know and love, Gloria Lemay.
I have sat here in my Calgary home watching and reading with a sad heart that a women with such a generous heart and skill as she is being persecuted. And for what? Public safety?
I have spent enough time reading in my textbooks, medical/nursing/health journals, and the Internet, to know that women who blindly hand their births over to the hospital system increase their safety risk. The parents that walk into hospitals innocently ignorant (unknowing) of birth itself, increase their safety risk. The medications and interventions that are applied to save these same parents, increases risks. These risks are not only to the mothers, but also to their babies.
I can truly say that Gloria educates about these safety risks. Does she have a bias against the birthing system that now persecutes her? Yes. This bias is because she knows that the system is not consumer friendly, that birth knowledge in our culture is sorely lacking. The choices (induction, narcotic use, epidurals, and cesareans) "the system" does educate about leads to increased risk to life and limb of mother and baby. These choices are ones that the hospital is readily available to save the birthing woman from, all in the name of safety. Should these same choices not apply to the woman that chooses to birth outside the "official" system of birth care? Enough time and energy has shown that birthing with a woman, such as Gloria, as your attendant prevents many of the things that increase birth risk. The parents that turn to her are parents that have no other recourse, and that is because they have educated themselves to know that; what the system has to offer, does not have what they want. They are finding the risk of birthing in "the system" too great.
The College is not run by midwives, it is run by the medical system, and the medical system has been treating birth like a car accident since the turn of the last century (the 19th century that is). What is happening to Gloria Lemay is a witch hunt. For some un-Godly reason, the College has created in itself the exact thing which turned women off medicalized care. Doctors ostracized midwives the same way the College is ostracizing Gloria and all other midwives that do not tow their line.
Are we not in the 21st century? Are we as grown women not able to choose for ourselves without having spies in our bedrooms during our most intimate of acts? Women choose who they feel best with during birth. If that is the most highly intervention obstetrician or an unregistered midwife (traditional birth attendant), then so be it. I am ashamed to know that the College of midwives have done this, it shows that even in the most noblest of professions, division of propriety exists.
I stand by every woman's right to choose, and if she chooses Gloria, I will know she will get the best birth experience she could possibly have.
I would gladly have Gloria attend the birth of any future children I may have.
On behalf of Jakob, Stacy and Cyrus Rowlands, and family, we would like to express our gratitude and thanks to all friends who visited Maurice Young Millennium Place, and Buffalo Bills. Special thank-you to Lynn, Gillie, Billy, Lilly, and Christine, Dale and his great staff, and Still Smokin', for all your assistance, and support. Your efforts made a difficult day, easier!
At the time of writing, we have collected over $1,000 in trust for the children. This does not include a tally of the silent auction, on Elwyn's photography. We are planning to continue our efforts, and encourage all friends to assist, as we move forward together. Feel free to contact our small organizing group, with your ideas.