East Bend is Heaven on Earth

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Just outside Asheville, the view from the balcony in Black Mountain.

We awoke this morning in Asheville to find there were little flakes of white falling from the sky. My son believed it to be that mythical event he has read of but never witnessed: the falling of snow. Our hostess believed it was two warm and thought it was pine pollen.

But when we stepped outside to investigated it turned out that my son was right!

My children waltzed and spun and giggled, experiencing their first fall of snow. It seemed fitting to be the beauty of the Appalachians. Eventually I pulled them away for the drive to East Bend.

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East Bend, North Carolina

East Bend is a small, rural community a few miles west of Winston-Salem in North Carolina. We got off of the freeway near sunset. I was awestruck by the golden beauty that played over the rolling hills and through the barren winter-kissed trees.

We were visiting a fellow midwife-criminal.

Her home was warm, large and everything that the word “country” conjures in the romantic brain. The wrap around porch, chickens, cats, dogs, turkeys, garden and acres and acres of land that “doesn’t contain a thing that’ll hurtcha… go run off and explore!” was a welcome sight for the heart that ached from the growing statism of the northern south.

This midwife was loud, intelligent, outspoken, passionate and brilliant as the brightest star that was shining. We stayed up late discussing midwifery politics. I picked her brain and wished I could have stayed a month or more. I could spend years learning from this sage midwife who has been a helper of women for decades.

Her faith and calm tenacity in the face of a politic that wants to see us extinguished gave me hope and courage to keep pressing forward with my skill and determination to see midwives survive and mothers reclaim their human rights in birth.

We fell asleep in a haze of that joy which makes you want to cry in its’ presence. The peace here is legendary. The protection of God rests around her doorposts and I took refuge and slept deeply and undisturbed. Healing was in the corners and quiet places and permeated even the shadows there.

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About supportmidwifekatiemccall

Katie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie's father's family was filled with teachers, her mother's family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California. Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010. Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring. On August 17th, 2011 Katharine “Katie” McCall, a licensed midwife, was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. The charge arose from a home birth where Katie's supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed. She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused. They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing mid
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