The Shenandoah Valley


The view of the hen house from the farm window this morning.

My children woke up before the sun to see a couple inches of snow on the ground and more falling. I rolled over in bed and drifted off to sleep to the sound of their giggles, tramplings and insistence at making a snowman out of the snow they swept together with their arms off any flat surface.

It wasn’t until after sunrise that I discovered my daughter was doing all of this in… shorts.

After a romp in the snow and warming two wet and shivering babies, we had warm oatmeal and tea and I relaxed in a hot bath.

And then we set out for adventure! My cousin drove us over the Blue Ridge Mountains as icy rain pelted the windshield. At the top of the pass we disappeared in the clouds for a while and I breathed a sigh of relief that my cousin was driving and not me. I then also breathed a prayer that driving tomorrow would be easier.

We arrived at our destination: The Pioneer Museum. We tumbled out of the vehicle and began to walk up to the ticket counter. Before we even got there my kids were crying from the cold.

We did a little bit of calculation. The museum is all outdoors. The walk through it is two miles and takes approximately 1.5 hours.

The sum of that equation was two children who would die before they made it back to the car… or at least the adults would have died by nagging.


The old abandoned insane asylum near the Pioneer Museum in the Shenandoah Valley. Creepy. And yes, that’s a large chimney in the back.

So we spent our time at the museum shop, warming ourselves and sampling fudge instead.

My cousin bought us each gifts. My son got a necklace with some celtic knotwork in metal. It symbolized strong spirituality. She bought me a necklace with a porcelain piece with a celtic design drawn on it that symbolized transformation. And my daughter picked out a couple small cat figurines.

We drove home to see the snow melting. By morning the sun was out and it was hard to tell that we had ever seen snow falling. Perfect weather for our drive into Maryland.


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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