13 April 2015

Thank you, Sheila Kitzinger

She was an inspiration. Thanks to her, I looked forward to labour, immensely, yes I did. I felt confident and strong.  My English was still pretty poor at the time when I discovered her name and her books and pamphlets, by chance, out there in the deepest catholic Dublin of the early 1980s, because Kitzingen is a small Franconian town not too far from where I grew up.

I met her in 1984 queueing at the entrance to the First International Feminist Bookfair in London, a big crowd of young women, all the feminist punk of the 1980s, the diagonal fringe, single earring, torn T-shirt, Doc Martens, flowery skirt, bangles and scarves, when this jolly tea lady started to push her way through, shouting, sorry love, I have to man a stall. Oops, I should say, woman a stall, yes?
Laughter all around. And later, we shared a cup of tea and talked and she listened to my birth story and told me to write about it and send it to such and such a place and I did and they published it and Dr. P. who had been there at the home birth of my girl phoned me and thanked me and that's how I found out that this gentle quiet obstetrician had a subscription to a feminist magazine.


Ms. Moon said...

"This was a sport I could do!"
Oh, wasn't she beautiful?
I will never get over the gratefulness I feel for having had my babies at home. Ever.

am said...

Although I was never pregnant, I completely relate to what Sheila Kitzinger learned in childbirth. Our bodies know exactly what to do in every situation we encounter in life.

Thank you so much for this today. I have been near tears but unable to cry in the past few weeks, and hearing Sheila Kitzingen's story brought tears of relief, just as when I turned around a few days ago upon hearing the voice of a man I don't know well and saw that he had opened his arms to me to give me a hug, and my body accepted the hug without the interference of my hypervigilant mind, and I felt tears welling up. No wonder I had dreamed of huge ocean waves breaking on a beach earlier this week after feeling nothing but depression.

What a gift for you to have known Sheila Kitzinger and to have this healing story to share today.

Anonymous said...

What a remarkable woman. Thank you for posting the link to the news article. I have never given birth to a child, but I suspect if I ever had, I would have done it Sheila Kitzingen's way. What could be more natural than childbirth? It amazes me what the modern world has done to this most primal act of bringing life into the world.