International Women’s Day

Today, March 8, 2013 is International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate women and from the International Women’s Day web site…

Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes.

They have a theme each year and this year it is:
Over time and distance, the equal rights of women have progressed. We celebrate the achievements of women while remaining vigilant and tenacious for further sustainable change. There is global momentum for championing women’s equality.

In celebration of IWD I caught a baby in Australia. Birth is an arena where women’s rights are still being trampled, all over the world. Women aren’t given the choice of where and with whom they want to deliver. Often, what is perceived as a high risk (and many times it is) precludes a woman from having choices. For most OB practitioners it is their way or the highway. Sadly, women don’t feel supported in certain settings. So they choose to birth at home where things turn out fine. As they did today. Trusting in the body’s innate ability to do what it was designed to do. Trusting that the woman and her partner know what is best for them. Trusting your own instinct as a practitioner that you will make the right decisions and seeing absolute joy and self empowerment on the women I serve is the epitome of celebrating women. Internationally. Respecting. Trusting Birth. This is what I do. This is what has sent me to 5 different continents to serve women and their families. This is why I feel so honored and blessed today…

Happy International Women’s Day!


Self Love Exercise – Part 4

Print out the best email you’ve ever received. Pin it up somewhere so you’ll see it all the time. Use it as a reminder that you are smart, you are magnificent, you are doing the right thing, & you are doing the best you can.

This is absolutely, hands down, the best email I’ve ever received. Dated January 19, 2009, from Max, one of my babies. He’s 13 now. I keep this email in the inbox so I can see it when I need some encouragement.

“Dear Sandi Thankyou for helping my mom give birth to me. Without you I might not be alive. My arm is doing well but Im not growing at all. That is ok because I am happy and healthy.
I am glad to be alive for a whole decade 🙂

from Max”

Is he an awesome kid or what?

Max was a shoulder dystocia, totally unexpected, as they almost all are. It was the longest 3-4 minutes of my life. He ended up with a brachial plexus injury, which is also not uncommon with a shoulder dystocia. I adore his Momma. She’s a midwife now and amazing with women and children.

Who was your best email ever from?

Kindness, Kourtney, Divorce & Tom Cruise

This should be a fun post 🙂

So for starters, this morning a post on one of the blogs that I follow was about kindness. What prompted the post was ugly comments written on another bloggers page. You can read A Beautiful Day kindness post here. This is the reminder she has there…

I’ve been thinking for a few hours about what this poster says. I’ve not been so kind this past week. I’m angry about a decision here at work that I wasn’t consulted on and I’ve been trying for 6 days to be more zen about it. The cool thing about the people here is that they don’t hold grudges… ME… I’m a GRUDGE holder and I own it 🙂 I just don’t get over things easily. I stew about them, work them out and then throw them out… but it takes me a while.

This morning, once again, something silly and non-evidence based practice came up in morning rounds. Sunday up on the mountain I PROMISED myself to stay zen, to stay calm, to practice breathing, to not care (although I totally do), to just let go. So the past 2 days when something comes up, I take a deeeeeeep breath, say the word zen, think of something positive and don’t comment on it… I’m a big under the breath commenter… sometimes inappropriate words (thank God most of the people here don’t understand English… lol). My personal assistant/translator, Vivi was with me. I went into the stairwell, took some nice deep breaths, said out loud, “stay zen, do not allow it in, meditate.” Vivi asked me if I was a Buddhist 🙂 It made me smile. I got over it pretty quick and continued on with my morning.

Then I started reading the Entertainment news on my morning break. I usually don’t follow Entertainment news… I don’t care what these people do in their personal lives, I want to be entertained by them. Two stories piqued my interest this morning.

First… Kourtney Kardashian had her baby girl. So, why would this pique my interest? Well, she was planning a home water birth and I’m a huge home water birth advocate… in fact, a water birth expert… so I was rooting her on. She had an “all-natural” birth according to her sister’s tweet, but no further info. I’m looking forward to the results… So what does this have to do with my Kindness post? Oh my… the UNKIND comments people made on the story. Calling her a whore and loser and a bunch of other names. How sad is that? Why do people even bother on commenting? I would say that for every 1 kind comment there were 10 or more UNkind comments. I personally like watching their show when I am at home in the States… I don’t have to think, they are funny to me and they have pretty much the same problems the rest do with life & relationships. Congrats Kourtney… I hope this child brings you as much joy as your baby boy has!
**On a side note, this article from Australia has nothing but KIND things… is it Americans that are so cynical and unkind?

And the next news item… Tom and Katie have divorced in just 11 days since Katie filed. I love Tom Cruise… I don’t care about what he practices spiritually… I seriously don’t… I love him as an actor. He always entertains me and I could look at him forever. His latest movie, Rock of Ages is hysterical and the man can sing! And oh what I could do to those gun tats on his err, um, lower abdominal area 😀 The soundtrack has all of my favorite songs from the 80’s and I walked out of the movie theatre HAPPY… HAPPY, with a grin on my face… I can’t say that about many movies. The high from being happy from the movie lasted for hours afterwards. OK… enough about that movie, hehe… The comments were SO UNKIND after the story that I just stopped reading. Again, why are people so unkind? What is the point of writing horrible comments. What cracks me up is that the people writing the comments write them as if Tom Cruise will actually read them… LOL.
You know what I say… good on them. I’m sure there was a prenup and things were hammered out quickly for everyone’s benefit… especially their child Suri. I think it was very grown up for them to handle things so quickly and without it dragging on forever.

And finally… as I was walking back to work after a yummy lunch at home, I saw this on the sidewalk, while listening to the Rock of Ages soundtrack and the song, “I Wanna Know What Love Is” was blaring in my ears…

Isn’t that what all of us want… a little heart? A little love? A bit of kindness? After seeing the leaf, I started thinking about writing this post. I then walked back a block to take this picture. I’m going to practice showing some love for the rest of the week… I’ll let ya know how that goes 😀


Tagged: Most Touching Moment in Asia

I was tagged earlier this week by a running blogger at Inspiring and Healthy Running to answer the question: Flamidwyfe is a midwife currently living and working in Asia. My question to you: What has been your most touching moment in Asia so far?

And here’s my answer. There are A LOT of them, given that I’ve been in a lot of Asia. But the most touching has to be last year, almost exactly a year ago, on May 5, 2011.

May 5th is International Midwives Day. Midwives all over the world celebrate the day with picnics, rallies and community/consumer awareness activities. I celebrated mine in Hangzhou, China. I work here now, but last  year I came to do a water birth training conference. Last year’s theme was “Midwives Walking to Durban”. The International Confederation of Midwives, an organization that represents more than 250,000 members all over the world, holds a conference every 3 years. Last years conference was in Durban, South Africa and as a symbol of solidarity, they asked that we “walk to Durban” on Midwives Day.

I gave a lovely speech, if I do say so myself. I focused on the UN Millennium Goal #5, Improving Maternal Health. I am passionate about improving maternal health. By doing so, we improve the outcome of newborns. My speech was an impassioned plea to improve the prenatal care that we give women, including diet and nutrition education, and at the end I said, “Let’s all stand and hold hands and take a walk to Durban”… everyone in the room stood up, applauded and then took hands (after the translator said it in Mandarin.. lol) and the first one up was the CEO, Suzong. We took a 1 km walk in solidarity of midwives all over the world. Here’s 2 pics that I took, the CEO is the man just behind me… yes, that is ME in the teal top… LOL

International Midwives Day 2011 - Walking in solidarity with midwives around the world! Hangzhou, China

International Midwives Day 2011. Hangzhou, China

I can’t begin to tell you how touched I was when everyone stood up and grabbed hands. An American guy that use to work here told me that they wouldn’t “get” it and no one would stand up, much less take a 1 km walk outside… Well they did GET IT 😀 I fought back tears and felt so supported in my passion for midwifery.

International Midwives Day is this Saturday. I work in Hangzhou now. We are planning a big event on Saturday, with a speech, slide show presentation and consumer awareness. The midwives I work with here are gaining more respect each day. I am hoping that with continued international awareness midwives everywhere will be valued and respected for the work they do and the passion in which they do it.


The Purpose of Life

The purpose of life is to be happy ~ Dalai Lama

I have had to remind myself of this quite a few times the last few days 🙂 That and the serenity prayer. Funny that I have this quote on my computer desktop at work in a country that really, really dislike him.. ha ha

What makes me happy… these two and how happy they are:

Sydnie & Sadie

For those of you that don’t know… these are my 2nd and 3rd born grandkids. Cousins born into my hands 22 hours and 35 minutes apart… both at home. Sydnie born May 10 at 304 a.m. and Sadie born in the water on May 11 at 139 a.m.. Two of the best days of my life.


Dukan – Day 193 – Peace On Earth, Begins With Birth

Tuesday was a PP Day.

Daily Weight Loss: 0
Total Weight Loss: 72 lb/32.71 kg

This is Day 3 of my weight being the same 😦 I didn’t have the chance to write a Dukan Blog on Monday morning, but it was the same that morning, as well. Funny thing, it is happening to a fellow blogger, Mel. We are both eating what we’re suppose to, and frankly, my carb consumption is below even Dukan standards… so what gives?

Breakfast: 2 Tea Eggs
Lunch: 1 Tea Egg and 3 ham slices
Dinner: Pork chunks and onion cooked in dark soy sauce with soy and wasabi to dip in… yum!
I did C25K for 30 minutes, plus added 10 extra minutes of walking at the end
Snack: FF Greek yogurt with bran and splenda

Here’s dinner:

The dark soy sauce smells so yummy!

The wasabi and soy dipping sauce - divine!

Now for the part about birth 😀 Earlier today (and your night time in the States) I was chatting with my friend Miri who is also a midwife. I was telling her about a PowerPoint I was given 3 hours to develop today (I banged it out and it’s top quality, btw) and she shared a 7 minute birth video with me. Watching her midwife this woman, completely hands off and listening to her voice, it was like watching myself. My comment to her, after this gorgeous water birth was, “isn’t it sad for the momma’s and babies that don’t get to experience gentle birth like that”… It left me a bit melancholy.
Peace on Earth, Begins With Birth… being “with woman”, the meaning of midwife, during her pregnancy and labor and birth, is an honor. Honoring a birth with peacefulness can transform a woman into a powerful mother who knows that she alone birthed her baby… with HER strength, HER perseverance, HER power. Midwifing a woman with peace allows the baby to be born into quiet sacredness… to open and breathe in a peaceful setting, where there isn’t fear at the first moment of life… that is the kind of births we should be empowering women to have. Thank you, Miri, for being that kind of midwife.

Peace on Earth, does indeed, Begin With Birth.

My beautiful daughter Tiffany, her amazing husband Joey, and their children Sydnie and Shane at the birth of Sofia… May 17, 2008… born on her great-grandma’s birthday.