Friday, May 06, 2011

The New Birthsource Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program!

In the spring of 1979, my husband and I sat in a Lamaze Childbirth Education Class in Lompoc, California.  While I was a nurse, normal and natural childbirth was something new to me.  We were taught about crisis intervention and all of the modern technology of the day, but this was totally new.  I was incredibly inspired by our educator, Linda Richardson (I believe that was her last name).  The spark of childbirth education had been ignited.

During the birth of our first daughter in April of '79, I experienced the Lamaze techniques and some of the same feelings we saw in the birth film (reel to reel ~ LOL) "Nan's Class".  As I held my beautiful daughter in my arms, counted her fingers and toes like all new parents, I knew my destiny.  I wanted to be an educator!

Several month later, I called Linda only to find that ALL of the Lamaze Educators in the local area were leaving, as their husbands were all military and it was time for new assignments.  They all helped me complete the educator program, including my own Seminar taught by Harriet Palmer in Fresno.  In August of 1980, I taught my first Lamaze childbirth education class, under the observation of one of the other educators.  I was hooked!  I soon became an LCCE and then a charter FACCE.

When our second daughter arrived in 1986 at Cape Canaveral Hospital in Florida, I had been teaching for seven years and really got an opportunity to "practice what I preached".  Her amazing birth reinforced that normal, natural childbirth was possible, even in a hospital setting; that there were care providers who believed in the power of women and the normalcy of birth!  Her birth strengthened my focus and further dedicated me to education.

During the 31 years since certification, I have taught in many states (as my husband was also in the Air Force), locations (adult schools, colleges, military hospitals, civilian hospitals, churches, and privately).  As I checked the mail yesterday, that same thrill came to me as I opened the envelope from Lamaze International containing the welcome letter and certificate for the new Birthsource Lamaze Childbirth Education Program!

While to many it may just be a natural progression - the sage femme becomes the educators' educator - to me it is an honor and privilege to be an active part of such a respected and prestigious organization that has stood for education, advocacy and maternity reform for so many years.

I guess now I too can say.....Thank you Dr. Lamaze.
And thank you to my daughters, who unknowingly played such an important part of my career!
And to my husband, who stood by me, cheering all the way.

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