Wednesday, January 22, 2014

He Was A Very Fine Hippy

Stephen Gaskin and his wife, the mother of modern midwifery, Ina May Gaskin

I'm finding it very difficult to say what I want to say this evening but I guess what I want to say is that I had a wonderful day with Lily today and we got to see May too, and it is one of the truest, best blessings in my life that I have the relationship with all of my children that I do and I think that one of the reasons is that they were born at home (except for Hank but we got home pretty darn quick after he arrived) and I got to hold and love and nurse them from the very first second and that never would have happened if Ina May Gaskin hadn't started delivering babies for the women of her community which her husband, Stephen Gaskin, formed way, way back in the day. 

And from what I am hearing, Stephen left this world today and I'm not devastated but I am honoring him, I am thinking of his wife, Ina May with whom he shared his life and world for so many years, and I am saying thank-you, in my heart, for how his life has affected mine and my family's and I am grateful for his time here on this earth. 


  1. O I just learned about this from you. I met him in 2009 on the Farm when I was in Nashville for a midwifery conference. A bunch of us took a bus out to the Farm, had a tasty lunch and got a tour of the clinic and the first birth house.

    What I'd say about Steven-he let his firecracker of a wife go do her extraordinary life with his support and blessing. And a bit of marijuana.

    XXX B

  2. I think it takes a special person to have a partner as a midwife. He must have given up thousands of hours with his wife so she could go do her calling.

  3. The Netherlands in Europe is one of the few countries who have made home births their primary choice. Dutch women only go to hospital to deliver on medical grounds. In Belgium where I am from we still tend to have our babies in "the Motherhouse". It's what we call the maternity ward.
    I kind of liked being in hospital to have my 3 babies... Bad marriage, and I was so glad to be away from husband for a week... ;o))) If they would have made me stay for a month, I would have been happier still.

  4. I had a bad birth experience in a rotten hospital and my relationship with my son is remarkably close and sustaining. His birthday is tomorrow in fact. I'm baking a chocolate truffle cake and giving him a copy of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Ralph Steadman.

  5. Beth Coyote- I've met Ina May and Stephen. I actually went so some damn sunrise service at the local Indian mounds years ago that he spoke at. I just kept thinking, "What the hell is he talking about?" and "This man has done a lot of drugs." But his spirit sure seemed clear and you are exactly right about his role in Ina May's life.

    Birdie- And that is the truth.

    Photocat- The Netherlands seems like such a more evolved place than most. I really do want to visit some time.
    I totally get your pleasure at staying in the hospital!

    Rebecca- Oh, I am sure that a wonderful bond, as good as any, can be created after any birth but I just feel like my way with my children was made so much easier from the get-go because of their births. I will be thinking of your dear boy tomorrow and what a beautiful present you are giving him and that cake will be fabulous, I am certain.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.