My Mentor Margaret
Fourteen years ago- I could have sworn it was longer- I had a student in my childbirth class, Sylvia. She really wanted me to be at her birth as her doula, but her midwife told her she did not need a doula. But after careful thought and a early run to the hospital to be sent home, Sylvia decided to include me. I met this midwife whom I had heard about from the nurses months earlier- they called her the “Water Walker.” She had been up all night and came in to check on Sylvia and said, “Oh good, you have a doula!” She then proceeded to return to the sleep room until she was needed further.
She was fabulous when she returned. She lived up to all of the things the nurses had told me about her. And after that birth of Sophia, my world as a doula changed. Margaret was the second midwife to rock my world. The first had been Debbie Pulley who I had known prior to becoming a doula. She was the one who encouraged me on this route more than 20 years ago. And she honored me by being the “catcher” and care provider to my youngest daughter at the birth of my first grandson. Debbie is dear to me as well.
Margaret had a special croning ceremony a few months back. She was celebrating turning 70 and being a midwife for over 40 years. If you had not been there to see her, you would think this was a memorial service of sorts. Folks got up and shared how she had influenced their lives. I was honored to be the first to get to share. I can say that I have grown to love this woman dearly and she has had more influence over my life as a doula than any one person.
Margaret is the one who brought water birth to Atlanta. Did you know that? Margaret is the force behind us getting our Atlanta Birth Center. She is the one who has fought many of the battles that have been won to bring birth back to Atlanta. She is amazing.
She is the only daughter of a family of all boys from my home state of NC. She was reared in Charlotte, NC. She became a midwife in a round about way- not initially going that route out of school. She married later in her life to Tom who died a few years ago. She never had any children. But she is mother to many.
I have traveled to Charlotte with her to be with her niece’s birth. I have gone to Mississippi to the Sweet Potato Queen Festival. There are plants in my yard that were gifted to me from her. She has had Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with my family. She is truly my friend. When I feel frustrated about something, especially about birth, I call her and she always has time to chat.
I just wanted to honor her in this post. She owns Intown Midwifery and although she is not in the office that often and rarely takes call, she is the heart of that practice. And she has given her blood, sweat and tears to that practice over the years. I love her and honor her. If you have had a chance to know her or be midwifed by her over the years, you should feel honored. I hope her legacy of the Atlanta Birth Center happens soon so she can bask in her hard work.