So the day I’ve been waiting for, for a long time has finally arrived. I’m travelling to meet a “partera”, a midwife who has had very little western influence and has got her midwifery knowledge from her parents, both “parteras” who learned it from their mother generation after generation and back 4000 years when the Mayas first inhabited these lands.
These ancestral midwifery roots are the main reason why we chose this specific place in all the Caribbean. I’ve been taught midwifery at University, I’ve taught in several Universities in the UK and Bangladesh and this kind of knowledge is not available out there.
So, the journey starts, we drop the girls at school, and they know who is picking them up and will take care of them for the day until we return.
Driving during pregnancy
I’m the main driver in this family. It works very well like this for us. I enjoy driving and my husband enjoys this too. He has the map and tells me where to go. When we’re going to a new place he’s the one giving directions. This is just not a skill of mine!
The main thing to have into account when you drive when you’re pregnant is to have good support in your back and to try and keep your pelvis higher than your knees. This is easily sorted with a cushion or two.
You also should make sure that the seat belt is away from your belly.
So, after a long drive of almost 4 hours, we arrive at a small village at the heart of Yucatan and are received by Neyma, a self-made herbalist who will then take us to visit Antonia.
She receives us in her home and we talk about midwifery. I introduce myself and explain to her what I do. I honor and acknowledge her work. She starts talking, telling me her professional experiences and I have a very comforting feeling of being in front of the wisest midwife I’ve ever encountered. I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve been to conferences, congresses, I’ve worked in almost all fields of midwifery and in several countries in Europe, Asia and now, America and I’ve never experienced this before. She has knowledge of things I know nothing about. She preserves and saves pregnancies that doctors have given for lost. She stops miscarriages and makes retained menstruations find their way out. Hearing her talk about fear gives me goosebumps. I feel lightheaded from what I’m experiencing meeting her.
Tres is a boy!
Then I ask her if she can “midwife” me as I’m there, she massages my belly and tells me beautiful things. She makes me feel I’m the best mother in the world. She tells me my baby is healthy and I’m looking after him very well. Then, Neyma, the herbalist asks Antonia what am I having and she says Tres is a boy and explains why.
When I had a quick scan at 27 weeks I told the doctor I didn’t want to know the baby’s sex. Now, after what Antonia said and what I’ve been feeling I’ve started addressing Tres as a boy.
I hug Antonia and Neyma and leave with tears in my eyes. We now have a project together that we’ll slowly develop as my priority now is my baby who will be here in a few weeks and nothing should keep my head away from the most important mission I’ve got now: to care for and mother Tres with my whole self.
Back to the car. Jose is also overwhelmed by what we’ve just experienced. Antonia acknowledged him and said beautiful things about Tres and his father. He tells me it’s the first time a health professional has made him feel this way like he’s also going to have a baby.
We’re both so happy! We arrive home at night. The girls greet us and we’re so happy with the day we’ve just experienced… Absolutely beautiful.
Looking forward to meeting Neyma and Antonia again but not until Tres is here and big enough to have such a long journey. When that happens we’ll spend a few nights there.