Archive for the ‘Ancient Art Midwifery Institute’ Category

For the first quarter of 2014, I accomplished 2 of my goals: to attend a Midwifery Skills Lab and to take the Terminology exam. These are two things I can do only when we’re in the States, and it’s great to have done them both!

L: the lovely midwife of 40 years who taught our skills lab. R: moi

L: the lovely midwife of 40 years who taught our skills lab. R: moi

I have three goals for the second quarter of 2014:

  1. To continue reading and other assignments toward completion the Home Birth Consultant certification program
  2. The above reading works well with completing my file on Nutrition (a section 5 requirement). This involves asking/answering 30 questions about this topic, creating a speaking outline, and a few other things.
  3. And I’d like to accomplish 20 assignments in Section 6—many pertain to nutrition and to creating the Home Birth Consulting information for clients.

Nice to have some goals spelled out 😀


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So I will stop crying about the atrocities going on in Ukraine, I’m posting a little study update.

One of my goals for this time in the States was to take the enormous Terminology Exam. It is mailed to me, and I have 24 hours to take it and then put it back in the mail.

I want to say, I like taking tests as an adult. I didn’t cram. I just systematically studied and reviewed for a few days, then ordered the test. I got a normal amount of sleep. Repeat: no cramming the night before. I myself just wanted to see what I really knew.

I got the test on an afternoon, and I betook myself to a Chinese buffet that I love, and I sat there for four hours and took this test. (While eating lovely Chinese food…. that’s an awesome way to take a test, by the way.)

I knew stuff. I didn’t know stuff.

my self-photo in the booth at the buffet

my self-photo in the booth at the buffet

I had to make a 75% to pass. A few days later, my instructor emailed that I’d made an 86%, then some bonus points. So yippee! I’ve learned. I have more to learn. (Sounds like life!)

Then, one submission also made the Honor Roll, so that was neat. I owe it all to Ukrainians. They’ve taught me to make things look sleek and professional. I’m OK with content, but they’ve helped me a lot with presentation, shall we say. I don’t mean specifically on these assignments, but just as a culture that prizes good presentation generally.

So, there’s my happy update. My current project is reading Safer Childbirth? by Marjorie Tew. A lot of things for my file on Safety of Homebirth.

And now, back to the tragic Ukrainian news …

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This week I sent in my fourth annual report. I’ve done a lot of work on this challenging, wonderful program.


I have been taking a break for the last few months. A complete break.

I was having minor earthquakes going on in myself, in a good way, and God has been re-aligning me in some new ways.

Midwifery is a whole-body-whole-entire-life experience, so these internal shifts are necessary and healthy.

I think Im ready to come back to studies in a different way, in a smaller way, and as a person with shifted priorities. It’s a good thing.

Next, I’m focusing on taking the Terminology Exam while I’m in the States, and attending a Skills Lab, and I’ll try to work on filling up my file and presentation on nutrition.

I’m ready to start working like a turtle. I prefer the rabbit pace, of course, but it sucks out too much from other things I must be living and investing in right now (home schooling, fundraising, etc).

Also, I have really no idea where the journey of this studying is taking me. That’s another reason i love Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. It makes studying a real journey in life; it’s organic (living) in that way.


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This quarter I am submitting 20 assignments from section 6–a bunch of worksheets and other various assignments.

It’s exciting to see myself growing. This course is changing my life in so many subtle ways–teaching me the importance of internal motivation, finishing a long-term goal by finishing small goals.

Another way I’m changing is that I realized that all the questions people ask me about birth and pregnancy and kids now, I need to find the answers and become a resource. It’s my journey to becoming who I am studying to become.

When I started studying, I felt like I needed to curl in on myself and just learn as much as I can. Now, I start feeling like I can start becoming a resource of answers and information, I can start giving out, not just taking in.

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That was supposed to be funny 😀

I am alive and very busy, contemplating and learning a lot, but having to very, very pare down on my “extra-familial” activities. But I think I’ll post an update, kind of an overview of what’s been going on. I haven’t even been posting many statuses (stati?) on FaceBook these days, if you can believe that!

I am doing a lot of midwifery studies. Currently, I’m working through Section 4A; I am reading Anne Frye’s Holistic Midwifery volume 1 (all 1151 pages of it!) and answering 175 questions. As of right now, I’m on page 1017 and question #172. Closing in on this section! Then I just need to typetypetype everything for submission by April 9, Lord willing.

Skyla is 6 this year, so we’ve started some home schooling. Vitaliy’s taught them to read Russian (much more letter-sound consistent than English), and they are reading fairly well. He printed out a little bit of a children’s Bible for them (in Russian) and they read the same page 5 times each day. It’s written in poetic form, so Vika has even said a page as a poem in church once so far.

Then I started math with them, too. We’re using Horizon math workbooks. The hilarious thing is that Vika (who is 4-almost-5) just luvs doing “school” and she is on lesson 37  or something. While Skyla, who doesn’t lurv school so much is on lesson 17, I think. . . . . Still scratching head about that one.

Skyla is also in AWANA this year, and really enjoys that. She memorizes her verses (in Russian) and does her pages. Vika ends up memorizing the verses b/c she hears them so repeatedly.

Moving into a spiritual perspective on some things, I want to say that I feel like we are in the “tree planted by rivers of water, bearing fruit in season, leaf not withering” season of life. Good and stressful-good things are being required of us.

The rehab center in our village house is going well. About 4 guys have been there for several months now. Others come and go. Two more just came. Vitaliy says one has fleas. One guy (who was asked to leave b/c he didn’t want to change) almost died at one point and was in the hospital. Overall, the men are growing a lot spiritually. It’s hard, of course, to live together and get along. But when one of them complains to Vitaliy about another, he just says, well, I put up with all of you, so do you think you can put up with this one for a while? . . . I’m sure he says more, too, but that is one general point he makes.

And he stays out there, usually Sunday afternoon through Wed evening. Some weeks it’s different. So, here I am with the children, and God’s been helping me learn to single parent … and not call Vitaliy in those moments when I’m going out of my brain and want to strangle everyone . . .  😀 It’s better to call when I am feeling calm, you know?

With all the snow now, driving is much more difficult, well, just starting the van and cleaning it off is a big job. So I go out of the house a lot less these days.

I’m into my 31st week of pregnancy, too, and big as a boat, elephant, train, etc. I told Vitaliy he could call me his yacht. It sounds better than boat.

Probably the most challenging and wonderful thing that’s happened to us lately is that we took in (temporarily?) our 3yo nephew. He lived in an all-alcoholic-caregivers family, and the police removed him and he’s in our care. His mom agreed to go to a rehab center since she doens’t want to lose her parental rights.

Kostya is a cutie. He’s 3, has cerebral palsy so in many ways he’s on a 1yo-2yo level, makes noises, but not a lot of words, walks on his toe steps so he doesn’t walk yet, mostly crawls. He had bronchitis and a terrible diaper rash when he came, but those are gone now, and he’s gained weight, eats a lot more and a lot more variety now.

I am just thankful to God for this little guy. Skyla and Vika are doing so well at helping him, getting along with him, and he learns a lot from them and is much  more active because they are here! I’m really proud of them. I’ve enjoyed having a third little one in that I feel more experienced now at mothering and childrearing. He requires pretty constant keeping-an-eye-on, though, and so I’m very thankful for Skyla and Vika in that regard.

He may go to live with his mom at the rehab center in April before our baby is born, but we’ll see how it’s going.

Oh, we were told that we need to move in the next month or so, as the landlords need the use of this apt back. So we’re searching, feeling money pressure, packing stuff.


I’m reading through the Psalms now, and I was touched by this verse for this time in my life:

For by their own sword they did not possess the land,

And their own arm did not save them,

But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,

For You favored them. Psalm 44:3

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I enrolled in AAMI Advanced Midwifery Studies in late Sept 2010. While I’m at it, I want to say that I am more than pleased with this course. I am just thrilled. It inspires me more and more with how much I have to learn and how much I am learning. I also appreciate their FaceBook pages where students and midwives have discussions about various questions that come up. Their conference phone calls are also unbelievable–Gail Hart, Gloria Lemay, Joy Jones, Kristi Zittle, etc. So many fabulous ways to learn!

Midwifery Past: 2011 

Before stating my midwifery study goals for 2012, I’d like to review what I’ve accomplished in 2011.

  • Submitted Phase 3 (Phases 1-3 are introductory phases before starting the actual curriculum; they require a lot of work)

Once Phase 3 work was accepted, I started with Phase 4, the main curriculum. It has 6 sections. I made a submission each quarter of the year.

  • First submission: all of section 1 (mostly terminology definitions, workbook, roots/prefixes/suffixes, etc.) I also submitted 2 Section Two assignments (watching videos, listening to past conference lectures).


This submission made the Honor Roll! I’m amazed.

  • Second submission: Section 2–4 assignments: an article abstract, a textbook overview, assignments from Goer’s Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realites, 2 book reviews, and a book critique.

  • Then, this final quarter, I submitted Section 3A–two assignments from a list of choices; my childbirth educator/doula training and the Placenta Intensive Study Module. (I was hoping to submit 3B also, but the Placenta ISM was a doozy!!!!)

Other things I accomplished in 2011: set up my Section 5 files (50+ midwifery topics), started collecting AEU points (haven’t turned them in yet), listened to several conference calls, attended 4 births as a doula, and attended informal breastfeeding classes with a brilliant IBCLC counselor.

Midwifery future: 2012

Today I sat down and mapped submission goals for each quarter of this year. Not sure I will meet them all and they may be revamped, but here’s the plan for now:

  • Quarter 1: submit assignment 4A (read Holistic Midwifery 1, questions/answers, notes) and 20 assignments from Section 6. (So far, I’m almost on page 500 of Hol Mid 1 and almost at 100 of 175 questions. And I’m hoping to go through Section 6 and see what I can work on. And several Section 6 assignments are done.)
  • Quarter 2: submit 3B.2 (Midwifery Skills book and assignments) and 20 assignments from Section 6.
  • Quarter 3: submit 4B and second annual report
  • Quarter 4: submit 5 Section 5 files.

I’m also evaluating how I sense myself evolving as a student, and I feel like I’m still in the absorbtion stage rather than in the output/teaching stage. I’m also still learning what resources I have for learning. Once I hit Sections 5 and 6, then I want to move into more of the educating-others mode. Right now, I’m amazed at how much I have to learn!

So that’s my midwifery studies past and future!

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me today

I’m studying midwifery with Ancient Art Midwifery Institute, and the course is divided into 6 sections that contain all kinds of assignments. In this notebook, I’m turning in all of Section 1, which is mostly about medical terms, definitions, word parts, abbreviations, etc. Also, Section 2 is a lot of overview and looking into the various resources we have for learning. I’m turning in two assignments connected with watching videos and listening to conference speakers–this was one of the most interesting things I’ve done!

It’s been hundreds of hours of work!

One thing that’s beginning to clarify for me is the importance of my Section 5 file system. It’s the place I can store and retrieve all the info I’m learning. It’s a major project, but I’m glad I have the files ready now, and I’m getting quite a pile of notes (from book reading) I need to file away.

This coming quarter, I’m going to continue and hopefully finish the rest of Section 2 work.

I occasionally and regularly (usually after I finish an assignment) take time to re-read some inspiring letters from Carla and to look all through the curriculum again so I can keep getting the big picture, staying in perspective, and keep focused.

I desperately need a housekeeper! Come with a shovel 😉

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