All posts filed under: Immigration

To All My Faux Aunties and Uncles…

Dear Aunties and Uncles: I now know the purpose you served… For years, growing up, it was never properly explained to me. Perhaps my parents lacked the words I would understand. Perhaps it was more than that. Because of that communication gap, I genuinely believed that everyone my mom and dad introduced me to, was my blood relative. That meant that when I went to my American grade school and people asked me about my family, I inadvertently lied. “I’m the youngest of 8. I know, big family. Both of my parents have like 13 brothers and sisters each. I haven’t even met all of them! Well, some died in the war, of course. I never knew my grandparents.” I guess I should be happy I grew up in a state surrounded by Mormons and Catholics. Big families weren’t anything new to them. But, for the skeptical others that dared to question my authenticity? I was sure self-righteous in my defense of my village-like family! At a certain point, I reached an age where I started questioning …

Maternal Health Care: A Midwife’s Tale

This is the second part in a series exploring the profession of a midwife and their value at birth. You can find more information about the profession and the first piece here. The phone rings, rousing her from a slumber. On the other end of the line, a pregnant woman is deep in the throes of labour. It’s the height of the night. But as the new mother is about to discover, babies have no regard for schedules. The rhythm and regularity of her contractions suggests that birth is imminent. The freshly woken woman heads out to attend the delivery. For Bounmy Inthavong, it’s just another day on the job. Bounmy is a midwife practicing in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Though she’s been catching babies since 2015, her interest in women’s health has been a lifelong passion. The daughter of Lao refugees, she discovered the value of patient-centered care at an early age. “My brother and I were born in refugee camps. My dad had to deliver us because the births went so fast and crazy. My …