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My Testimony

Pregnant WomanA Warm Hello…

My name is Carol Gautschi. I’m a mother of seven blessings, grandmother to six and wife to Paul since 1974. My calling to become a midwife began after I had become a mother of two and had experienced midwifery firsthand.

I was given a contrast by comparison…

The fact is, I was sexually and physically molested separately by two different doctors with my first two births – and also given grossly wrong information that caused breastfeeding delay and hindered bonding. I was plagued by fear, again by misinformation. Didn’t take a rocket scientist to see a profound message in that!

My first two birth experiences strongly planted seeds for the need of global reform and I started the reformation there and then in my own body… I was personally moved by the power of birth and right away sensed the sacredness and vulnerability of the moments during, before and after. Those moments had been stolen from me. With my third born – I was swollen with the need for change as was my belly. This time, fiercely protective of my precious blessing within (I had been privileged to attend two homebirths in 1970 and 1973 and knew intuitively the differences), I was determined to do it differently, to reclaim what had been denied me previously. Frustratingly, the closest help was over 60 miles away. All I wanted was someone – a guardian of sorts- to hold this space to cradle my womb as she would like her own to be – to love and trust this power moving in me and the creative force emerging during this time.

Gentle, calm reassuring Joan stepped into my life through an acquaintance. The time spent with this midwife transformed me, helping me see that labor is wondrously spiritual, powerful, and a profoundly healthy force. I, to this day believe that women are being robbed by a society that does not see to care about the uniqueness of this time, this right of passage, and that not treating it with tender, sensitive respect, we are doing ourselves harm– more harm then we can imagine. From that moment on I believed that birth is the highest place a woman can go in her body on this planet. I knew then that all women deserve the type of loving and compassionate care that women like Joan provided. She was the catalyst for my life’s work of service to women during their pregnancy and birth, a life-changing monument that was driven deep within me at that time. I want to send Joanie a big kiss for all her love and the beginnings I received from her, as well as Doctor Ettinghausen and his helpers during my early years.
A couple of people have referred to me as a Christian mystic midwife. Is that different or what?

For me, becoming a midwife was a metamorphosis, coming largely from practical heart-and-hands experience. I‘ve served families as an empirical midwife and doula or Monitrice since 1978. Midwifery to me wears many hats. I am “with-woman” in many capacities… counselor, confidant, nutritional advisor; breastfeeding consultant; childbirth educator; family health supporter; parenting resource, friend, at times her spiritual advisor and more. I am pleased when women come back to tell me they have been nurtured with a sense of personal strength and self-confidence so that they may experience birth with dignity and empowerment. Giving birth at home with most midwives facilitates a gentle and warm welcome for the baby, instills a sense of respect and control for the parents and strengthens the family. I am tremendously honored and humbled to serve women and their families during one of the most important and sacred events in life.

I caught my first baby by “accident”… (*grin* really – by divine appointment). My best friend’s baby came faster then the scheduled midwife arrived. She looked at me and said “you can do it”. That was in 1981. Thus… began my essential midwifery journey. The first 50 births or more were like midwife training boot camp – If you have the opportunity to sit in on one of my childbirth classes I use many examples of that era to let you vicariously experience the depth of that time and why I am who I am today.

10 thoughts on “My Testimony

  1. I love your testimony especially the end. Your “accident” of a catch reminded me of Jen at my birth with Silas. I hope she one day will see that she is gifted and already has the heart of a midwife! Love you!!! And thanks for sharing your life so openly.

  2. Carol,
    what a beautiful testimony. How similar has been our experiences.. my first catch was also at my best friend’s birth of which the midwife didn’t make it in time. It was there that I was shown {by God of course} what my calling is… and how awesome and wonderful is birth and how intuitive women can be when give the safe space to do so!
    Gosh I was so honored to be there… and I share your passion for women and birth… how refreshing to read the wonderful articles on your website

    Stephanie Coleman :]

  3. Hey Carol, I am honored to be the acquaintance who introduced you to Joan. Interesting how things turn out and how we meet the people who can be so life changing for us. When Darrell and I found Joan and took her very first home birth classes in Los Angeles, I will never forget the interesting group of people we met with each week. We were such a conservative couple with I guess you would say a hippie type group. It was so funny but we were determined, especially me after seeing Susan’s home birth, to have a midwife. I loved Joan and her strength, and knowledge. I felt very comfortable with her throughout my prenatal visits and delivery with Selina. If my new Dr. had not volunteered to do the prenatal and delivery at home she would probably have delivered Rosie as well. However, that’s another story and isn’t that one of the best parts of birthing our babies, the telling of the stories…

  4. I have warm fuzzies reading your story. Thank you for this! I found you through a link on someone’s Facebook page. Glad to know you are in the world.

    Peace and hugs,

    A birth guardian in Portland

  5. What a wonderful Calling … to invite Love into the world ‘upon entry’ and to support women who want to have this option as a way to bring life into the world. A support for ALL. More! More!

  6. Dear Carol

    All these years and look, now, who would have dreamed it would lead you to Europe and the Middle east? You couldn’t have known this calling would expand to nurture others into their calling too. and the focus has always been to know the Creator of birth and to make Him known. I’m grateful for the mothers that let us all learn, and those who included us in the most intimate parts of their lives and let us guard birth for them and with them. I think when we excercise that “office”. Being a “with woman” we are actually standing with that woman’s Creator and with her and with the child and with the father. the influence of a gentle birth is felt through decades, and into the next generation.

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  8. Hey,
    Thanks for being there for me in the late 80’s, and the next generation in 2011.
    You have done wonderfully in the ministry given to you by the Lord, and I so appreciate all the births you’ve done for me.
    Love ya

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