Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Friday Featrured Provider: Carol Gray

To celebrate the fabulous family-friendly community we enjoy here in Portland, now and then we will be featuring local mamas and professionals using an interview-style or, when we are feeling wild, some other format. Featured Mama on Monday and Friday Professional Features.

Carol Gray, Midwife, LMT

I am originally from LA, but have lived in Portland since 1981. I have been attending births for over 30 years - at first as a doula (before people who did this were called doulas) and since 2000 as a home birth midwife. I have been a therapeutic bodyworker since 1989. Prior to and during some of this I was raising children and suffering in a bizarre succession of boring jobs. Now my husband and I are happy empty nesters, enjoying our grandchildren, our retreat center-like home in Forest Park and our crazy dogs.

Business name/service:

When I'm practicing and teaching Craniosacral Therapy I use my own name. When
I'm wearing my midwife hat I'm part of Two Rivers Midwifery.
Tell us a bit about the wonderful work you do:

For the longest time my professional life was rather disjointed. I remember calling myself a massage therapist who also goes to births. Somehow it all came together and now I practice and teach Craniosacral Therapy mostly for babies and moms. My former students and I host monthly free infant Craniosacral Therapy clinics in Portland. I also have a low-volume (by choice) midwifery practice. Each of these branches of my work informs the other. It's never boring. I really love the work I do.
How did you discover this path?

I was always interested in birth and babies. My mom and dad were the most liberal parents in my neighborhood. They told me all about the birds and the bees at a tender age. I held meetings during which I told the other kids in my neighborhood where babies came from. The meetings were well-attended. Actually, though, the path discovered me. When I was in massage school I thought I wanted to do hospice work, but the people who came to me for massage were pregnant women. They asked me to attend their births. I took a class in Craniosacral Therapy because it was being offered at Esalen and I wanted to go there and write off the trip. It turns out I loved the work and I zoomed through the rest of the curriculum. I can see the path when I look back, but I never really saw it clearly when it was ahead of me. Sometimes I actually resisted it - especially the calling to be a midwife. I tried everything short of being a midwife including being a doula, a Birthing From Within mentor, a doula trainer, a pregnancy massage therapist, owner of a resource center for growing families, etc. I am interested in so many things. My challenge has always been one of focus.

What do you cherish most about your work?

I love how midwifery allows me to become a temporary family member of my clients. I get to build a relationship with women and their babies before, during and after the birth - for a while. Then I often get to see the babies for periodic Craniosacral Therapy treatments as they grow into children and adults. I think it must be something like the experience of a country doctor who makes house calls and sees families throughout their lives (except for the part about practicing medicine).

Share a family-friendly tip:
Trust your instincts. Nobody knows your children better than you do. You are the parents.
Contact Information:

Voice: 503-236-2999
Fax: 503-236-4334


No comments: