Today would have been Jeannine’s 61st Birthday but the Breath Giver had other ideas.
Janet Fraser of the Australian birth site http://www.joyousbirth.info thought we should share memories of Jeannine today and I agree. Here are some of the lovely thoughts that have come in so far.
I was one of Jeannine’s student in Santa Cruz in 1978. While attending school at Raven Lang’s in Ben Lomand and studying herb accompanied by mythology with Jeannie. Was always a joy to catch up with Jeannine when in SC visiting or catch her at a workshop in the NW. She never forgot me and once called out my name in a Portland workshop when she caught sight of me in the audience! We sharer stories and friendship over the years. She always had sage advice. a strong heart and steady support. Jeannine was the best
We had Jeannine come to B.C. in 2003 to lead a weekend workshop. She brought her daughter Haley (named after Haley’s comet) with her. We were only allowed to have 20 women in the workshop because it was on pristine land that the owners keep ecologically balanced. What a setting it was to hear this amazing midwife speak in. Here’s a link to the lovely Xenia Centre space.
They have a labyrinth on the site and it was so profound to walk it with Jeannine.
Maha Al Musa
In 1997 she came to the Byron Bay Pregnancy Support Group here in Australia – the most eye opening talk and energy in the room was on fire..I learned so much from sitting with this beautiful woman for 2 hours with my baby boy….never forgotten..inspired me to be doing what I am doing in birth..and in my own births…
love and peace to Jeannine
when i first came to stay in Utah there was a lovely young woman named Audrey staying to care for Jeannine. Jeannine called us both in to her room and asked us how long each of us had to stay . Audrey said “I have to leave in about two weeks” and then she looked at me, her eyes were so big in her very slim face and I said,” i don’t have to go anywhere, I am here until the end.” It was the first time “the end” had been said out loud, I believe. She picked ours hands up and lowered her head and put them against her forehead and said, “the circle is closed then.”
What an incredible woman. My first teacher. Her insights and word medicine are so missed.
The few times I was in a shambles about the midwifery community and reached out to someone, she was one of the few who actually would validate and talk to me about how I felt!
Most midwives could not understand my feelings, they only said “just get licensed and all will be fine!
“Ten or more years ago we spoke a few times on the phone and she helped me feel OK about what ‘kind’ of midwife I was. Thank you Jeannine!!
Inspiring anchor of calm and voice of wisdom thru many changes in face of birthwork. Thank you.
Back in the day, at 20 years old I used to clean Jeannine’s house to pay my way for classes. We would talk while I was cleaning or she would bring in some tea for a chat. Every moment I spent with her was profound. There was no end to her courage and willingness to address tough topics which were always woven with threads of the divine. She is most definitely one of the wise women in my life. Praises Be.
Eydis Hentze Petursdottir
Lovely, what a fine way to honour such a great woman
Eugenie van Ruitenbeek
I love this woman dearly. She was so wise and filled with love. Learned a lot from her.
Btw, does her website still exist? Can’t find it..
Jeannine taught me to serve invisibly, without ego.
Charlene Storch DiCesare
What a beautiful woman! Without knowing her she inspired me!
One very hot summer day, 13 years ago, Jeannine, my daughter, Morgana, her daughter Hayley and I rowed a canoe into the middle of a lake where we talked about the spirituality of birth and where I came to know who I was in my own patterned ideas about birth. On that day, I gave up the idea of myself as a warrior woman giving birth and allowed my next baby to come easily and effortlessly through me–coming to a whole new understanding of birth that has served to heal my mother heart at a very deep level.
I called a number to get information on Jeannine’s midwifery program. A woman answered the phone and, to my surprise, it was Jeannine. It was amazing to me that you could pick up a phone and reach her in person. We talked for hours about everything. It was like I had just called a long lost friend to catch up. She was making cookies with her daughter and i felt like I was welcomed into the event as we discussed birth, life, and love. I regret having never made it to an event with her. My son was a newborn when she came to BC to host a yoga workshop. But I will always feel like we shared a special connection via technology and it impacted my life.
Jeannine’s website is http://birthkeeper.org
Jeannine was penetrating, she shattered illusions with her questions.
She gave so much to the birthing community, to women everywhere. Our lives are richer because of her, and I am so grateful for her life.
I am so grateful to her, especially for telling her twin birth story… The part about leaving the hospital was so influential for me. Since then, I have told so many women that they can always leave. Usually they don’t, but when they know they have a choice they are far more vocal and confident in standing up for themselves. And sometimes they leave! 🙂 In the meantime it was one more sign for me that I was meant to stay home in the first place. I found her writing and work right after she died. Her legacy lives on, but she is sorely missed.
I’m missing her more than anything right now, she helped me heal wounds I never thought I could… beautiful woman
May her memory be eternal! I came into the birth scene (so to speak) after she passed and while I enjoy and am thankful for her legacy, I would have loved to meet her.
I studied spiritual midwifery with Jeannine, I loved the inner view I was able to process whilst pregnant, and she helped me do the inner work I needed to birth at home in water with my chosen circle in attendance. When she came to B.C., she was happy to have my toddler join in the workshop and she taught me to stand on my head to deal with my overwhelming tiredness. Mostly though, I was amazed watching the daughter/mama connection as Jeannine and her daughter cojointly taught us yoga and seemed to ‘speak’ without words to one another. She was authentic, she had a gift and she shared it willingly with the world and her actions resonated with me, she is missed greatly by me and my son.
Now the mother of five (three birthed at home), I came across Loi online in a sole parents group, and was thrilled to realize Jeannie was her mother. Hygeia had been a core wisdom book amongst my Australian women peers, and when I became pregnant for the first time I found Jeannie’s beautiful prenatal yoga book and bought it for guidance. I always remember the gentle advice from that book: (in my own words) Be careful water mother, you may have a fire child — it really summed up the sense of mission we are blessed with, to become spiritual doorways through which our children pass, leaving their spiritual finger prints upon us! I love my five special kids and have loved fulfilling myself as a mother in every way. Thanks you Jeanine for your friendship.