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Saturday, March 12, 2011

An interview with Ida Mae Gherkin

Ms. Ida Mae Gherkin
An interview with Ida Mae Gherkin
The Mama Tao writers had a very special chance to meet with the world’s oldest midwife a few days ago and got to sit with her at the world famous “Compound” and pick her brain for information and stories. We are so happy to be able to share this very open interview with you all.
MT: Thank you so much Ida Mae for having us here at the compound—why, I think I hear a laboring Mother screaming right now!
IMG: Yes, that is one of our new mothers. She is in the process of leaving her girlhood behind and become a woman and first time Mother.
MT: How wonderful! So Ms. Gherkin, please tell us how you became a Certified Practicing Midwife (Not to be confused with a Certified Nurse Midwife—also known as a Med-wife)?
IMG: Yes, yes, they {Nurse Midwives} are like OBs aren’t they? Well I wish I could say that I chose to be a midwife, but in all honestly, midwifery chose me. I remember graduating from high school and just knowing that I didn’t want to go to college. I took a walk one afternoon and stumbled under a bridge and found a homeless woman who was in labor. She lived there, under that bridge. It was such an unhindered life—and her giving birth under that bridge--amongst drug needles instead of having drug needles stuck in her. I helped her birth her child and knew from that moment on, I was to be a midwife!
MT: Wow! What a beautiful story. How did you get the Compound started?
IMG: Well that woman from under the bridge and I became good friends over the next few weeks as she slept on my couch. It turns out that she had an aunt that was also a midwife and that aunt happened to have a tract of land—a tract of land that would become The Compound! A place for women to come to labor who don’t want things made easy! A place for women to get an imaginary trophy to flash at all their friends who took the road more traveled.
MT: Beautiful!! We here at Mama Tao approve of you life’s work! A lot of women out there want to know the best way to prepare themselves for the pain of natural Child Birth?
IMG: I recommend taking the soft flesh on the underside of your arm—and biting it until your eyes fill up with tears! Personally, when you get to the point where you no longer have tears when you bite down, you need to move on to someone else biting you. When we do things to ourselves it does not usually hurt as bad as when someone else does it.
MT: Some women are also afraid of having an accident while in labor—what can you suggest for these women?
IMG: Well I personally can’t see getting vain during such an important event. Passing stool is a part of nature and Nature is what one should want from childbirth. But if it really bothers you, there is a product on the market to help. You can find it here (NSFW)
MT: Well, Ida Mae, we are so happy to have the chance to interview you for our readers!
IMG: Well I hope I was helpful.


  1. A classic example that demonstrate that alternative educational routes are always available and a lack of mainstream qualifications or skills does not impede your ability to create the home business you want !

    An inspiration for unschoolers. A slap in the chops for the people who say it denies children options, by dint of missing skills or certification.

  2. You sre so right Uber! She sure didn't need a pesky education!

  3. It must have been beautiful to hear those earth mamas vocalizing! Tiger blood!