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I'm a Real Midwife!

I started as a student of midwifery in August of 2018. When I started, I had just stopped volunteering on a labor and delivery floor of a hospital and despised what I witnessed while I was there. As a result, I reached out to a local home birth midwife and offered to take her trash out if she would just let me sit and observe appointments. She agreed, and so began my path to midwifery. I would go to her office just once a week to listen and during that time I watched as clients formed relationships with a strong foundation of trust and respect with their midwife. I listened while she provided education regarding anything from heartburn to pain management techniques in labor, to the newborn procedures referred to as standard of care and what the options were. This was the beginning of my love and passion for the field of midwifery.

After a few months Jill, my preceptor, asked if I would like to start attending births. I would like to add in here that up until this point, I was unaware of the fact that Jill was a home birth midwife. It's not that she kept it from me, it's just that I didn't know home birth was an option and all I knew was that Jill didn't work with a hospital. I excitedly said yes and then cautiously asked where exactly these births were happening. She responded that the women gave birth at home. I vividly remember my jaw dropping. I had never heard of home birth; I had no idea that it was an option. I agreed to be on call and anxiously waited for my phone to ring to let me know it was time to go. In October I witnessed my first home birth with one of Jill's clients. It was beautiful, and everything I knew birth was supposed to be. I watched as a woman and her husband worked wonderfully and intuitively in sink to bring their baby into the world.

Over the next few months, I started working with Jill more. I would spend more days in her office and go to as many births as my schedule would allow. I was at Oakland University at the time and decided to change my major from nursing to integrative studies. With a major in integrative studies, I was able to build a degree of my own and choose as many classes as I could that would benefit me as a midwife in the future. I also earned minors in Spanish and Psychology. I completed my Bachelors in the spring of 2019 and promptly left on an international three-week trip on my own. I spent two weeks volunteering at a birth center in Haiti and one week exploring Honduras. When I came back, I hit the ground running with Jill. I was in her office every day and going to every birth.

The following fall I started my midwifery degree online and loved every minute of it. From spending one day a week observing appointments to being a full-time student of midwifery was a mountain of excitement that grew with each step I took closer to becoming a midwife. By July of 2020 I had completed all but 5 births I needed for clinical experience and found out that I was pregnant with my first baby. I took that school year off from clinical work to finish my midwifery degree. I passed my boards exam in January of 2021, Xander was born at home in April, I earned my midwifery degree that same month and obtained my license in July. The peak of my midwifery mountain. I felt an immense sense of excitement and accomplishment when I found out my license was approved and was ecstatic to get my own business started.

Business started slowly, as small businesses do, and this was perfect for the season I was in starting my family and my business at the same time. I got to spend lots of hours getting to know my new baby, I worked backup for Jill, and she attended my first handful of births with me as well. As I reached the one-year mark I was feeling a bit discouraged. I had the impression that there was such a need for home birth midwives that without doing much marketing, networking, or anything of the sort that I would have home birth mamas flocking to my door as soon as I started. That's not exactly what happened, and I was beginning to feel like maybe midwifery wasn't for me, that I should do something else to fill the financial need of my family. Just as I was starting to feel that way, everything fell into place. I had clients started to trickle in at first, and then a bit more steadily. Before I knew it I had TEN pregnant clients on the books! This refueled my excitement and reminded me how that same excitement built through my journey of being a student.

July of 2023 marks two years of being a midwife, and it wasn't until I went to fill out the application to renew my license that I realized how similar the beginning of my business mirrored the feelings of my years as a student. I have now successfully renewed my license for the very first time. I've heard from many midwives that imposter syndrome can last for a while when you first get started. Dropping student from student midwife felt silly for a while, but I now confidently refer to myself as a midwife. My passion for this field runs deep and my love for what I get to do professionally is a profound blessing.

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