I have been wanting to be a midwife FOREVER! Well, it started with wanting to be an L&D nurse, but then my eyes were opened!
I am not sure what I want. Do I want to be a mama right now? I have a sweet 8 mnth old and would love a handful more! I have the ability to be a SAHM for as long as I want. However, so much of me thinks that I would like to be "midwife" for many years of my life.
I should also say that I am not super mom, so I am a bit fearful of life being out of balance for a long time.
So, if you could do it all over again, wwyd? What works best in your experience?
I have 5 children. I have wanted to be a midwife for a long, long time. At least 10 years. Before that I wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor. I too, "had my eyes opened." I wanted to be able to "be there" as much as possible for my kids in their youngest years. When my LO was about 6 months old, I developed a 7 year plan to include midwifery school (was thinking MEAC accredited at that time) and apprenticeship, fitting in so my youngest child/ren would be in childcare for a minimum of time--maybe one or two days per week, and occasionally for births.
I had great joy in studying birth for many years, "for fun" and exploring whether I was really interested in birth work. I have done some volunteer work along the way and enjoyed myself greatly! I am now thrilled to have started my process, and my youngest is 2. I love my learning opportunities. I hope/anticipate practicing for at least 10 years; I may be burned out by the end of that time anyway and ready to retire and be a grandma and volunteer. I hope to be able to do midwifery in a missionary role when DH retires, or at least support women's health in a public health setting locally or abroad.
One thing that I would have done differently was to get my certification as a CBE sooner, but if you don't want to teach CB classes maybe you could get some doula training. An occasional client might fit well with a young family for awhile.
You should read the Midwifery Today book "Paths to Midwifery." It's a great history and place to start. Have a great journey. Seems like everything is in place; things could move again.
Awesome Bekka. Thanks for all of your input. I will grab that book.
This is so admirable! A sort of goal I had in mind was to really bring birth back to women of all paths, not just to those who can or choose to afford a homebirth. Something like a missionary role might be a good place to start.
To answer your questions Phathui5, I am in my mid twenties, Yes, I definitely want more than the one..probably 3 or 4 more.
I met this amazing midwife at a birth center I was a patient at and she had 7 kids, one on the way! She was this wonderful, encouraging, and shiny woman! I thought, hmmm, how does she do it and have 7 kiddos????
I went thru the same thing for years. I knew I wanted to be a midwife during the prenatal care of my 3rd child, first homebirth. I started studying during his pregnancy, went on to become a cbe and a doula and have another sweet baby and awesome homebirth. I was still putting off midwifery until my babies were older when the perfect apprenticeship came out of no where! My youngest was almost 4 when I began apprenticing with a group of 2 midwives and it was helpful that they already had one apprentice that was finishing up so I wasnt at every birth in the beginning. Not long after that I got a BIG surprise! I was pregnant again! I was so worried about how my midwives would feel but they were thrilled! I continued my apprenticeship going to births the day I was due and even went postdates waiting for other women to have their babies! I started doing postpartums a few weeks after his birth and brought him with me in a sling until he was almost a year. So I guess my best advice is to take it at your own pace and when you do find a preceptor make sure they are family friendly. My midwife did the same before me with her babies. I also think it helped that there were 2 of them so if I couldnt be at a birth they were fine without me. (I rarely missed one tho!) It wasnt easy but I dont regret it at all. Now I am licensed and am very careful to try and balance my home life with work. I only take on a few clients a year. A wise midwife once told me "midwifery will always be here, your babies won't always be little" So with all that said I would definetely encourage you to start studying the books. You'll be feeding that yearn to learn and when the time is right for you and your family you'll have made that first step.
I think the first question is whether or not your spouse/partner is willing to co-parent with small children while you are an apprentice/practicing midwife. Some midwives will welcome an apprentice who has a nursling and some might not... but even if you can take a nursling, what about childcare for your other children while you are attending prenatals, births and postpartums?
If your spouse/partner is supportive it can definitely work, but if not... it is more likely you'll quit (temporarily or permanently) or end up divorced.
"I met this amazing midwife at a birth center I was a patient at and she had 7 kids, one on the way! She was this wonderful, encouraging, and shiny woman! I thought, hmmm, how does she do it and have 7 kiddos????"
Take her out to lunch and pick her brain!
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
So much of it depends on your family setup and the dynamics that go on in your home. It takes a very special kind of partner to put up with a midwife/apprentice schedule. If my husband was not 110% supportive, I would have never been able to do this with young children. I started apprenticing when my youngest was a baby and my husband had to really do lots in order to help make it work. I am too selfish to be a good partner to a midwife... I got a little cranky the other night when he got called out for work.... it really reminds me what a special kind of person he is to be able to pick up the slack without any resentment.
I don't have any regrets in the way that I have done this, however, it does not work for everyone. And, since I don't think we are done having children, it will likely get more complicated in a few years when we have another baby (or two.... or three). There are many women who will end up waiting until their children are grown before entering midwifery and there is nothing wrong with that! Just take some time and figure out what is going to work for you.
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.