Making the decision to 'be' a MW--were you scared? unsure? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 6 Old 04-02-2011, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
mamaharrison's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have been drawn to Midwifery since I can remember, as a young child I used to have dreams about attending birth. I had researched paths to becoming a MW in my early 20s (2001) and really felt like this was what I wanted to 'do', but I always felt like I needed to have given birth myself before I could be a MW myself. SO, I waited...I had my daughter almost 2 years ago and while I did birth her vaginally and on my own terms, it was a long and traumatic labor for me in many ways. I felt totally betrayed by the CNM who I hired to attend my daughter's birth in more ways than 1. Now a very clear path has presented itself to me for starting a program of Holistic Midwifery next year and I am feeling like I won't be an effective MW until I have a 'blissful' birthing experience. I sat with this idea of 'putting off' this pursuit until after I have possibly had another babe and potentially a less traumatic experience, but then it came to me that I even then I think I would be insecure and terrified (at times) of what a big responsibility this would be--to hold the space for a birthing woman and to help safely usher in new life to the Earth. It just seems really BIG, KWIM?! 

 

So, in trying to determine the right path for myself. I was hoping that you would share what helped you make the decision to 'BE' a MW and were you scared at the prospect of this huge task or were you secure in your purpose from the beginning? I tend to be a very self assured person in many areas of life, but I find myself feeling quite the opposite when contemplating this decision. I know that self assurance and confidence or lack of it at the beginning of any new path do not necessarily determine future success, but it makes it harder to move forward with ease when you are feeling meek and inadequit.

 

SO, if you felt the 'calling' or the purpose but were anything less than confident about your abilities in this realm--How did you overcome those feelings and make the decision to pursue Midwifery and when did your feelings dissipate? OR should someone who is feeling this way take it as a sign that she isn't right for this task?

 

TIA 

 

mamaharrison is offline  
#2 of 6 Old 04-03-2011, 06:02 AM
 
homemademomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ct
Posts: 2,934
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It is/was a long road for me to become a midwife- but what I wanted to say is to not be afraid of that fear. Birth is natural and normal and beautiful, but a healthy dose of fear will keep you respectful of the process. Assuming the role of midwife is a HUGE responsibility, and it is a good thing to be a little scared!

 

I would recommend seeking out doula or MW assistant training- attend a dozen births or so and then reevaluate.


Mom to two perfect kids earth.gif  surrogate to two sweetpotatos heartbeat.gifheartbeat.gif born 4.21.11  

I love someone with ataxia telangiectasia http://www.atcp.org

homemademomma is offline  
#3 of 6 Old 04-03-2011, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
mamaharrison's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks homemademomma--this is exactly what I was wondering, but unsure of. I feel like my fear of birth isn't because I don't trust birth or women and babies, but because it is such a monumental responsibility to be the one who attends those births with the intent of holding a safe space for birthing. I definitely don't come to birth from a fear based place for other women (I am still working on that for myself, I think) and I really feel like part of the job of a homebirth MW is to be there to observe the process without interfering with it with an educated/experienced eye on the unfolding of the awesome event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by homemademomma View Post

not be afraid of that fear. Birth is natural and normal and beautiful, but a healthy dose of fear will keep you respectful of the process. Assuming the role of midwife is a HUGE responsibility, and it is a good thing to be a little scared!

 

mamaharrison is offline  
#4 of 6 Old 04-05-2011, 12:44 AM
 
Magelet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 2,702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've started a long journey, I'm starting nursing school this fall, to eventually become a homebirth-based CNM. My guess is it will be a decade before I'm a practicing midwife. Maybe not, maybe 6-7 years, but possibly a decade.  Quite the long journey.  But when I realized my calling to be a midwife, and decided/accepted it as my path, I felt peace, and clarity. I felt like a cloak that was mine was settling comfortably onto my shoulders (A very heavy cloak, that is both perfectly mine, and sometimes a burden, and sometimes a joy).  I had had midwifery come up several times before in my life, but wasn't willing to accept the calling.  Finally, I was ok with it, and it became who I am.  When G-d calls, I do my best to answer "here I am", and offer myself up in service and love. Midwifery  kept coming up over and over, like G-d kept at it until I was ready to accept my calling.


Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
Magelet is offline  
#5 of 6 Old 04-05-2011, 05:36 PM
 
JamieCatheryn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SW Pa
Posts: 5,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

I get the same way about things. I too am waiting for the right time to come. The beauty of the path to midwifery is that you do get to attend many a birth as assistant or apprentice before you are the one with primary responsibility. You haven't been there for an ideal birth yet, but you'll have the chance to attend tens of ideal and less than ideal ones to gain experience in many a situation before you're even the one in the lead. Having more babies will give you more personal experience, but will really delay you in this and add to your responsibility at home. Grow your family if that's what's right for you but don't let the limits of your experience as mother hold you back as a prospective midwife. That said I was blessed to have my second child at home with a midwife who has a similar personality to me whose style I loved, so I can see myself being like her. But I think witnessing that not as the birthing mother would have been enough.

JamieCatheryn is online now  
#6 of 6 Old 04-06-2011, 10:26 AM
 
kcparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: IC, IA
Posts: 1,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaharrison View Post

 Now a very clear path has presented itself to me for starting a program of Holistic Midwifery next year and I am feeling like I won't be an effective MW until I have a 'blissful' birthing experience. I sat with this idea of 'putting off' this pursuit until after I have possibly had another babe and potentially a less traumatic experience, but then it came to me that I even then I think I would be insecure and terrified (at times) of what a big responsibility this would be--to hold the space for a birthing woman and to help safely usher in new life to the Earth. It just seems really BIG, KWIM?! 

 

I would recommend working through your own birth so that you can put it aside and approach other women's births without bringing your own baggage to their labors. Process your trauma as much as you are able, learn from it what you can, and look at the experience for whatever positive/worthwhile/lessons you got out of it. Train as a doula and attend births in a variety of settings. Look for an opportunity to assist a HB midwife. Do what you can to start experiencing birth in all its infinite forms.

 

I don't think you need to have had a 'blissful' birth to be a good midwife. That's like saying you need to have won the Daytona 500 to be an auto mechanic. You need a lot of knowledge and skill, good clinical decision-making powers, a compassionate heart, gentle hands, and the courage to work with what is going on in the present moment. One of the midwives who I think is really great has never had a baby at all. So don't let lack of some idealized experience be a barrier if you want to pursue this path.

 

Remember too, that getting the education and training you need will give you the skills and confidence to attend births. You will get a lot of book-learning, observe, assist, and work under the tutelage of experienced midwives, do continuing ed. and keep updating your skills and knowledge base, and you will develop the tools you need to be confident instead of fearful. I think it is a healthy thing to acknowledge what a tremendous responsibility it is to be a midwife and to have a lot of respect for the power and unpredictability of birth. If you want to put it off because you want to devote yourself to small children without simultaneously pursuing an educational program, that's one thing, but I wouldn't pass up a great opportunity to learn because you are worried that you don't have the confidence right now. Baby steps, no pun intended. :)


Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
kcparker is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off