Question for midwives or student midwives - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-16-2004, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was planning on attending midwifery school (DEM program) in August.

If anyone here has gone this route can we dialogue about the time constraints involved?

I am a bit concerned about the notion of postponing my education, but at the same time, I'm a wife and mother. My husband wants me to go ahead and begin depsite the fact that we have 2 young children and a school age child. My loyalty is to my family, but I really want to pursue this.

I wish almost that I could start the program and just *see*, but that's just not how these things work.

Any insight?

Amanda
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#2 of 7 Old 03-16-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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It's a tough call.

I guess it depends on what type of school you're doing (sometimes correspondence schools like AAMI offer students more flexibility than formal schools), when you want to start apprenticing, and how you feel about waiting on an apprenticeship.

Midwifery is something that is so individual. When you start the path, it's not like you say, "I'll be a full-fledged midwife in three years". It's about doing what sort of educational process (either correspondence or formal school or apprenticeship only), then taking the time to do your apprenticeship, etc.

You could start slow. I guess it really is dependent upon what sort of school you're wanting to do and what it requires of you (do you have to have "all your numbers in" before you graduate?).

I started school when my daughter was 2.5. I finished school when she was 5, almost 6. My apprenticeship was four years, and I've been on my own for three. She's almost ten now. It does require alot of sacrifice, and a partner that has flexibility and the desire to support you.

Hard questions, mama.
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#3 of 7 Old 03-16-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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I wish I had some insight for you, but I'm also torn between wanting to be a midwife and my duties as a mother.
The decision I have made is to wait until either 1) baby is weaned or 2) my student loans are paid, whichever comes first. So I'm looking at waiting another couple-three years at least.
I waited this long (35yrs) to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I can wait a little bit longer.
But that's just what I feel is best for me in my situation.
Good luck making your decision!!!
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#4 of 7 Old 03-16-2004, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You do have to have all the numbers in, and it seems like a lot of attending births and actually "managing" a LOT of labors, but I suppose that this is where the true education lay.

The school itself is small (about 12 per class) and it seems very academic... This is something that I feel I need as I have almost no training at all; other than my 3 births, I've only seen two women give birth (both unmedicated). I would worry that I am not the ideal candidate for correspondence courses although this is how I did my master's program in poetics.

When it comes to midwifery, I think that I need *more* than reading; I certainly need "doing" and I'm afraid I might need encouragement that I would do a good job at this work--it's a big shift from a school teacher to midwife. That said, I haven't even looked at the potential for correspondence, and so I should do that before I go any further.

My husband is incredibly supportive of this endeavour, he's incredible, and really sees that this may be my "calling" as his profession is for him. He derives much enjoyment and satisfaction out of his job and hated to see me unhappy with my life's work.

Thank you so much for your insight. It's astounding that you truly do help people out, pamamidwife. It's also reassuring that I will not be the only 30ish in my midiwfery class, stafl.
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#5 of 7 Old 03-16-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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Well, AAMI is pretty well respected, so it could be an option. If you're wanting to do your apprenticeship right away with school (and it sounds like that is the way the school is organized), then there are various things to take into consideration:

What sort of midwives are in your area [the larger the variety to choose from, the better the chances of finding an apprenticeship that will fit]? Do they currently have apprentices? If so, how far away are the apprentices from going on their own? What do these midwives like to see from apprentices before taking them on [nothing, some school, some doula training, school nearly completed]? Do they pay their apprentices [some apprentices pay their preceptors, though I think this is rare. I pay my apprentice, but it's not much]? How many births a month do they do? Do they have specific prenatal days, or are they scheduled all through the week? Do they do appts in an office, or at their clients' homes [doing office appts are generally faster, as you can fit more clients in during a certain period of time at an office, whereas in-home visits require travel]?

Do you have relatives close by? A community of close friends? These two things SAVED me so much trouble - and still do. I love the fact that my friends and MIL are willing to help out on a moment's notice.

Still, it's really hard sometimes. It would break my heart to be at a two day birth, call home and hear my daughter crying in the background.

I think that if you're being called to be a midwife, you WILL be a midwife. Sometimes it's better to wait, while for others, they feel a stronger sense of wanting to get it done sooner. It's not like midwifery will go out of style or not have any need in even five years, ya know?
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#6 of 7 Old 08-08-2004, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the universe is smiling on me...

Every obstacle that I could invent, preventing me from going to midwifery school, was addressed and solved.

I start August 24th.

I will keep everyone updated and probably exhausted with tiresome questions and musings as the semester unfolds.

Thanks so much for your feedback everyone!

Much
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#7 of 7 Old 08-18-2004, 05:02 AM
 
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I graduated midwifery school when my second son was 3 months old. I conviently went into labor before a unit on complications and had my easiest birth . I also like you have only boys, five now! I only go to births occasionally to put them first. Best of luck!
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