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#1 of 230 Old 11-29-2005, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I couldn't find a thread, so isn't it time for a new one?

I am an aspiring midwife and I'm looking for someone to take me under their wing as an apprentice. The only human birth I've ever attended is my daughter's, but I've midwived an awful lot of farm animals. I would really love to assist/attend a few homebirths in this area and start learning the ropes.

I live in Mississippi and I've been asking around, but so far I haven't found anyone who is taking an apprentice. There aren't many midwives around here, but midwifery is legal. YAY! Even if you live in Memphis or within an hour or two of me I'd be willing to give it a go.

My education consists of some formal college and lots of the School of Life, but I start this spring in pre-nursing with the hopes of being in nursing school by the fall.

At this point I'm information gathering and reading, reading, reading. I can't afford nursing school AND formal midwife school, so I'm looking for alternate routes.

Anyone else an aspiring midwife or doula?
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#2 of 230 Old 11-30-2005, 02:07 PM
 
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Hey Jennifer! I am in Alabama and I am also an aspiring midwife. I'm in nursing school right now (LPN). I plan to work as a nurse for a few years (2-3) to save up money to be able to move to go to midwifery school or apprentice. In bama it is illegal to have a midwife assisted birth except for CNM's in the hospital, but I want to be a homebirth midwife (CPM), so I'm gonna have to move anyway. Just wanted to say hey. I hope you have good luck in finding someone to apprentice under.
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#3 of 230 Old 11-30-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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Hi there! I'm a mom to 2 children (a 5 year old and an almost 14 month old). I went to nursing school and am now and RN, I thought I would go on and become a CNM, that had been my plan. But my plans changed after the homebirth of my youngest, and I am now in school to become LM/CPM.
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#4 of 230 Old 11-30-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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nadine, I noticed your location. Are you attending Seattle midwifery school? Just wondering.
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#5 of 230 Old 11-30-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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Hello all! I'm an aspiring midwife, college student in New York, planning on doing nursing school and becoming a CNM.

What have you all been doing to get started? Have you taken any great workshops, trainings, done doula or CBE certification...? I'd love to hear your experiences.

Also I'm always looking for something new to read, if you have suggestions! Most recently I finished Heart and Hands-- highly reccomended if you haven't read it yet. I've been doing a lot of reading and I'm always on the look out for something new.

Best of luck to you all in your journeys.
Lucy
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#6 of 230 Old 11-30-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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Hi everyone
I'm in Canada, but moving to New Zealand in 5 weeks for the Direct Entry Bachelor of Midwifery program there. I'm 22 and just finished a Bsc in Psychology here this summer.

More to say later, but I have a suitcase is sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor - (empty so far!) and I have to work the rest of the week, so I'd best get some packing done!

Peace,
dura

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#7 of 230 Old 12-01-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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: SO EXCITED that someone started this tribe! :

I hang out in the Midwives/Doulas/CBEs room all the time, but I am thrilled to have a tribe to chat with--subscribing now!

I decided I wanted to become a midwife around age 9 and started reading and reading and reading (by 12 I had read everything that the public library system had to offer me about pregnancy and childbirth--even the nursing texts that went way over my head--and watched all the videos!). I have been sloooooooowly working towards that goal ever since.

When I was 17 I attended the Seattle Midwifery School doula training, helped out at a childbirth education series, and attended one labor . . . but then got sidetracked by college and found myself unable to be "on-call" for birth work.
After college I attended massage school with the goal of becoming a pregnancy massage therapist; I even picked my school based on their pre-natal massage elective! I certified after graduation, but didn't find much of a pregnancy clientele for a few years (I did mostly seated work in the beginning). I kept reading and reading and reading.

I moved to Canada with my husband right after we got married and found myself unable to practice massage, so I stuck it out in a data-entry job for a year. I took a childbirth educator training while I was up there, but then we moved back to the U.S. and now I would have to start all over again to get certified.

After we moved home at the beginning of last year I finally found myself in a massage practice that was GREAT for pregnancy, and started really enjoying my work! I took an infant massage instructor training, and even started attending births again this year. I felt like I was finally back on track, making progress again towards my life-long goal.

Then I attained another life-long goal, unexpectedly and quite ahead of schedule--I discovered I was going to become a mother. I am now 5 months pregnant, planning on quitting my job once I get too big to reach the table, and giving up my pursuits temporarily for impending motherhood. I won't be able to be on-call and away for many hours at a time to attend births, but I still hope to teach infant massage to parents, and am looking into training as a lactation consulant (hoping it will be something that is doable with a small child, if only very part-time). And of course, I am still reading, reading, reading!

Eventually I hope to train as a midwife through an apprenticeship-based program, and center my practice around homebirths . . . eventually, in the distant future, I have a misty goal of running a full-service maternity center: childbirth education, lactation help, midwifery and well-woman services, pregnancy massage, etc., etc. It MAY never happen, but it's something to daydream about . . .

I look forward to getting to know all of you, and learning as we go.
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#8 of 230 Old 12-01-2005, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucybean
What have you all been doing to get started? Have you taken any great workshops, trainings, done doula or CBE certification...? I'd love to hear your experiences.
I start pre-reqs in the spring and hope I get accepted to nursing school in the fall.

I am also looking into getting some sort of CBE or Doula cert in the meantime. Not sure I'll be able to going to school full time though.

I guess I feel weird trying to teach childbirth classes, but I have had a child. I know what it's like and I can share my story with the class participants. I guess when I get through nursing school I'll probably be more successful with that. Right now I'm trying to drum up some doula business and buy books on a limited budget.

It's so frustrating, really. I'm almost 30 and I'm TTC, starting school and also trying to become a doula/midwife. Why couldn't I have gotten this ambition earlier in life?

A local lady works as a doula and CBE (she has 12 kids!) and I've asked to shadow her if her clients don't mind a tagalong. That will be the best part!

I picked up Baby Catcher and The Doula Book at the closeout book store at the mall. I didn't see anything else I could use, but I'm going to keep my eyes open.
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#9 of 230 Old 12-01-2005, 03:12 AM
 
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Hi all! I'm heading to bed so no time for a long intro, but wanted to say I'm glad to see this here. I want so badly to be a midwife, but I don't know when that's going to happen. I was supposed to go to training to be a doula in October, but we moved in September... I was upset because that was going to be my start, get me meeting more midwives, etc. Instead now I'm trying to do it on my own. I can't afford midwifery school (not even payments), so I've been trying to find a midwife that would let me apprentice with her, but so far no luck ~sighs~ In the meantime, I read everything I can get my hands on. I've been wanting this since I had DD#1 with a midwife and felt the calling. I'm certainly not going to give up.
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#10 of 230 Old 12-01-2005, 04:52 AM
 
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Special Women: The Role of the Professional Labor Assistant by Paulina Perez is a good read for aspiring doulas

Homebirth by Sheila Kitzinger has gorgeous photography

Choosing Waterbirth: Reclaiming the Sacred Nature of Birth by Lakshmi Bertram is inspiring

That's just a few; I'll try to add more of my favorites later.
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#11 of 230 Old 12-01-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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Hi ladies! *waves at Jennifer* Thanks for starting this tribe!

I just found the link to this in the midwives/doulas forum, which I'd never ventured into before today. I kept forgetting about it

I am currently doing pre-nursing at a local community college, with plans to get a BSN from a university and do the CNM thing. I thought about becoming a doula or a CBE for a long time, and I may still do that in between my BSN and Masters. I was going to school for bio-engineering pre-baby, but I have become a FANATIC since then so midwifery is the perfect fit.

Nice to have a tribe full of other women on the same path (or similar anyway, lol).
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#12 of 230 Old 12-02-2005, 12:13 AM
 
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Hi mamas! I'm an aspiring midwife too, what a great thread I've completed CAPPA's doula training and have my first doula client who is due this Sunday. I'm really excited! Ever since I got preg I've been a birth junky, it's like pregnancy brought something out in me that was hidden all that time.

I've helped teach a few breastfeeding classes and have also considered becoming an LC and childbirth educator while I study to become a midwife. I enrolled in the AGAPE school of midwifery (in FL) and was accepted, I was supposed to start in Sept but they lost their MEAC accreditation Now the closest midwifery school is 3+ hours away. In my state you have to attend an accredited school and pass the NARM to become an LM or CPM. I'd like to become an LM, but am also looking into CPM.

I'm sure I'll find a way. I also plan on calling some local LMs and seeing if they need an apprentice or a labor assistant. I'll take training any way I can get it!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#13 of 230 Old 12-02-2005, 02:17 AM
 
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Hi everyone!
I plan to start my midwifery studies via distance learning in about 2 years when my youngest child is 4. I'm going to do our local DONA approved doula training next year and attend a few births so that I'll have experience to make myself an appealing apprentice. My dream and calling is to be a midwife though, not a doula.
For now I'm checking into all the distance learning options and reading all the books my library has. If I can squeeze in a Farm workshop somewhere along the way I'd like to do that as well.

nak.gifLyn  ~~  Doula, Midwifery student homebirth.jpg, blended family mom of 6 grouphug.gif, grandma of 1, and wife of an amazing & generous man love.gif
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#14 of 230 Old 12-02-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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I have been thinking alot about becoming a doula. So I will be : and :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#15 of 230 Old 12-02-2005, 03:42 PM
 
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Aspiring midwife here too Currently I'm training to be a childbirth educator through Birthworks and I plan on doing that work for a few years before I start midwifery training---gotta wait until my little ones aren't so little! Glad to see so many here; I'm not sure yet what path I'll be taking so it will be good to hear what you're all doing

Mama to three wonderful boys and a fabulous baby girl.
My heartfelt thanks to all those that have donated milk to others; you are amazing
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#16 of 230 Old 12-03-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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Hi There

Yes, i too am an Aspiring Midwife. Yay, Mamas!
i wanted to add another book to the list of reccommend reading: "Polly's Birth Book;Obstetrics for the Home". Very detailed in anatomy and processes as well as problem solving. So helpful with My Personal Pregs Labor and deliveries! So, check this one out!

Peace~*
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#17 of 230 Old 12-05-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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I wanted to chime in and say that I belong here also. I am a new doula, on my way to one day being a midwife. I will say more later, but now I have to go attend to ds's bathroom needs.

Mother to one wild and crazy boy 12/29/2002.
Midwife, Homeschool Educator and Crafter.
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#18 of 230 Old 12-06-2005, 01:14 PM
 
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Hi -- I have been a doula for four years and an apprentice midwife for 3. I will be attending my last birth as an apprentice sometime around Christmas. I wanted to join this thread because I still feel like a student in many ways and because I thought I could offer the perspective of someone nearing the end of her training.

I will be hiring midwives to do chart review for me and help me out with births for the first 7 months of next year as I start my own practice. It has been a strange process, taking my own clients (I have 11 of them up through July, yay!) but still seeking the advice of other midwives frequently. I am thinking about forming a partnership with another midwife for births starting after September of next year. I have been thinking a lot about the advantages of working alone vs. working in a team.

Child care has been a constant challenge. Paying for my apprenticeship was a huge challenge. Balancing apprentice work and doula work wasn't always easy, and work-life balance has been something I have had to work on as well. It has all totally been worth it, though. I love my work.

Take care,

Stacia in MI

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#19 of 230 Old 12-06-2005, 03:26 PM
 
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Good to have you here, Stacia! (And I think I already PMed you a few months ago to tell you how much I love your User Name . . . )

How old are your kids? I am wondering about the timing of starting my training, with a little one on the way; I figured it would have to wait at least a couple of years, and possibly quite a bit longer since DH and I are planning on having more than one. Fortunately my folks and ILs all live nearby, and MIL could probaby be called upon for childcare at the last minute since she works from home . . . however, it would be quite awhile before I would be comfortable leaving la bebe alone for a long enough span of time to attend a birth. (I had already decided that even doula work would have to fall by the wayside in deference to mamahood, even though DH suggested that if we have a mellow baby, I could do a back-carry and do occasional labor support. )

Welcome to the tribe, and I'm sure we will all learn a lot from you!
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#20 of 230 Old 12-06-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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Hey guys! I just found this tribe and though I should subscribe! My long term goal is to be a midwife, short term goal is to get my RN. Since there are soooooo many options, even that short term goal is daunting! I am going to start my prerequisits (sp??) this spring, but since I already have a bachelors degree (BFA) there is a thousand options in my area - all with major pros and cons and I can't figure out which is best.

Before Ella came, I was a birth & postpartum doula - I REALLY loved the postpartum work - it was fantastic getting in there and caring for these moms in this forgotten phase - all the births I went to turned out awful. (interventions & whatnot) I am not giving up though - I only did 3 births, so for my first three I did alright, it just gets so discouraging.

I am thinking that I will go the CNM route - but if I have my RN, I might go ahead and do the CPM - I don't know. I do know I want a good mix of medical and wholistic training.

Anyways! Hello and I look forward to getting to know you guys!!!
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#21 of 230 Old 12-07-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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#22 of 230 Old 12-07-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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I just wanted to put in a vote for non-school-based, apprenticeship-style traditional midwife training. Some states require formal schooling to become a licensed midwife (like Florida, California and Washington, right?) but many do not. I have found a lot of flexibility in the kind of training I got and have found good teachers for every skill I wanted to learn. I had a 3 year apprenticeship, took some community college classes in anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and nutrition, am doing some births with mentors and have an internship starting soon doing well woman care in a free clinic in Detroit. Sometimes you have to be creative -- I have filled a lot of gaps at conferences and workshops (like learning how to suture -- do you know how hard it is to learn how to suture when your clients hardly ever tear?). I have done a lot of self-study in medical/midwifery textbooks (I recommend Anne Frye's books and Williams' Obstetrics) and keep current on medical journals and internet-based midwifery discussion groups. We also have a local midwife study group and meeting face to face with women doing the same thing as me has been helpful.

I remember starting out and wondering how the heck I was ever going to get an apprenticeship when the only midwives in the area offering them were getting 40-50 applicants every time. The truth is, I kinda just fell into an apprenticeship with midwives who were just starting out themselves. I had been doing volunteer doula work and had a client choose a last-minute homebirth. She had a precipitous birth and I ended up almost catching the baby before the midwives got there. They were impressed that I didn't have a nervous breakdown and asked me to work with them. Instant apprenticeship!

For those looking for apprenticeships, though, I was thinking about an apprenticeship workshop that I gave a couple of years ago at our state midwives' conference. There were probably 5 or 6 women in the audience -- out of that I know of 4 who are working now as apprentices. Each of them had to be creative to get their work -- one got a part-time job at the non-profit center where a midwifery practice was located. One offered to clean the offices of a birth center and do office work. One opened her own childbirth-related business to recruit women for homebirths on the outer edge of a midwife's territory then had an agreement that she would be able to assist with any clients she brought to the midwife. Others I have heard of got lots of experience as doulas and became known in their community. I think it helps to tell a lot of people that you want an apprenticeship -- childbirth workers are a pretty connected bunch, at least in my area, and I think it helps to have your name out there.

Birth Junky had asked about how old my kids were -- they are 5 and 19 months. I have to say that the easiest time I have had so far was when my 5 year old was 3 and 4 and I had just him. He was in a Montessori-based preschool that was just mornings, but would let him stay all day if we brought him a lunch. He liked staying the afternoons (which he had to do about once every two weeks or so) because they did more free play and spent more time outside. He didn't seem stressed at all about me being at births all night and into the next day. His perception was just that I had missed breakfast. It helps that he had a super-involved, really flexible dad who was able to hold down the fort quite well in my absence.

When I got pregnant the second time, after a year or so of trying (I have PCOS), I had just been an apprentice for a little more than a year. I worked up until my 36th week of pregnancy, which wasn't physically all that difficult, but I began having memory and concentration problems (where did I put that fetoscope???). When my babe was about 4 months old, I went back to office visits and took him with me. Many of our clients declared him to be their favorite midwife! When he was 6 months old, I began doing doula births (to help pay for childcare for midwifery births) and then about 2 months later started doing midwifery births. I think that I started out at 1-2 births a month and went to 3-4 births a month within 6 months of coming back.

I have to laugh when I see that people with young kids will do "just doula work" and save their apprenticeships for when their kids are older. Doula work is much harder! I need all my fingers and toes to count the number of times I have been with a doula client for more than 12 hours in a row, but I was with homebirth clients usually for only 4-8 hours. Homebirthers also seemed not to mind having my kids (or a least the younger one) at prenatals, while doula clients did often mind.

If I had my choice, though, I might have waited until all of my kids were over 3. Having a little baby while doing this work wasn't all that hard, but 10-16 months was not easy because he was still waking but not old enough to understand that I was gone. Now things are geting a little better and he is also enjoying the company of other people more. I am paying a neighborhood babysitter, though, and she isn't always available when I need her. The preschool setup was a lot easier. In my case, though, I had done a lot of work to build relatiohships in my community and thought that I might lose a lot by taking a 3-year maternity leave. I also have to bring in an income for my family and like doing doula/midwifery work a lot better than working a conventional part-time job.

Whew, that was preachy and long-winded. I promise not to be like this all the time

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#23 of 230 Old 12-07-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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Hey hey hey!!!! I'm signing on!
I'm a doula to be. I'm training with DONA, I just completeted my Training workshop last week, I have my first prenatal this Monday( ) and I have a client due each month untill May SO I am nervous and excited.
I also plan to start my path of becoming a Midwife around Marchish. I will be doing the DLP with the International School of Midwifery in Oregon and possibly, hopefully doing some apprenticeships locally.
So, hello wise, wonderful womyn! May our journey to empower and serve be a blessed one!!!!!!
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#24 of 230 Old 12-09-2005, 12:57 AM
 
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I'm an aspiring midwife too . Although, at this time in my life my children are priority, so I know that midwifery is still many years away. I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old and DH and I are planning to TTC very soon. I am also planning to homeschool, so my dream of being a midwife will be a dream for a long long time before it is actualized. I'm planning on starting formal training when our youngest (not even born yet) is around age 10...that is if I can hold out that long. I have a notion that I will probably start sooner, but as of now that is our plan.

I am training to be a CBE and can't wait to start teaching classes. I also have spoken with a local birth center about working as a midwife assistant part-time and they are willing to train me, I just need to take a phlebotomy class at the community college. I'm really torn because I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to work as an assistant a couple days a week and have the opportunity to attend a few births a month...but at the same time I never intended on working when my children were so small. And if I do, I feel selfish about it since we are not in need of any supplemental income at all...it would just be me working for my own gratification. I'm so torn....

I'm in Florida, so my choices are limited in my training. I will most likely go the LM/CPM route, although the idea of getting an RN first appeals to me. I had never thought of that until I read it on this thread. A CNM appeals to me only because I think it is a requirement in FL for a CNM to be on staff of every birth center (please anyone correct me if I'm wrong). I will never work in a hospital setting. There are many CNM's in my area who work in OB offices and attend births at hospitals who are not much different than the OB's. I would prefer a homebirth practice, but at this point am open to birth center work.
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#25 of 230 Old 12-12-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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I had a very up and down week. On Wednesday, I had a client call thinking that she had a miscarriage. I drove an hour to her house and wasn't able to tell much. She had mild cramping, but her bleeding, which hadn't been a lot to begin with, had gone back to spotting. She was 11 weeks or so, but I wasn't able to hear a heartbeat with my doppler (that's not totally unusual in and of itself). Her uterus also felt small to me. She was sick with what seemed to be an intestinal virus, as well, so that was confusing things. I talked to her today and she is feeling a lot better and hasn't started bleeding again, so I hope things are well. It is frustrating sometimes not to have easy access to things like ultrasound, which would have told me immediately that the baby was at least still alive. This client has spotty insurance and no money whatsoever, so she didn't want to go to another provider to have a scan. I am going to see her on Wednesday and we will try to listen for the baby again. I am praying for her and hoping that all is well.

I went to a cool party for people who work in childbirth on Friday. All of my birthy friends were there as well as a number of doctors, midwives, and doulas I didn't know well. It just gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that we have a supportive community. A lot of the older midwives there were also really encouraging and nice when they found out I was just starting out. I also saw my two preceptors and it was good to be able to chat with them.

Take care,

Stacia

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#26 of 230 Old 12-12-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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I am going to see her on Wednesday and we will try to listen for the baby again. I am praying for her and hoping that all is well.
I hope all goes well, keep us updated.

mama2annabelle I'm also in FL. I'm getting very discouraged with the lack of midwifery training in this state and the strict laws that go with it : I haven't heard about birth centers requiring a CNM to be part of the staff, I hope that isn't true. I was hoping to become an LM and open a birth center. It's looking more and more like I'll have to go the CNM route.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#27 of 230 Old 12-12-2005, 07:40 PM
 
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Hi! I'm an aspiring doula! This is something I've wanted to do for a few years now but just recently felt like it's time to start pursuing it more.

In the last few weeks I've decided to start w/ some of the reading. Today I decided to go thru CAPPA since they have several different certifications available.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to officially start certification. Of course money is an issue. The other factor is the age of my kids...just had a baby in October.

bionicsquirrel ~ I grew up in Wichita! My Mom still lives there and we visit every few months.
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#28 of 230 Old 12-12-2005, 08:41 PM
 
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I'm subscribing too ! I'm excited to learn from all you wise women! Have to run to go eat with my BF, but I'll tell ya a little about myself. I apprenticed a home birth CNM for 3 years part-time and my goal is to also be a homebirth CNM with my own practice eventually. Right now I am a 3rd year nursing student which is absolutely kicking my butt! I also just started as a birth assistant at a free-standing birth center. In my past life I went to school for massage therapy and I have a 2nd degree Reiki cert (birth junky~ I bet we have lots in common). I am 26 and I live with my BF of 5 years and we don't have any children yet. We are hoping to once I get my RN and take a few years off before grad school at Frontier.
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#29 of 230 Old 12-12-2005, 08:47 PM
 
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(birth junky~ I bet we have lots in common)
We sure do! We're both massage therapists and Reiki practitioners, we're both 26, we're both hoping for homebirth practices once we get our training . . .

Welcome!
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#30 of 230 Old 12-12-2005, 09:55 PM
 
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Hi!
bionicsquirrel ~ I grew up in Wichita! My Mom still lives there and we visit every few months.

Heather, next time you are in town, please send me a pm and we can meet. I have an AP parenting group and we are always looking to meet new moms and their children.

Mother to one wild and crazy boy 12/29/2002.
Midwife, Homeschool Educator and Crafter.
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