I recently made a post on facebook acknowledging my fear and doubts about finishing midwifery school, and becoming a midwife.
I researched midwifery school back in 2004, it sounded like a fantasy, and unattainable dream. I was 24, and a single mother of two girls. I had experienced two lovely unmedicated hospital births of my own, and wanted to usher others through the journey. I had finished my junior year of high school in 1998, and never went back. I didn't have a diploma, or any idea how I could go to college. I brushed it off and accepted that it would never happen.
Fast forward to 2009. I traveled to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and visited a friend who was pregnant. She told me about her plans to use a midwife, birth at a birth center, and use a doula. I went home from that trip to find out that I too was pregnant! I quickly researched birth centers and midwives, and chose to have a doula for this pregnancy. The whole experienced rebirthed my fascination with pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. I became a childbirth educator, and a birth doula.
In 2012 I applied for midwifery school, and was accepted. After I received acceptance, I also received a letter explaining my cost of program. At that time, the school I had applied for was not MEAC accredited and was not offering financial aid. I was presented with an opportunity I couldn't afford... a monthly payment of several hundreds of dollars for several years. My husband (then fiance) was staying home with our 5 children while I worked full time as a doula, it just wasn't feasible. Again, my dream was stuffed away. I accepted that I would never be able to afford the education I desired.
"DOUBT IS PART OF BIRTHING, WHETHER IT BE A BABY OR A DREAM." - KC Baker
2014, pregnant for the 4th and last time... I decided to apply again as I had heard that the school was accepting financial aid. I was accepted, and started midwifery school when my youngest (now 2.5) was just 4 months old. Crazy, right? I have been known to take on a few too many things at the same time, but I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass me again.
Since 2014 I have nearly completed a five year program in about 27 months. Workaholic? Yep. All the while this included a full time doula practice of 5-7 clients per month and midwifery clients from my preceptors practices. I don't know what I was thinking... but I did it. Somehow. Maybe it was the wine and chocolate, maybe it was knowing that I'm not going to get any younger... who knows.
The awesome responsibility of becoming a licensed midwife is weighing on me. There are a lot of fears of liability, boundaries, ethics, growth ect. A friend said today in my crowd-sourcing post, "Most everyone I know taking on the responsibility of caring for the delicate balance of life and death goes through this." That is some serious truth right there. I have breathed life into babies, I have stopped women from bleeding too much, I have unstuck the ones who are held up, I have helped women believe in their bodies and welcomed over 315 new lives into this world. I know I can do this. I know this is a transition. I know it's okay to be scared. Right? Gosh, I'm sure it's really helpful that I've experienced this on the other end as a birth doula supporting a laboring woman through transition. One past doula client wrote in and said "Fear is a guardian at the gates of truth. It is normal to feel this way, as you're about to step over a threshold...it's an initiation. Do you remember how right before my baby finally came out, I started saying stuff like "I don't want this baby...make it all go away...and I just want to sleep...etc...). I think it's kinda like that."
Another friend posted this beautiful blog post that inspired me to share my story today:
"So this year, whether you are birthing a baby, a book, or an inspiring artistic vision, I hope that you remember this:
The more your creative undertaking comes from who you authentically are and from the ways you feel inspired to love this world, the deeper the resistance and self doubt you will feel.
The key is to know that your resistance and self doubt are part of the process, not a barrier.
There is nothing inside of yourself to get rid of, only to love and allow.
This realization is essential to opening ourselves as the clear, pure channels of love and creativity that we are.
To a year of birthing the deepest truth of who we are, and seeing that – truly – nothing stands in our way." - KC Baker
Here is the post I made this morning as I was feeling the self doubt, so many people I admire in the field, and past clients had inspiring words to share:
I will do this. I will be a midwife. I will pass my test. I will have fears. I will have triumphs. I am loved. I am supported. I am not alone. - Tiffany