Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How I got where I am and where I plan to go from here.

Posted by Le
I also have a tendency to go on for far too long when explaining why I want to be a midwife, how I got to where I am and where I am headed from here so I will try to give the summary of the condensed version.

I first learned about birth doulas in 2001 and thought it sounded interesting. I happened to have time available between quitting work and starting college so I took the doula training course.

Spring break of my senior year I went to visit my Grandma in rural Idaho and we stayed the night at her friend's house - her friend happens to be a midwife. I mentioned to my mom that I thought it would be an interesting job and less than 3 days later I got a call from my Grandmother saying the midwife's assistant was getting married and I could be the new assistant if I wanted to be. Three months after I graduated I moved to the middle of nowhere Idaho and began working as a midwifery assistant. I realize now that it is usually much harder to find a midwife to work with but at the time I had no clue how blessed I was especially since I hadn't even been looking.

The midwifery practice I worked with wasn't very busy but I was able to attend over 20 births and learned many skills in the time I spent there. For mainly financial reasons I left after two years and figured I would just go back to having "real" full time jobs like I had before. I soon found out that I could never go back to my old life as being involved in birth had changed me. I spent the next two years being involved in different midwifery communities where I lived, looking into different midwifery schools, working as a doula, and trying to figure out what role I should fill in birthing.

A year ago March I attended a birth as an assistant and wound up being the only one there when the baby was born. A few months later I then began looking into midwifery school again, but more seriously this time and found out about the proposed merger between Bastyr & SMS. SMS had been my favorite school when I had looked before and I got my undergrad degree at Bastyr. So last July I began hurriedly trying to figure out how to take all the pre-reqs so I could apply for the 10-11 school year. My crazy year of working while taking online and hybrid classes is now almost over and I begin school at Bastyr again in September.

I am excited for the program but also nervous. The midwife I have worked with the most didn't use (or even carry) any meds and was very traditional. While I believe that the SMS/Bastyr program respects the birth process as natural it is much more medical that anything I have done before. I have some concerns about it causing me to become fearful or distrusting of birth. I hope that I will be able to hold onto what is good from what I have already learned and blend it with the new information.

I am excited to be able to share this process with others and to be able to read about other people are progressing on their journey.


  1. Oh yay! So glad to have another person here... though I'm wishing we had faces, can we have faces? I'll be especially interested in hearing your journey through Bastyr as that's one of the programs I'm looking at. I am curious how you imagine setting up you work life after school in a way that it will fund that education, but that might not be my business.. Just one of those things I puzzle about. It's curious that both you and Katy have worries about your training fostering fear. My idle thought to that end has been if I end up in a highly medicalized program that I'll hook up with a renegade midwife at least occasionally to temper that modality with another. I'm also curious if you'll be living in/near Seattle or traveling to the school 3x a term like some do?

  2. Plan A is to marry rich right after I finish the program so I don't have to worry about the money issues. Plan B is to continue being broke forever. =)

    For now I will be commuting. I am moving back to work with the midwife I originally trained with. Then I will likely live in WA somewhere when I am in an apprenticeship or maybe in the Treasure Valley area of Idaho which is where I currently live.