From the time I was a teenager, I have wanted to be a midwife.The idea of catching babies has always been fascinating to me.I find pregnancy and birth to be an amazing process.Having my own children, participating in births, catching several precipitous births as a nurse, and working with several wonderful nurse-midwives have helped me realize that becoming a nurse-midwife is my destiny.I am an adrenalin junkie, and birth is the ultimate rush.Becoming a nurse-midwife has been my dream and ultimate goal driving me in both my life and the development of my nursing career. Attending graduate school at this time in my life is a culmination of my long-term desire to become a nurse-midwife.
From the time I was five years old, I have expressed my desire to be a nurse. From my own births, I realized there was something magical in the birth process. I have known that I want to be a part of pregnancy and birth on a daily basis. When I was a high school student in the late 1980’s, I learned more about midwives and how they impact the birthing process. Nurse-midwifery was starting to become more prevalent in the United States (Lynch 2005; ACNM, History of Nurse-Midwifery) and I saw nursing as a stepping stone to become a midwife to fulfill my dream. An increase in the number of births attended by midwives in the 1990’s and the first few years of the 21 st century (ACNM, Birth Statistics) has only reinforced my decision that becoming a nurse-midwife was my destiny. My own third birth, with a certified nurse-midwife, cemented my belief that birth is a wonderful, life-altering event, and that the support of a certified nurse-midwife is priceless to women and their self-empowerment in the birth process.
Since high school, I became a registered nurse and have worked in the labor and delivery units of two different hospital systems for the past 7 ½ years. Working on labor and delivery in both a community hospital and in a tertiary care facility has opened my eyes to how amazing birth is. Catching my first precipitous birth as a new nurse was an awe-inspiring and highly nerve-wracking experience. Would I drop the baby? Would the mother hemorrhage? Would her perineum tear? Before I realized it, I had caught the baby, and my worries were dissipated. My hands were shaking, but I wanted to do it again! Since then, I have caught several precipitous and non-precipitous births in my years as an RN on labor and delivery.
I have worked with several different nurse-midwives in the hospital and office settings, and have grown to enjoy watching how they interact with women. I have learned valuable supportive techniques from midwives when helping women work hard during their labor and birth experiences. I feel an amazing sense of beauty and wonder at midwife-attended births, in contrast to physician-attended, medicalized births. Seeing such a contrasting difference has helped cement my beliefs and desires to promote the midwifery model of care in pregnancy, labor and birth, and throughout the entire lifespan.
With each birth, I am filled with an adrenalin rush and my desire to be a midwife grows stronger. Being present at each birth is an honor for me, but to actually catch the baby is beyond words. My love and passion for pregnancy and birth spills over into my subconscious mind, as evidenced by my vivid dreams of catching babies and helping bring new life into this world. Becoming a midwife is the most logical next step in my life, to fulfill the dream I have of supporting women during their pregnancies, births, and lifespan.
Throughout my life, I have experienced the joy and privilege of attending many births: from my own children’s births to the assistance of other families through the birth process. I have witnessed the increase in midwife-attended births over the years, and know that becoming a nurse-midwife is my goal in life. Working with several midwives and seeing how wonderful and supportive midwifery care can be has helped confirm my belief that becoming a midwife is my destiny. I have felt the adrenalin rush of catching a baby several times during my nursing career, and I look forward to the culmination of my advanced nursing degree and reaching my goal of becoming a certified nurse-midwife.