The pregnancy and birth of my fifth child, and the choice of home birth changed me forever. I thought about midwifery almost daily. I was well aware of the sacrifice involved in studying, learning and practicing midwifery-never did I consider it a path through a beautiful garden with just sunshine and flowers. I knew if I started midwifery, it would take me years to complete the training and the educational process, that the schedule was demanding and involved almost constant call, and that the financial sacrifice would be great for my family. Could my children thrive if I had such a profession? Would my marriage survive it? Would we be able to afford it? What unseen sacrifices would be involved in the price of becoming and being a midwife?
After much thought and debate on the process of becoming a midwife, what finally helped me make up my mind, was the drive to know. I wanted to learn all about midwifery, to know what normal birth included, to know how to handle complications, and to be able to help my daughters to give birth one day, especially in an out-of-hospital situation, as I do not believe that hospitals will always be available for birthing children. I knew a desire to learn was a worthy goal and reason and though I still had a lot of self-doubt on my capability of handling both the financial, physical, emotional and family sacrifice's that would be involved, I chose to move forward and begin my education.
Feeling a confirmation to move forward, I felt that part of my purpose was to work with and help Valerie Hall. She was working at Agape Birth Center at the time, and so I approached them with a proposition to come and help or become a student. The only viable option for them was students, and so I became a student, enrolling with the National College of Midwifery in Taos, New Mexico, and beginning my studies there in February of 2012, and starting an internship with the birth center in March of 2012.
This is where I was, nearly half way through my studies, half way through my birth numbers, and on the verge of becoming primary midwife, when I found out that I was pregnant and expecting our 6th child.
The pregnancy was a very difficult time for me, as I felt that my life, dreams, career, education, and financial burden, was being put on hold and made to be so difficult and to preclude my abilities to attain them. There were many times I was nearly hopeless that I would ever be able to accomplish my goals in this path that I had chosen. In addition to that, I would be starting my family over once again, at 38 years old. A new baby and a new life is no small commitment either, in years or sacrifices. I was dismayed that my oldest and only son would be leaving on his mission (as it turned out) exactly one week before the babies birth. I tried to remember that I started midwifery in order to learn and to grow and that the process could take as long as it needed to, and try to value and remember what Michelle Bartlett had often told me at Agape: "The best midwives are made slowly with lots of time and experiences."
"Surely then, I'll be good - this is going to take me forever," I would think to myself.