“Why midwifery?” I’ve heard this question more times than not. Understandably so, but this is one story I will never get tired of telling. I always wanted to be a “baby nurse.” Even when I was little. After high school, I was determined to do just that. I worked at a local hospital on the labor and delivery unit for four years. During this time, I was also going to nursing school.
In January of 2016, a family friend asked if I wanted to be at her home birth. I remember thinking she was a little off her rocker to be doing something like that. Little did I know that she had a plan the entire time. Every bad situation I had seen at the hospital ran through my head. I thought about it constantly. Still, I agreed to it because I love birth, I loved who she was and it was special to her. I didn’t see the actual birth, but I was there immediately after. It was beautiful. Everything was calm, quiet and with love everywhere.
I was approached about going on a mission trip to El Salvador for the upcoming summer. Without talking to any of my family or friends, I agreed and was signing paperwork about an hour later. I felt good about my decision because the youth pastor at our church knew the group that I would be going with. Time moved quickly and my trip with @god_intl was around the corner. I started with two weeks of preparation in Nashville, TN, then four-five weeks in El Salvador. After arriving in Nashville, the preparation period consisted of us living like the people we would be serving. We had to wear the same outfit for days on end. We showered from buckets. We never knew what time it was, when or what we were eating, and had a paper bag that we carried everywhere with our bible, pens, journal, toiletries and sleeping bag. We worshiped, studied the bible, planned activities, worked in the garden and kids camp, and played games. I met doulas and midwives that work for NOVA Birth Services (part of God International). They showed me the ins and outs of their clinic and talked about how they all chose the path through birth work. Their stories (obviously) moved me in some way because all I thought about the coming weeks in El Salvador were becoming a midwife.
In El Salvador, I was in the clinic with the community nurse more times than not. We saw a variety of different cases and people. I will never forget how stunned I was about the amount of clients she sees and treats daily, walking from one small community to another. One important thing that really moved me and I will never forget was when she explained to us that there is no such thing as a miscarriage in El Salvador. Miscarrying a fetus was considered abortion. Mothers either could not afford prenatal care and wouldn’t be seen by a healthcare provider or were too scared to seek care because of the consequences that would come with suffering a miscarriage. My heart broke for them thinking of the fear they were living in. I wanted to help. I knew without doubt then that I wanted to become a midwife and come back to El Salvador to help. I will never be able to repay them what they gave me, my truth of who I wanted to be. Every person I met and every situation I was in, I could see my life as a midwife more clearly.
“I feel honored that mothers trust and allow me into their lives during a sensitive time, to follow them through their journey of becoming a new family.”
I feel honored that mothers trust and allow me into their lives during a sensitive time, to follow them through their journey of becoming a new family. I am forever grateful for my family friend who encouraged me to witness her birth, knowing exactly what she was doing for my future. I have been able to attend another birth of hers, some of her daughters and her friends births. We will always have that bond and the love of talking birth together.
Do you love birth? Heck yeah you do!
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