Tuesday, January 10

Career Change?

I decided yesterday to “go public” with my blog. I don’t know if it will attract anyone to my site, but we’ll see. I’d love to connect with others that share my same interests.

Speaking of interests, I am seriously considering becoming a midwife someday. I get so angered reading and hearing about all of the things that mothers go through that I’d like to do something to help correct the situation. I also care very much about mothers and about babies getting off to the right start in life. I guess you could say I’m pretty passionate about it, just as I am about breastfeeding. I guess that’s why I became a La Leche League (LLL) Leader (http://www.lalecheleague.org).

It’s funny how I believe that this wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t gone through each consecutive phase of my life so far.

Eleven years ago, I was a sort-of coach to a friend who gave birth as a single, Medicaid-assisted mom in a local hospital. I was outraged that they had let her go nearly 24 hours without “assisting” her (with Pitocin—bad, J, bad!). I believed that they were treating her unfairly because she was a Medicaid patient. When I look back on it, I feel differently that they let her go on so long and no longer believe in inductions and interventions, but I still feel that she should have been encouraged to move more instead of lying flat on her back throughout the labor (she was told to walk to get her contractions going, but after that, she was basically laying down the whole time!). I have learned so much since then. I have learned a great deal just since DS was born via c-section five years ago.

So, first I have that experience. Second was my own birth experience. I was initially happy with the birth just because my son was born healthy and happy, although I by no means thought that this was how birth “should be.”

When my son was 10 months old, I started attending LLL meetings and met other women who believed that it was good to keep your baby close, to breastfeed, and to pick your baby up when he cried. It changed my life. I took the great step of breastfeeding in public for the first time. Between my birth (shaving, catheter, etc.) and breastfeeding (although I always tried to be as discreet as possible), I lost quite a bit of modesty (my little group of LLL friends has seen quite a lot of nursing breast!). How else could I be considering this career? You can’t really be modest or ashamed of the human body in all its glorious forms if you want to be a midwife.

Next, my training to become a LLL Leader taught me a lot about birth and about what could be done to make birth safer and what could be done to avoid c-sections. Between that and seeing friends go for the homebirth option, I became a homebirth proponent myself, realizing that my chances of a c-section would go up so much just by stepping foot in a hospital at the end of pregnancy.

I still don’t think I would have been ready except for my two final “experiences.” One was reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I bought it for my LLL Group earlier this year and absorbed the whole thing. It made me want to run off to The Farm in Tennessee.

The last step (so far) was my second pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage at 9 weeks. The miscarriage (in which I actually delivered the baby in what could have been considered labor) taught me that, despite the sorrow of the situation, my body was competent and was capable of giving birth. Before that point, I felt somehow inferior to all those women who had birthed babies. I never even really went into labor with DS! My miscarriage gave me confidence in my body, in every woman’s body, and my ability to do what I had been designed to do.

We are capable of so much!

I know this is sooo long, so I’ll wrap it up. I am going to finish my book before making any big decisions or committing to anything, but in the meantime, I may try to get some books, etc., to look into seeing if this is something I really want. We all think of career changes now and then (I’ve thought of scrapbooking consultant, lactation consultant, yoga instructor, etc.), but we’ll see if this idea sticks. That’s usually the best way to find out!

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