I did not choose to become a midwife, becoming a midwife chose me.
Growing up, I knew nothing of midwifery. Nothing. I wanted to be a nurse. So, I started the nursing program in 1995 at Red Deer College and after the first year had decided that I hated it. But, not knowing what else to do, I forged on. I started the maternal-child portion of the program in my second year and promptly fell in love. I loved working with the people who were going to give birth, loved the babies, and loved having the opportunity to see the miracle of birth everyday. I met an amazing midwife, Barb Bodiguel, at the hospital and worked with her during a few births. I saw how she treated the women differently and how birth was somehow different when she was in the room. It was so much more beautiful, intimate, and powerful. I still loved nursing, but midwifery was somehow so much more. It wasn’t until after I graduated in 1999, and took a course in a large, high-risk, and busy hospital that I realized something was wrong. Birth there was not what I thought it should be, it was not what I thought it was ‘supposed’ to be.
My ‘real’ education began in late 1999 when I started practicing nursing on the maternity unit at Red Deer Regional Hospital. I learned so much about birth in those first two years, I also learned that I didn’t quite fit in with the philosophy of birth that I was seeing at the hospital. I started reading a lot, went to conferences, trying my best to learn as much as I could about normal, physiologic birth. It all made so much sense! I attended my first home birth as a doula for a friend, and since then have been completely hooked.