Birth

Before the MEP, I had never seen a live birth. I mean, before all of this I spent many nights watching births on youtube, tears streaming down my face at the absolute beauty and power of the women labouring, but I had never seen it in the flesh.

You may be wondering: isn’t a requirement to have seen a birth? Or at least have experienced something related to childbirth like having kids or something? But how did you know that you wanted to be a midwife?

But wait. Would you ever ask an OB if they had experienced birth? Would you question a male obstetrician’s motives to doing what they do? Would you ask an oncologist if they had had cancer and if that experience is what led them to their practice? No, you wouldn’t. Because those questions are silly.

Why midwifery? What about obstetrics excites you? What experiences led you to choose oncology? Those are great questions that don’t belittle someone’s experiences and don’t question a person’s motives for doing what they love.

So. Birth.

We are paired with a woman at the beginning of the semester for our Midwifery The Profession course, this section is called With Woman. We attend one of her prenatal appointments, the birth of her baby (hopefully!), and a postpartum visit. Our role in this interaction is completely observational. We are shadowing the client… Nothing clinical here. Just seeing how all the magic unfolds.

One of the coolest things about midwifery to me is that all of these births that I see, all of these births that I will participate in, won’t be mine. And my ego is more than totally okay with that. These birth stories aren’t my stories to tell, those experiences don’t belong to me. But I am a participant in their stories, a character…

Every action, every word will be remembered by your clients – regardless of what caring profession you are in. But especially birth. It was an absolute honour and a privilege that I got to stand in the room and play a role in this woman’s birth story. I am so grateful that she gave me permission to witness this insanely vulnerable, intimate, and beautiful act.

I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in my life. A stunning pink baby came earthside with a little cry, floated into dad’s safe hands, and the parents were suddenly miles away from all of us, entranced by their child. I stood in the corner, trying to remain as professional as possible despite the tears streaming down my face. Thank you.

Even though the birth was beyond words, I know midwifery isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows with goddesses singing from above… There will be darkness and I’ve already had a taste of that too. You have to welcome both the light and the dark. Regardless, all of this validates my choice to pursue midwifery and I can’t wait for more validations along the way.

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